badminton rackets and birdie


The name “badminton” comes from Badminton House in Gloucestershire, England, the ancestral home of the Duke of Beaufort. Legend has it that in 1873, the game was introduced at a party held at the house, and it quickly gained popularity among the British elite.

The basic player’s objective in badminton is to score points by hitting the shuttlecock over the net and into the opponent’s side of the court in a way that the opponent cannot return it with their racket. Players aim to win rallies and accumulate points to ultimately win the match.

To play badminton, start by setting up the net in the middle of the court, with each player or team standing on opposite sides. The game begins with a serve, which must be hit underhand and diagonally into the opponent’s service box. Players then rally by hitting the shuttlecock back and forth over the net, aiming to land it in the opponent’s court or force them to make a mistake. Points are scored when the shuttlecock lands in the opponent’s court, or when the opponent hits it out of bounds, into the net, or commits a fault.

In badminton, players keep score by earning points during rallies. A match is typically played as best of three games, with each game going up to 21 points. A point is scored on every serve, regardless of which side serves. For example, if the serving side wins a rally, they score a point and continue to serve. If the receiving side wins the rally, they score a point and gain the serve. The first player or team to reach 21 points wins the game, but if the score reaches 20-20, the game continues until one side achieves a 2-point lead. The winner of the match is the first to win two games.

Red, yellow and black bocce balls rest on the grass.

Bocce Ball

Bocce ball is one of the oldest sports in the world, with origins tracing back to ancient Egypt around 5200 B.C. The modern version of bocce developed in Italy, and its name comes from the Italian word “boccia,” meaning “bowl.”

The player’s objective in bocce ball is to throw their balls as close as possible to the small target ball, known as the “pallino.” Players aim to position their balls closer to the pallino than their opponents, attempting to knock the opponents’ balls away or strategically block them to achieve the best positioning.

Bocce ball can be enjoyed by two to eight players, either individually or in teams of two, three, or four players. To kick off the game, a coin flip typically determines which side will toss the pallino (target ball) onto the court, ensuring it is thrown underhand and behind the foul line. Players then take turns rolling their bocce balls, aiming to land them as close to the pallino as possible. It’s worth noting that players can strategically manipulate the position of the pallino by hitting it with their ball, creating tactical advantages. In case of a tie where a team’s ball matches their opponent’s closest ball, they earn the chance to throw again.

In bocce ball, scoring is determined based on the proximity of each team’s bocce balls to the pallino (target ball). After all balls have been thrown, the team with the closest ball to the pallino earns points. For instance, if the green ball is closest to the pallino and the red ball is the next closest, the green team scores one point. If a player’s ball touches the pallino, it’s called a “baci” and the team earns two points for that ball. The game typically concludes when one team reaches a predetermined number of points, often set at 12 or 16.

cornhole on the beach


While the exact origin of cornhole is often disputed, some say a German cabinet maker named Matthias Kuepermann is credited with creating the game when he noticed local children throwing rocks into a hole in the ground. To make the game safer and more fun, he crafted a wooden box with a hole and used bags filled with corn kernels as the throwing objects.

The basic player’s objective in cornhole is to score points by tossing bean bags onto a raised platform (board) with a hole at the far end. The goal is to either land the bags on the board or, ideally, to get them through the hole.

To play cornhole, set up two boards 27 feet apart, facing each other. Each goal board begins with four bean bags apiece. Players or teams alternate throwing bean bags towards the opposite board, aiming to either land them on the board or get them through the hole.

Scoring is simple: 3 points for bags going through the hole, 1 point for bags landing on the board, and 0 points for bags that land on the ground or bounce onto the board. After all bags are thrown, points are tallied. Play continues in this manner, round by round, until one player or team reaches or exceeds 21 points. 

croquet mallet


Croquet is believed to have originated in the thirteenth century, likely among French peasants who crafted rudimentary mallets to strike wooden balls through hoops constructed from willow branches.

The basic player’s objective in croquet is to navigate their ball through a course of six hoops, known as wickets, in a specific order and direction, using a mallet. The ultimate goal is to be the first player to complete the course by successfully passing through all the wickets and striking the finishing stake.

A croquet course typically consists of a series of wickets arranged in a specific pattern on the lawn. Players take turns striking their balls with a mallet, aiming to pass through the wickets in a predetermined order. Each player aims to navigate their ball through the course while strategically positioning themselves to hinder their opponents’ progress. The game continues until a player successfully navigates their ball through all the wickets and strikes the finishing stake, at which point they are declared the winner. 

In leisure croquet, scoring is typically informal. Players can keep score by simply counting the number of wickets (hoops) each player successfully navigates their ball through. For each wicket completed, players earn one point. Additionally, players may decide to award bonus points for hitting the finishing stake after completing the course. The game continues until all players have completed the course, and the player with the highest score is declared the winner.

Red, yellow and black bocce balls rest on the grass.

Lawn Bowling

Lawn bowls has deep historical roots—the game dates back centuries, with evidence suggesting that variations of lawn bowls were played as early as ancient Egypt.

The aim of lawn bowls is to roll a bowl—the bigger, curved ball—as close as possible to the jack—a smaller ball—to earn more points than your opponent.

Each player or team in lawn bowls is equipped with bowls, which are slightly asymmetrically weighted balls, and a jack, a smaller white ball that serves as the target. A coin flip determines which team gets to “toss the jack” first. Players then take turns rolling their bowls toward the jack, aiming to get them as close as possible. The goal is to have your bowls closer to the jack than your opponents’ bowls.

To keep score in lawn bowls, first complete a round where all players have rolled their bowls. Once all bowls are played, determine which player’s or team’s bowls are closest to the jack. Award one point for each bowl that is closer to the jack than the nearest opponent’s bowl. Record these points, and then proceed to the next round. Continue playing rounds and tallying scores in this manner until one player or team reaches the predetermined number of points needed to win the game—typically 21 points.

ping pong paddles

Ping Pong

When it comes to the origins of ping pong, as the story goes, British aristocrats were playing lawn tennis when a storm rolled in. They moved the game indoors and set up a makeshift version using cigar box lids for racquets and stacks of books for a net. They had a fantastic time with their new game, word spread, and thus, table tennis, or ping pong,  was born.

The aim in ping pong is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and onto the opponent’s side of the table in such a way that the opponent cannot return it successfully. Players alternate shots, aiming to outmaneuver their opponent with speed, spin, and placement.

To play ping pong, two players stand on opposite sides of a table with a net in the middle. The game begins with a serve, where the server tosses the ball and strikes it with their paddle to bounce once on their side and then on the opponent’s side. Players then take turns hitting the ball back and forth, ensuring it bounces once on the opponent’s side each time. 

Points in ping pong  are scored when an opponent fails to return the ball correctly, such as missing the ball, hitting it into the net, or sending it off the table. The game continues until one player reaches 11 points, with at least a 2-point lead. If both players reach 10 points, play continues until one player gains a 2-point advantage. Matches are often played in best-of-five or best-of-seven formats.

Crystal Cove sunset