Here are our Top Classic Pool Games
Sharks and Minnows | Marco Polo | Diving For Treasure | Cannon Ball | Belly Flop | Water Ballet | Underwater Tea Party
In its most basic of form, sharks & minnows is merely a game of water tag. The game begins with one shark and several minnows. The shark lurks in one end (or the middle) of the pool. The minnows stand at the other end. When the shark hollers “Minnows in!” or a similar phrase, the minnows jump or dive into the pool and try to swim to the other side without getting tagged by the shark. Every minnow the shark tags joins the shark’s team and helps to tag other minnows. The last minnow becomes the first shark in the next round.
There are different rules depending when a minnow can be tagged. Version one, a minnow can’t be tagged if he/she is fully submerged under water. In that case, the shark can either wait for the minnow to surface for a breath, or the shark can try to pull him/her to the surface to earn the tag.
In another version of the game, slyness is critical. The game begins with the shark facing away from the pool. The shark can only turn around when he /she hears a minnow in the water. Minnows who enter the water without noise and swims without splashing are compensated with a head start toward the other side.
Safe zones are also favored. If a minnow touches the safe zone (for example, the diving board or pool drain), the shark can’t tag it.
This is the king of classic pool games. Way before school children learned about the 13th century Italian explorer Marco Polo, they became authorities in this aquatic adaptation of Blind Man’s Bluff.
To play Marco Polo, you need minimum of two people, but it’s ultimate with a small crowd. One person becomes “Marco.” That person, Marco, must close his / her eyes and attempt to tag the rest of the people in the swimming pool. To locate the other players, he / she uses a primitive form of sonar, yelling out “Marco!” to which everyone else must respond, “Polo!” Using the direction of the voices as a guide, the blind Marco lunges after his Polos. The first person to be tagged is the new Marco.
The rules for Marco Polo are fairly simple, yet enforcing them can be tricky. The Marco might try to sneak a peek, or the Polos might not yell “Polo.” To combat this trickery, some players allow the Marco to yell, “Fish out of water!” when he suspects someone of leaving the pool [source: Retroland]. If he’s right, the “fish” becomes the new Marco. ( **cited source below)
Best for goggle wearers. Here are the rules, choose a small, non-floating object and toss it into the pool. Have the kids race to find the object and pick it up first.
When we were kids, we used pennies and rocks as the treasure, but now they sell special dive rings and dive sticks just for the game! ( **cited source below)
This is a lot of fun especially when you want to make a big splash! You can do this off the side of the pool or from a diving board. Good form is when you can get a safe jog to the edge of the diving board or pool, jump high and outward, pull knees to chest and gather yourself in a round ball to hit the water with a thud leaving a giant wave in your wake. The bigger you are, the larger the splash generally speaking. If you manage to get everyone wet around you then it was a good one!
The classic belly flop can hurt so this one is more fun to watch. We think it’s self explanatory!
The last two classic water games are generally more for the girls, not to say boys don’t enjoy them as well, but water ballet consists of whirling, twirling and pointing of the toes. It’s easy to be graceful in the water.
Tea Party’s can provide hours of fun for little girls. Best left to goggle wearing kids who are not afraid to hold their breath as long as possible. Just use your imagination and pour the tea!
Want more Pool Game Ideas?
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Rachel and Andrew Cook
Owners of Aqua Fun Inc.
We cited our information online from these sources:
**Roos, Dave. "10 Classic Swimming Pool Games" 26 July 2013. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/backyard-fun-games/10-swimming-pool-games.htm> 06 July 2014.
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