3 Fun (and Highly Competitive) Pool Games

Dec 24th 2017

When you’ve got a pool, one of the best things about it is the vast array of activities you and the kids can enjoy. But even though playing underwater games, swimming, and relaxing on inflatables is an obvious choice, did you know team sports are another great source of entertainment for your pool?

From pool parties with your friends to family fun in the sun, these pool sports can be tailored to suit both children and adults, providing you all with plenty of exercise, fun, and bragging rights (if you win!).

So to help you make the most of your pool and the cool sports you can play within it, we’ve listed three of our favorite pool games below:

1. Basketball Pool Games

How on earth do you play basketball in the water, we hear you ask. Well, even though it does require some imagination (and no underwater dribbling, you’ll be pleased to know), there’s plenty of fun to be had shooting the basketball into a net at the end of the pool. And, if you want to get really competitive, there are some technical rules you can adhere to, too.

There are several different ways you can play pool basketball but these games often combine the traditional rules of water polo and basketball. Simply create teams of three or five and see who can shoot as many goals as possible in a certain timeframe. You could even change this up a bit by seeing how many goals each team can score every time they gain possession.

If you can, install two basketball hoops to create a more competitive environment with each team having their own hoop to defend.

However, regardless of whether there are two hoops or one, each jump shot gets 2 points and slam dunks get 1 point. After a player gets the ball, they’re not allowed to move, but they can use a pivot foot to maneuver themselves around. Play until the designated time is up, or until a team gets to a certain score.

2. Volleyball Pool Games

If you’ve never played pool volleyball before, you’re in for a real treat. And it’s ideal for a large number of players or small groups.

Pool volleyball nets don’t need to be a permanent fixture, either, as you can opt for portable ones with water-filled bases for the poles, or deck-mounted designs where the poles can be removed after play and replaced with finishing caps.

Want to give the game a competitive edge?

Then you’ll need to follow very similar rules to land-based volleyball (while obviously taking into account that players are restricted by the water in the pool). Create teams of 4 or 6 players with one on each side of the net. Then, it’s the best of three games, with each game being won by the first team who gets to 11, 15, or 25, depending on how long you want the game to last for. But for the team to win, they have to lead the other team by at least 2 points. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep going until one of you has this advantage.

Fancy having a go at both volleyball and basketball? Then there are combo units available so you can have the best of both worlds.

3. Water Polo Pool Games

Finally, why not try your hand at a game that merges the rules of hockey, soccer, and basketball, with a little bit of swimming and wrestling thrown into the mix, too. All you need is a ball and a goal at either end of the pool (a soccer goal will suffice).

Create teams of up to seven players before playing four rounds of seven minutes. Typically, players are only permitted to use one hand to pass and hold the ball and each goal scored gets a single point. This goal has to be scored by getting the ball between the two goal posts (again, like soccer). And once a goal has been scored, the ball is released again after everyone has returned to their positions in the pool.

So, whether you fancy yourself as the next water-based Michael Jordan or you’re keen to reenact the volleyball scene from Top Gun (in the water, of course), there’s a game to suit everyone.

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