No Frisbee necessary: alternative games for sunny spring days

Emily Beloof

Frisbees seem to have a monopoly on Ankeny field. For the sake of diversity, here are some alternatives to the ever-ubiquitous flying disc.

One such alternative is the game featured in the well-loved story of “Alice in Wonderland”: croquet. Croquet is played with two to six people divided into two teams. The players set up nine wickets into two diamonds, with the middle wicket as the point connecting the two diamonds. At the other point of each diamond of wickets, there is a wooden stake driven into the ground. Each player has a different colored ball, so as to keep track of which player’s ball is where, and a wooden mallet. The players take turns hitting the balls through the wickets. Every time the ball makes it through a wicket, the player gets another hit. A team wins when it is the first to have all the players of the team drive their balls through the course and hit the wooden stake.

Bocce ball is another option. Bocce ball is played with eight bocce balls and one small target ball called the “jack” or the “pallino.” The game can be played in pairs or teams. A player tosses the pallino and it stays where thrown as long as it lands between the centerline and the backline. The pallino then becomes the target and the player that threw the pallino throws a bocce ball and tries to get as close to the pallino as possible. Then the other team gets the chance to bowl. From then on, the team that does not have the ball closest to the pallino gets the chance to throw closer to the pallino, by bowling each of the four balls once. Points are made by the team with the closer bocce ball to the pallino. Points of this kind are counted at the end to determine the winner of the game.

Badminton is usually played in teams of two, each with one racket and a birdie. The object is to continually hit the birdie over the net without letting it hit the net or the ground. The game starts with a diagonal serve and then the teams hit the birdie back and forth until the birdie falls to the ground. Teams acquire points when the birdie hits the ground on the other team’s side of the net. Games are usually won as the best two out of three.

If these don’t sound exciting enough, one can always fly a kite, play marco polo, or even enjoy one of the most elementary games: tag.