5 must-play outdoor summer sports

  • Dayton.com staff
6:00 a.m. Friday, July 24, 2015 What To Love

The warm summer months lend themselves to more outdoor activities, and if you're looking to get a group of your friends or family involved in something different than playing catch in the backyard, there are a handful of options for you to consider. 

Here are five must-play outdoor summer sports in Dayton: 

1. Disc Golf

Traditional golf is a fun way to spend a summer afternoon, but if you're looking to save on greens fees, clubs and balls, disc golf might be a welcomed change. 

Instead of hitting a ball into a hole, in disc golf you throw a Frisbee-like disc into a pole extending up from the ground that has chains and a basket where the disc will land. 

>> 5 reasons to get into the Dayton disc golf scene this summer

But just like in regular golf, the object of the game is complete the course in the fewest amount of throws as possible. 

However, one important difference between the traditional form and the disc version is the lay of the land. Disc golf courses can be found all over the place, including community parks.

You can find great deals for your own discs on Amazon.com

2. KanJam/Disc Slam

If you've never heard of or have never played Disk Slam before, you're likely not alone, but the reasons this sport is gaining popularity is obvious.

Disc Slam combines the fine touch of throwing a Frisbee or disc with the reactive nature of sports like volleyball. And best of all, it's played with teams of two, which adds another level of competition and fun to the sport.

To play the game, one member of each team stands at the opposite goals. Each teammate will then take turns attempting to throw or deflect the disc into the goal. For example, when one teammate throws the disc toward his/her team's goal, the other teammate, standing at the opposite end, can deflect or "slam" the disc into the goal from above.

Teams score points by deflecting the disc into the goal or having the disc bounce off the side of the goal. In most formats, if one teammate throws the disc directly into the goal via a small side slot, his/her team wins.

For a detailed list of the rules, visit kanjam.com/how-to-play.

And to get your own KanJam set, visit the website's store.

3. Corn Hole

Corn Hole, Bean Bag Toss or whatever you choose to call this leisure sport is probably most popular because of its pick-up-and-play ability. If you can lob a bean bag toward a rectangular wooden platform, you can play Corn Hole.

Better yet, all you need is about 30 feet, a few bean bags, two goals and 2-4 players to get this activity going.

From there, the rules are largely up to you. But if you want a more official stance on the game, head over to PlayCornHole.org for more info. 

4. Ladder Golf

Another twist on the game of golf is not really golf, after all, but is still lots of fun at a family barbecue or tailgating party.

Ladder golf involves teams or individuals throwing bolas (two golf balls tethered together by a piece of rope or string) towards a three-step ladder that is set up roughly 15 feet away. Points are determined by which step your bola wraps around. The top step is worth 3 points the middle step is worth 2 points and the bottom step is only worth 1 point. 

The game does require some practice and skill, as the bolas will wrap around, then fall off the steps, if thrown with too much force. On the other hand, it is possible to knock off one player's bolas that has already attached itself to the steps. 

To buy your own set, head over to laddergolf.com

5. Pickleball

Funny name, awesome concept.

Think of Pickleball as a simpler form of tennis, where the courts are smaller and the ball is easier to hit.

The sport is played with paddles instead of rackets and a whiffle ball instead of a tennis ball. Other than that, most of the game's rules mimic those of regular tennis; however the sport has gained tons of popularity among seniors because it is less impactful, physically, than tennis on your joints and muscles. 

The USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) has a full rundown of the rules, where to play and everything else you would want to know about the sport.

Then be sure to visit daytonpickleball.com and Dick's Sporting Goods to start buying your equipment.