Pool parties during warm months are the best form of entertainment, no matter the age, no matter the celebration. There’s something so freeing about getting a bunch of friends together and hanging out around the pool where the drinks and snacks are (or should be) endless. But, you must have games! No pool party is complete without some friendly competition and some childlike silliness.
Here is a selection of pool-party games for adults. Some are traditional, and some are might be new to you.
The name gives it away. Pool volleyball is a real classic that almost everyone knows how to play. It’s a great game for getting active and working up an appetite for that Summer BBQ. An awesome choice for those who have a bit of sporting prowess and want to show off their skills.
How many people: at least 4, (a minimum of 2 per team)
What you need: a volleyball, preferably a net but you can get away without one if you must…oh, and a pool!
How to play:
There are lots of variations of pool volleyball, you can pretty much add any rules you wish. The basics? Serve a volleyball over the net to the other team and then they hit it back. Just remember; the ball must be spiked or served, not thrown or tossed. Some people decide to forgo the scoring and just try to get the best rallies going. If you are going to score the game, these are the general rules: if the opposing team hits the net or hits the ball out of bounds, your team gets a point. If the opposing team makes contact with the ball more than 3 times before it crosses the net, your team gets a point. If the ball is carried, passed, or thrown by the other team, your team gets a point!
You get the picture. You can choose what point-limit you want to play to before you begin, i.e. first team to get to 12 points wins. Remember to rotate your players after each serve so you all get a turn to serve and cover all bases.
Tip: If you don’t have a net handy, you can still play by imagining the net…but it’s much better if you have something to mount across the pool. You can even use chairs as posts, or get your friends to hold a rope across the pool if you really have to get creative.
Tip: switch sides so that you get a turn in the deep end and the shallow end if this applies to your pool. It can get a bit tiring if you are in the deep end the whole time, and it might compromise your awesome skills.
Shark bite combines thrill, suspense, and stealth. This game requires swimming underwater, so depending on your pool and your preferences, you might want some goggles. This is the perfect game to get the group laughing and having a good time. It’s a throwback to games you might have played as a kid…but a little childlike fun is good for the adult soul!
How many people: at least 4 – but the more people the better
What you need: just a pool and some friends! Goggles are handy for those who can’t open their eyes under water, or if the pool water causes discomfort to the eyes.
How to play:
One person is nominated to be the “shark”. The shark jumps into the pool and goes to one end. The rest of the players get into the pool and stay close to the opposite end to the shark. To begin the game, someone must yell the nominated phrase, it can be a simple “go!”. Once the game starts, all non-shark players must start to make their way to the other end of the pool…with their eyes closed, and their heads above water. The shark must go under water, and carefully select the player he/she wants to “bite”. To bite the player, the shark must grab their legs, below the knees. Once the player gets bitten, they are out, and must exit the pool, and the game begins again. The last person in the pool gets to be the next shark.
Tips: the players should move slowly through the water instead of thrashing around, to avoid kicking the shark in the face
Truth and Lies
This is a game for good friends who know each other well…and new friends who want to get to know each other better. A good game for those who don’t feel like doing a lot of swimming or physical activity, but still want to enjoy the water.
How many people: at least 3, but like most of these games, the more players the better!
What you need: just a pool, some friends, and a quick imagination
How to play: each player sits or stands around the edge of the pool, on dry land. Go around the group and each player tells a short story or fact about themselves…it can be true or completely made up. Then, go around the group again and for each player and their story, the group will vote whether the story was true or false. If the majority of the group votes your story to be false, you must jump into the pool. Once all of the players have had their stories voted on, go around and reveal if the team was write about your tale. If you managed to stay on the edge of the pool but your story was a lie, then you win. If there is more than one winner, those players keep playing until only one remains on dry land.
Spill the drink
Put your balance and pool-running skills to the test with this fast and competitive game.
How many people: at least 4
What you need: a pool, friends, 1 plastic cup for each pair of players (don’t use glass, it’s best to avoid broken glass in the pool)
How to play:
Get into teams of 2. Fill the plastic cup with water, at least half-way full. All players line up along one side of the pool, in the water. One team member from each pair holds cup above the water. On the “start” signal, all teams move toward the other side of the pool. The person holding the cup must get to the other side as quickly as possible, without spilling any water. The other team members must protect their partner’s cup, while at the same time trying to spill the opposing team’s cup. The “protecting” team members must scuffle to fight each other off of their team cups, while trying to disrupt the opposing cup.
The person with the most water in their cup once they get to the other side wins.
Tip: you can vary the rules a bit by making it so that whoever gets to the other side first, and has the most water in the cup wins, but if they get there first, and have less water than the other team/s, then the “cup-holders” must have a swimming race of one length of the pool to decide the overall winner.
Go ahead and have some watery fun! But make sure to use plastic cups and tools when playing pool games, and if using balls, choose soft balls to ensure no one gets a hard knock to the head while in the water. Just add music, food, drinks, and a sunny day and you are ready to go.