How well do you know your favorite backyard games?

Let the summer games begin! As you line up the cornhole boards and track down a shuttlecock for a game of badminton, here are some fascinating facts about backyard play.

horseshoes

“Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades,” was coined by a Major League Baseball player and manager, Frank Robinson



The horseshoes in the game of horseshoes are typically about twice the size of real horseshoes. (en.wikipedia.org.)

Frisbee



The Frisbee was originally sold by Wham-O toy company, in 1957, as the Pluto Platter. flyingdiscmuseum.com

The Guinness World Record for the longest Frisbee throw caught by a dog is 402 feet, set in 2012 by Davy Whippet. (davywhippet.com.)

tug-of-war

Tug-of-war was an Olympic event from 1900-1920, including 1908, when the American team unsuccessfully protested the winning Brits for wearing spikes on their boots. (express.co.uk.)

Each August, boat traffic is shut down for five hours while LeClaire, Iowa and Port Byron, Illinois have a tug-of-war contest that stretches across the
Mississippi River. (visitquadcities.com.)

bocce

One of the world’s oldest ball sports is bocce, depicted in a painting in an Egyptian tomb dating to 5200 BC. worldbocce.org In the late 18th century, George Washington built a bocce court at Mount Vernon. (landscapearchitecturemagazine.org.)

cornhole

Cornhole has grown so popular that it has been aired on ESPN, one championship attracting more viewers than pro baseball and basketball games airing at the same time. cornholeworldwide.com.

In cornhole, the front ends of the two boards are placed 27 feet apart, about the length of a London bus. (playcornhole.org.)

Badminton

The fastest object in sport is the badminton birdie, which has been clocked at more than 300 mph. (olympic.ca)

Because of aerodynamics, the feathers of tournament quality badminton birdies come only from the left wings of geese. (nytimes.com.)

Volleyball

Building a backyard beach volleyball court requires about 140 tons of sand, or seven truckloads. (jaxbeachvb.com.)

Lawn Darts

Sharp-pointed lawn darts are illegal in the US and Canada but not in the European Union. (wikipedia.org.)

croquet

Some experts believe that croquet owes much of its popularity to the invention, in 1830, of the lawnmower. (tomtribby.wordpress.com.)

The version of croquet played in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland uses hedgehogs for balls and flamingos for mallets. (sparknotes.com.)

The South Pole hosted its first game of croquet in April of 2005. (common.wikipedia.org.)

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