Although the weather is cooling down, it’s no excuse to stop swimming. Hit an indoor pool to escape the cool weather blues! If you get bored sitting poolside, kick you pool days up a notch or two with these exciting pool games.
1. Chicken Fights
Safe enough for beginner swimmers and fun enough for swimmers of all ages to enjoy, chicken fights is a classic pool game that involves balance, strategy, and strength.
How to play: Players must pair off into teams of two, preferably with older, bigger children as the base and smaller children as the “fighter.” With the lighter player atop the shoulders of the larger player, participating teams will face each other in the shallow end of the pool. A “judge” or “referee” (typically an onlooking adult or older child) will start the competition at which point the fighters will wrestle each other with the goal of knocking the opposing team down and into the water.
Safety tip: Consider implementing rules for fighters such as no head shots and no punching or scratching, and require each base player to keep hold of the fighters ankles at all time. Remember to play in shallow water to prevent drowning. Not only will this make the game more fun, but it will also ensure players stay as safe as possible.
2. Bumper Beach Balls
Bring the concept of bumper cars to the safety of pool waters by arming each player with their own individual beach ball.
How to play: Rope off a section in the shallow end of the pool that’s large enough for all payers to have a three- to four-foot radius and give each player a beach ball large enough to hold on to. On the count of three, players should use their beach balls as they would a bumper car, with the goal of bumping other players into the rope. Players who touch the rope are deemed “out” until only one player remains.
Safety tip: Implement immediate disqualification rules for any players who use aggressive force (i.e. kicking, shoving, hitting) and require all players to keep at least one hand on the beach ball at all times.
Guaranteed to be a new favorite pool party game, Pigeon is a game that requires adequate swimming, diving and/or jumping skills, as it’s intended for deeper waters.
How to play: Ideal for groups of five or more, Pigeon players are to align themselves along one side of the deep end. A chosen “Pigeon Master” will call out a variety of different words beginning with the letter “p” in an effort to trick players into diving into the water. For example, the Pigeon Master might call out something along the lines of, “Pig stye! Pumpkin patch! Pig latin! Paper weight! Popsicle! PIGEON!” Once the word “pigeon” is shouted, all players must dive into the deep end and swim as fast as possible to the other side where they are to quickly climb out of the water. The last player to remain in the water (this includes feet and toes!) is out. The Pigeon Master will repeat this trickery until only one player remains.
Safety tip: Encourage the use of goggles so swimmers can see where they are going underwater and ensure that players are spaced out enough to prevent any injuries.
Perhaps the best part about pool games is that they can easily be modified and adjusted to keep your pool crew safe and satisfied. Whether you use these games as inspiration for your own versions or add different elements to make them easier or more challenging, having a repertoire of swimming pool games to play is key for a good time.
What’s even more important, however, is ensuring that everyone in your family or group of friends has the swimming skills needed to safely enjoy the pool. Consider signing up for swimming lessons in order to be properly prepared for a summer of poolside fun.