10 of the Best Backyard Games for 2021 / The Best Backyard Games

Enjoy hours of fun outside with the best backyard games of the year. Check out top picks like cornhole, Spikeball, KanJam and more.

May 11, 2020

Make the most of your outdoor space with the best backyard games available at DICK’S Sporting Goods. Whether you need activities for your next get-together or boredom-busting ideas for the kids, you’ll find plenty of awesome options on this list. Check out our top picks and get ready for hours of fun in your own yard.


If you’re looking for a backyard game with action and excitement, Spikeball may be your best choice. The game centers around a circular net that sits eight inches off the ground and acts like a mini trampoline. To start, teams of two line up on opposite sides of the net. The serving team initiates play by tossing and “spiking” the ball into the net so that it bounces toward the other team. The receiving team will then have up to three chances to return the ball — just like a bump-set-spike sequence in volleyball. The crazy part is, once the ball is served, players are free to move around the net in any direction, which can make for fast-paced, heart-pumping volleys.

Spikeball comes with everything you need to play, including the frame, net, three balls, an inflating needle and a carry bag. For full rules and tips, check out our article on how to play Spikeball.

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Put your Frisbee skills to the test with KanJam. How does it work? You’ll set up the two black “kans” at opposite ends of the yard – the regulation distance is 50 feet, but do whatever works for you. You and a teammate will stand at opposite kans. One player will throw the disc while the other can try to deflect it to hit the kan (one point) or, better yet, land inside of the kan (two points). If the disc hits the kan without any assistance from a teammate, you get three points, and if you can manage to throw the disc through the slot on the front of the kan, you win instantly.

The official KanJam game comes complete with two durable kans and an official 168-gram KanJam disc. Find out everything you need to know to get started with our article on how to play KanJam.

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Cornhole has arguably become the most popular yard game in the country. To play, you just need two cornhole boards and eight bean bags (four of one color and four of another). You’ll set up the boards at opposite ends of your yard — the regulation distance is 27 feet between the front of each board, but that’s just a suggestion. Get three points for each bag you toss in the hole and one point for each bag that lands on the board. Cornhole is most commonly played with four people (teams of two), but it’s also fun to play one-on-one.

DICK’S carries a great selection of cornhole sets that include everything you need to play. Check out our article on how to play cornhole for rules, tips and more.

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Washer Toss

People have been playing variations of washer toss for centuries – maybe longer! A traditional washer toss set will come with two target boxes and six or eight washers (yes, the washers resemble the washers you’ll find at your local hardware store, thus the name of the game). To start, you’ll set up the boxes on opposite ends of the yard about 20 feet apart, though the distance is totally up to you. You’ll stand next to one box and toss your washers toward the opposite box — you typically get one point for washers that land in the box and three points for washers that land in the cup in the middle. Games can be played two-on-two or one-on-one, usually to 21 points.

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Bocce Ball

If you’ve never played bocce, you’re missing out. Bocce is one of the oldest-known lawn games in the world, and it can be enjoyed with up to eight players of all ages. A bocce ball set will include everything you need to play – eight bocce balls and a smaller ball called the pallino. To start the game, a team will toss out the pallino which then becomes the target. Teams will then alternate tossing bocce balls toward the pallino, trying to get as close as possible.

You can also try to knock your opponents’ balls away from the pallino, which adds a level of competitive fun. Whichever team is closest to the pallino at the end of the frame gets a point — if a team has multiple balls closer to the pallino than the opponent’s closest ball, they will receive a point for each one. Whichever team scores in the frame throws out the pallino to start the next frame. Play continues in this manner until one side reaches 12 points (or whatever amount you decide).

At DICK’S, you’ll find a great selection of bocce ball sets from top brands. Learn more about this classic yard game with our guide on how to play bocce.

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Ladderball is an absolute blast. It’s simple to set up, easy to play and tons of fun for all ages. A ladderball set will come with two ladder-like stands and six bolas. The game can be played one-on-one or with teammates alternating turns. From about 15 feet away, you’ll toss each of your bolas toward the opposing ladder, trying to get them to hang on one of the three rungs — you’ll get three points for the top rung, two points for the middle rung, and one point for the bottom rung. Traditionally, the first player/team to reach 21 points wins.

Check out our article on how to play ladderball for everything you need to know.

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Badminton is a backyard classic, and it’s a great game to have on hand for outdoor get-togethers. To play, you’ll need a net, shuttlecock (you might know it better as a “birdie”) and at least four badminton racquets so you can play doubles. If you’re just getting started, consider buying a complete badminton set that has everything you need to play. When a player/team fails to return the birdie over the net, the other side gets a point. Points are scored after every serve, and the first player/team to reach 21 points wins.

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Pickleball has exploded in popularity over the past decade. In this addictive game, players use a paddle to hit the pickleball over a net that’s slightly shorter than those used in tennis. The ball can be played out of the air or on a bounce, making pickleball a unique cross between badminton and Ping Pong. While typically played on courts at parks, pickleball is becoming increasingly popular on driveways across the country. A regulation pickleball court is 20-feet wide and 44-feet long, so if you have a hard, flat space close to those dimensions you should be able to enjoy pickleball at home. Get everything you need to play in the top-selling Monarch Complete Pickleball Game Set or, if space is tight, consider the smaller Franklin Half Court Pickleball Starter Set.

If you’re new to the game, check out our guide on how to play pickleball.

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CROSSNET Volleyball Game Set

Ready for some ultimate competitive fun? The CROSSNET Volleyball Game Set includes everything you need for your next pickup game: travel backpack, volleyball and pump. This net is designed in a four-square configuration, giving it an exciting twist to a classic game. The rules are simple — grab four players (one per square) and play to 11 points. The winner must win by two! It sets up quickly and easily, adjusts to men’s, women’s and youth regulation heights and is ready for your next backyard bash.

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Wiffle Ball Gear

Bring the diamond to the backyard and challenge your friends and family to a game of wiffle ball. You’ll find sets for every type of player from your most competitive, to kid-friendly options.

This game is a great option because it requires minimal gear and can accommodate a multitude of players at once. Whether you decide to play by the traditional rules of baseball, play a round of home run derby or make up your own game, bring home gear that is up to the task. Nothing says summer fun like hearing that ball soar through the air. Are you ready to play?

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Need ideas for a rainy day? Check out our list of the best indoor games.