The warm weather is coming up fast, so I thought I'd do a top 5 best yard games article. Now yard games seem pretty regional, but I think the beauty in doing this is merging some of the east coast west coast games together that everyone might enjoy. My family and friends love each of these games. I provided a bit of history behind each of these games to share.
Horseshoe throwing was thought to have originated from a game called Quoits, started by the Romans back during their conquering of Great Britain times during the 1st thru 5th centuries. As the officers and soldiers would be sitting around at night, they started throwing horseshoes with accuracy in a betting game. The game was transferred to America as the original settlers came over from Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries. The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America became the sport's governing body in the United States in 1926 and holds national and world championship tournaments annually.
Horseshoe throwing has been in the family since I can remember. Every time I moved, regardless of where this game has been a favorite pastime. Today, we are in the process of building a horseshoe throwing area behind our house. It's just one of those games everyone can play.
Corn Hole: This game is said to have come from many places; some say it originated in Germany back in the 14 century, others say the game came from a Kentucky farmer in the early 1800s, and others say it may have come from the Blackhawk tribe in Illinois. It is apparent that regardless of where the game originated from, it has been a pastime for centuries and played in backyards for as long as most have known.
Badminton: Another sport that, if you can believe it, is over 2000 years old. Badminton has its roots in an ancient game called battledore and shuttlecock, played by ancient civilizations in Eurasia. It involved two people hitting a shuttlecock (a projectile with a lot of drag, often made from a cork and feathers) to & forth with bats and trying to keep it from touching the ground. British officers in India discovered a game there called Poon, which, like battledore and shuttlecock, was played with a new net. Taking it back to England with them, the Duke of Beaufort introduced it to his guests at his Gloucestershire home and called it "Badminton."
Played in the English town of Guilford, the All England Open Badminton Championships still take place today. Initially, just doubles teams competed; singles matches were added in 1900. The International Badminton Federation was formed in 1934; the first member countries included England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Holland, Canada, New Zealand, and France. India joined as an affiliate in 1936.
After being a demonstration sport at the 1972 Games in Munich, singles and doubles badminton was introduced in Barcelona in 1992. Mixed doubles came four years later in Atlanta. China, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Russia have won medals. China has dominated, having won 38 medals (16 of them gold); South Korea and Indonesia have won 18 medals each.
Croquet: Croquet is believed to have been first played by thirteenth-century French peasants who used crudely fashioned mallets to whack wooden balls through hoops made of willow branches.
The origins of the modern game have been traced back to 1852 when a game called “crooky” was introduced to England from Ireland, where it had been played since the 1830s. Widespread popularity came when a London sporting goods manufacturer named John Jaques began selling complete croquet sets (John Jaques & Sons remains the foremost manufacturer of croquet equipment today). With the availability of equipment, croquet flourished and soon became one of the primary social and recreational activities of the British leisure class.
By 1870 croquet had reached virtually all of the British colonies, where it continued to gain recognition through the turn of the century. Given the nature of Victorian courting codes, it is not surprising that young people-particularly women-relished the game, which allowed them to socialize out of earshot of chaperons!
Lawn tennis started in World War I when the growth of croquet began to wane. In the 30s and 40s, croquet enjoyed a resurgence, particularly with the “literati” on the East Coast and the “glitterati” on the West Coast of North America. In the late '40s, toy manufacturers miniaturized the standard croquet set, simplified the rules, and marketed croquet as a backyard game.
Croquet began its revitalization as a competitive sport in the late 1970s and has continued to grow in popularity throughout the United States and Canada ever since.
The sport of croquet is now played competitively in over twenty countries. The sport's growth can be largely attributed to international and national croquet organizations such as Croquet Canada and the United States Croquet Association. Since the early 1980’s the number of competitive players in North America has risen from 50 to over 8,000.
Lawn Frisby: On January 23, 1957, Wham-O toy company roll out the first aerodynamic plastic discs—now known to fans all over the world - Frisbees. The history of Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut. William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O.
Let me know your opinions on this list in the comment section or elaborate on the article through the contribution section.