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Top 8 informal summer games

07 December 2015
Two kids play beach cricket

From beach cricket to games of catch in the water, one of the great things about a Kiwi summer is the improvised sport that takes place on the beach or in the back yard.

Check out our list of the top 8 informal summer sports and let us know what you will be trying (or inventing) over summer!

Beach Volleyball

Two men high five on beach after beach volleyball match

While Beach Volleyball has been in the Olympics since 1996, it has been a staple of New Zealand beaches and camp sites for generations. The appeal of beach volleyball is its simplicity. To score a point all you need to do is to return the ball over the net and onto the sand of the opposing court. Out of all the informal summer sports, beach volleyball is perhaps the most spectator-friendly with spectacular dives on the sand always drawing applause from fellow beach goers.

Equipment required: Net, volleyball

Number of players: Four minimum (at least two per side)

Water Donkey

People playing in and by the water

Best played in waist-deep water, the objective of water donkey is simple - don't drop the ball! For every dropped catch you earn a letter. Once you have spelt out DONKEY you are knocked out of the game and the last remaining catcher is the champion. To make things even harder, make every catch one-handed or executed with a dive into the water.

Equipment required: Tennis ball

Number of players: Two or more

Beach Cricket

Old man and kid play beach cricket

You cannot go to a Kiwi beach throughout summer without encountering a game of beach cricket. The rules will vary wherever you go, but generally, games are played with the 'tippnies' rule (if you hit it, you run!). Another popular summer cricket game is called 'Bat Down'. In this version, the fielder gets a chance to dismiss the batsmen by rolling the ball over the top of a down-turned bat.

Equipment required: Tennis ball, cricket bat, driftwood for stumps

Number of players: Four or more

Touch rugby

Side-stepping, reverse passes, goose-steps and banana kicks on the last tackle - just a few of the things you will see in a game of touch rugby by the beach. All you need is a rugby ball and a few jandals to mark the try line and you're ready to go. Check out this video of Shaun Johnson for inspiration!

Equipment required: Rugby ball, markers

Number of players: Four or more

Ultimate Frisbee

Two players playing ultimate frisbee

In its simplest form, Frisbee is a game of catch between two players on the beach. Over recent years, the organised game of Ultimate Frisbee has grown in popularity. In Ultimate Frisbee, teams try to score by advancing the Frisbee down the field and into the opposition end zone without running with the disc.

Equipment required: Frisbee

Number of players: Two or more

Beach Triathlon

Men doing exercise on a sand dune

This fun summer game is all about innovation and making use of your surroundings. Firstly, gather your competitors and start with a swim to a raft or buoy. The next leg can be a run to a landmark on the beach or to the top of sand dunes. Finally finish with 20 star jumps or press ups and you will find your beach triathlon winner!

Equipment required: None

Number of players: Two or more

Beating the goalie

Father and son playing football in their backyard

One of the best parts of football is the thrill of having a shot on goal - now here is a summer game which encompasses just that! All you need is a football and a couple of markers for the goal. Now mark a spot and have ten shots on the goal. Once you've had your shots, swap places with the goal keeper and who ever scores the most goals gains a point. Play first to five or ten points to find out who wins.

Equipment required: Football and markers

Number of players: Two or more


Two people rollerblading

Big in the eighties and still big now, Rollerblading is one of the best ways to cruise along the waterfront of any beach-side city.

Equipment required: Rollerblades and protective equipment

Number of players: One or more

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