Yard Pong: What is It and What You Need to Know
What is Yard Pong
Yard pong, sometimes called bucket ball, is an outdoor game played by two to eight people. Yard pong is essentially a giant version of beer pong. Instead of setting up solo cups on a ping pong table, large buckets are set up on the lawn. This game is also known as yard beer pong or giant yard pong. No matter the name, it is a fun backyard game that can be played by people of all ages.
How to Play Yard Pong
Begin your yard pong game by setting up the playing field. Each team arranges six buckets in a pyramid formation made up of three rows. The first row has one cup, the second has two, and the third has three. The opposing bucket pyramids should be as close or as far apart as the players desire. The closer to each other, the easier it is to sink the balls. Start about 10 feet apart and see how that distance works for your players.
Next, decide which team throws first. You can determine through a coin toss or by an eye contact ball sink. In the eye contact method, each team tries to sink a ball in the opponent’s cup first, but they must maintain eye contact. The team that sinks the play first throws first.
From here, teams take turns throwing their ball and attempting to land it in one of the opponent’s bucket. When the ball lands in the bucket, the bucket is then removed from the pyramid. Your goal is to clear all your opponent’s cups before they clear yours. The team that sinks a ball in each one of the opponent’s buckets first wins.
Yard Pong Rules
The beauty of yard games is that everyone can make their one rules of the game. There are a few standard rules that most people play by.
The most popular rules center around how the balls are thrown. Balls can either be thrown or lobbed directly into the bucket. Alternatively, the ball can be bounced once on the ground before landing in the bucket. All other throws either do not count or can be intercepted by the team playing defense.
Another common regulation is the re-racking rule. As buckets get removed from play, holes are left between buckets. Each team gets one opportunity throughout the game to rearrange the opposing team’s buckets. They get to choose how the buckets are arranged so they can sink the balls easier.
Variations of Yard Pong
Many people play with their own versions of yard pong. No style is right or wrong; it is about preference and group dynamics. However, there are some popular variations you may encounter.
The first is playing with more buckets or arranging the buckets in a shape other than a pyramid. For example, buckets can be placed in a square or circle. The different forms make it more difficult to sink balls because your aim needs to be more accurate.
Another popular variation is called quidditch pong. It is a take-off the wildly popular game from the Harry Potter novels. Here, the balls must be thrown through elevated hoops before they land in the buckets.
Finally, many people play with the back-to-back ball rule. This means that when a person sinks a ball in a bucket, they shoot again right away.
Tips for Success
One of the best ways to have a successful game is through practice. This is especially true is you are new to the game.
It is also important to discuss rules before the outset of the game. Many people and different social groups play by their own set of rules. It is better to talk about and agree upon rules before a problem arises with the players.
My Favorite Set
If you’re looking for a good set of yard pong, I would recommend this set on Amazon.
The set comes with four playings balls, enough cups to play, and has been durable for awhile. I never use the bag, but it’s a nice addition.
Yard pong is a popular game that can be played in large groups with just a couple of people. You can create your own version of this game with some materials found around the house or purchase a prefabricated set-up. Pull out this game when you are hosting a party or hanging out with friends on a Friday evening. The game never disappoints and is a great way to break the ice.