One of the most refreshing and enjoyable things to do under the hot Florida sun is to jump into a cold, clean pool and waste the day away. Add some friends and family and a few fun pool games or challenges, and you have the recipe for a great time! If you can’t come up with any pool games on your own, below is a countdown of ten of the most popular ones you can use to challenge your friends!
- Breath-Holding Contest
In this simple, competitive game two or more people submerge themselves underwater at the same time and see who can remain under the longest without coming up for air. Be sure you don’t attempt a breath-holding contest without others around since overzealous, ultra competitive folks can actually lose consciousness from blood oxygen levels that become too low. The world record for holding one’s breath underwater is held by Stig Severinsen, a free diver who held his breath for twenty-two minutes. See if you can top that!
- Handstand Contest
There is an art to accomplishing the perfect handstand. On land, it requires strength and balance. In the water, though, it is much easier, and almost anyone can do a great handstand! The question, though, is how long can you stay in that pose while holding your breath? In this pool game, challenge your friends to see who can hold their handstand the longest without falling over. You will need at least one person to judge the competition by determining which competitor’s feet go underwater last. That person is the winner.
- Cannon Ball Contest
If you have never done a cannon ball, it is quite possible you never got to swim in a pool as a child. A cannon ball is executed by jumping off a diving board (if you want extra height) or just off the side of the pool, grasping both knees and tucking them into your chest, and plunging into the water with as much force as possible. The goal of a cannon ball competition is to make the biggest splash, so be sure to have a designated judge to pick a winner!
- Belly Flop Contest
A belly flop may literally be one of the most painful things that can happen to you in a pool besides a sunburn, and yet, people love to compete to see who can do the best belly flop. To complete a belly flop all you must do is leap from the side of a pool (or a diving board), spread your arms and legs, and land flat on your stomach in the water with the loudest and hardest “smack” possible. As with the competitions mentioned previously, you will need to have a judge for the contest, and that person gets to have the most fun, deciding, for example, whose “smack” was the loudest, whose belly is the reddest, or whose flop was the most artistic.
- Dolphin Race
The goal in this game is to swim underwater the farthest. The competitors begin at the same wall of the pool. When the race begins they must go underwater, push off, and swim as far toward the other side of the pool as they can without coming up for air. If a competitor reaches the other side of the pool, he can turn around and swim in the opposite direction. The person who swims the farthest without coming to the surface to breathe is the winner.
- Chicken Fight
Chicken is essentially water-based, double-decker wrestling. In a chicken fight, each team consists of two people. One person on the team climbs onto the shoulders of his teammate. Two teams then compete by wrestling and attempting to knock the other team over into the water. There are variations in this game. You can play so that both the top players and the bottom players wrestle, or your rules may only allow the top person in each team to “fight.” Another decision to make is whether a team loses when the top person on a team touches the water at all, or only when that person becomes submerged. Whatever rules you adopt, always be sure you have plenty of room for the top players to fall without hitting the sides of the pool, and always be aware of others around you.
- Sharks and Minnows
Sharks and minnows is a lot like a game of tag in the pool. One person is the “shark” and all of the other players are minnows. The shark stands at one end of the pool and the minnows are on the side of the pool at the other end. When the shark yells, “minnows in!” all of the minnows try to swim to the shark’s end of the pool and touch the edge without being tagged by the shark. If a minnow is tagged, he joins the shark and tries to tag other minnows. The last minnow remaining untagged by a shark is the winner, and he becomes the first shark in the next game.
- Diving for Treasure
To play this game, stop by your Miami pool store and pick up some pool toys (such as dive rings or dive sticks) and other pool supplies. Goggles are great for this game! Simply choose a non-floating toy and toss it into the pool. Once it completely sinks, have all players dive in to see who can retrieve the pool toy first. To make the game more challenging, toss all the toys in at the same time and see which player can collect the most!
- Human Whirlpool
This game works best with a large crowd of people and is easiest in the shallow end of the pool. All players walk in the same direction in a giant circle. The united movement of so many people will create a circular current in the pool – a whirlpool! Once the current is strong enough it will literally carry everyone! Lift your feet and the water will move you in the circular motion you were walking. Or have everyone turn around and try walking in the opposite direction. The current will be so strong it will be almost impossible!
- Marco Polo
Marco Polo is probably the most popular pool game of all time. One player gets to be “Marco;” Everyone else tries to avoid him. Marco must close his eyes and try to tag the others. He can only locate them by calling out, “Marco!” The other players must then reply, “Polo,” with their sound revealing their locations. But, the “Polos” don’t have to stay where they are. They can move away from Marco as he pursues them. The first “Polo” to be tagged becomes the new “Marco,” and the game begins again. One little twist can occur when a Polo leaves the pool altogether. While this is allowed, if the Marco suspects someone has left the pool, and he yells, “fish out of water,” if he is correct, the Polo out of the water becomes the new Marco.
There is a great deal of fun to be had under the sun, in a pool, with friends and family. Head to your Miami pool store, pick up some pool supplies and pool toys, and get playing!