5 yard games for some real summer fun

Become a neighborhood legend.
Kubb game

Kubb is a little like bowling and a little like horseshoes. Jarren Vink


Arrange the rubberwood pieces from the Kubb Empire standard size set into two rows, 26 feet apart. Players hurl six batons at their opponent’s formation until they’ve knocked over all the blocks. Then they can fire at the king in the middle of the pitch.

Spikeball game
The Spikeball brand is well-known, but the game itself is called roundnet. Jarren Vink


The action in this recently revived sport is quick and unpredictable. Slap the hollow rubber ball into the 36-inch-wide net and watch out for a devastating return. Your rivals can dive to keep the volley going; if they whiff, you earn a point.

Kan Jam game
Kan Jam originated in the Buffalo, New York, area. Jarren Vink

Kan Jam

Space the 20-inch-tall barrels 50 feet apart, with one member of each team posted at the targets. Score by hitting the sides with a disc—your partner can help tip it midflight. If you send it through the slot or top on your own, it’s an instant victory.

Jarts game
The original lawn darts could be deadly. These, not so much. Jarren Vink


The United States banned metal lawn darts in 1988 after 6,100 emergency room visits and three deaths in an eight-year span. Poof’s ­rubber-tipped projectiles land softly when they hit the ground inside the ring (or anything else). First to earn 21 tick marks wins.

cornhole game
The first-ever cornhole-like game was described in an 1883 patent for “parlor quoits.” Jarren Vink


If you’re looking to become a legend in this game, you’ll want regulation gear. The American Cornhole Association makes its boards from birch plywood and poplar, and its duck-cloth bags have sides that can slip or grip depending on the shot you need.

This story appeared in the Summer 2020, Play issue of Popular Science.