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Green outdoor games are here

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Today I introduce this green and traditional outdoor family game.

In today’s era of video games full of Wii, the best-selling summer fun game is truly a repeat customer. No battery or power cord is required.

As children and adults rediscover home entertainment time, they often play on outdoor lawns, hacky sack, ladder golf balls and similar tossing games are angry.

“They are fun, simple, portable and lightweight,” explains John Erlandson, vice president of marketing and product development for game maker Sportcraft. “We are seeing in the industry is a whole range of categories toss game suddenly exploded. The bean bags have become almost as big as traditional lawn games like volleyball and horseshoes.” Even the lawn darts come back again - minus the sharp tip. Known as sky darts, the new version comes with an attached soft tip.

The Chico inventor is launching a new beanbag ball - a water splitter - that can skip water and roll (even in a child's pool) and won't sink. Make it the ultimate waterproof ball.

Portable, durable and safe, bean bags attract children, who are developing their coordination and goals, and who likes any competitive adult. Teens and people over 20 especially like these old-fashioned games.

Experts believe that this trend is partly due to the economic recession. “We've seen an explosion followed,” Erlandson said. “Not to go on holiday, people are looking for things that are close to home or done on their lawn.”

Football players in football matches and NASCAR games can throw bags, darts or balls around. They can also take them to parks, beaches and campgrounds. “Tailgating has become a new mall,” he added. “These are games you can play anywhere.”

This has brought out a wave of family and regional favorites such as cornhole. Also known as corn toss or bean bag toss, cornhole challenges players to toss dried corn- or bean-filled canvas bags through a board with a hole. I believe that Germany dates back to the 14th century, this game became a love in Kentucky and spread through the Midwest. This game even has its own American Cornhole Association, which has more than 30,000 members nationwide. Why cornhole? “People of all ages in this game are very interested and can play anywhere.” said association president Michael Whitton. “In the United States, games are spreading to every state.” Sportcraft makes about 350 outdoor and lawn games.

“Everything from the shuttlecock to the shuttle ball,” Erlandson said. “So far, our most popular games are ladder balls, then bean bags.” 

Also known as ladder golf or bolo toss, ladder ball using golf bolos - Two golf balls attached to the ends of the short nylon rope. The object of the game is to wrap the bolos around the three steps of a target “ladder” by tossing from a few yards away.

“This is an amazing seller for us,” Erlandson said. Erlandson, 30, discovered the original lawn darts while in college. “They are fun,” he said. “But I don't know they were banned.”

The notoriously fatal problem is that in 1988, the Consumer Product Safety Commission cancelled the original lawn darts. Earlson said that Sportscraft spent about two years perfecting a soft tip version. The hardest part is to develop a heavier tip that will allow the dart to stand upright after landing. Tip: A bag of weights hangs inside the dart tip and connects to the inner polypropylene wall for five points.

Sportscraft also developed Bean Ball Bocce, a softened version of the traditional Italian game, using vinyl bean bags instead of hard resin balls. “You can never play the ball indoors, but with Bean Ball Bocce, you can,” Erlandson said.

At Chico, architect Tim Leefeldt perfected WaterRipper and will be released nationwide next spring. He first had the idea for a water-friendly ball 22 years ago while playing Hacky Sack on vacation in the Hawaiian surf. “Hacky Sacks float,” he said. “That got me to thinking, 'Wouldn't it be fun to have a high-performance water ball?'”

Twenty years and two years after the patent, Seefeldt's creativity debuted at the Chico Regional Park and the swimming pool this summer and was officially launched at the New York Toy Fair in February. Some bean bags, some of the ball, Water Ripper absorbs water and flattens when it hits the surface. It does not jump out of the pool, but skips and rolls.

“It skips over the water with this wonderful pattern ...” Leefeldt said. “My goal now is to develop waterball as a sport. ... You don't even need a pool to play — just 3 inches of water — and you can take it anywhere.”

Can you get the history of bean bag ball game?

red letters sandbaga set of footbag

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