Pool Party Games
Sound travels swiftly and clearly under water. You have discovered this if you have ever tapped two rocks together under water. While the sound cannot be heard above water, it can be heard for several hundred feet by anyone whose head is submerged.
Using this principle place your volunteers at some distance away from the spot where the rocks are to be hit together.
If possible, do not let your contestants know who is going to knock the rocks together, or where this person is. All you tell your contestants is that if the rocks strike only once, they are all to race to one object. If the rocks strike twice, they are to go to some other. You might give four or five alternatives, which adds to the confusion.
At the signal, "Submerge!" your contestants go under the water. When each one is under, so that the water is still, the signal is given, and the race is on.
Divide your group into two sides of equal numbers and have them stand in waist deep water facing each other about 3 feet apart. If there are more than six on a side, make rows of six each for each side. Have someone serve a beach ball, the same as he would a volleyball, to the opposite side.
Instead of a net, the ball must pass the three foot space. The other side then bats it back. As soon as one side lets the ball touch the water the other side gets a point and serves. Change servers with each point. A team may hit the ball only three times before hitting it across the three foot space to the group opposite. The first team to get fifteen points wins.
If you have a big enough pool, with enough width to accommodate two canoes, and enough length to allow for some distance between them at the start... place two contestants in each canoe and match only two canoes at a time.
One contestant paddles the canoe while the other holds a long pole, the end of which has been carefully wrapped in padded burlap. The contest is to see which one can push the other combatant out of his canoe.
Here is one for the kiddies... bring a number of old fashioned type wash tubs along and see who can stay in the tub and remain balanced the longest. The average contestant will tip over and slide into the water almost immediately but one or two will very likely come along who will show real equilibrium and who will be able to remain above water for several minutes.
Throw a well greased watermelon out into the water, not more than waist deep, if you are dealing with children, and announce that the one who brings it out of the water first can have it. As a consolation prize for the many losers, be prepared to give each one of them a nice big slice out of another melon which you have brought along.
One person is It and the rest of the swimmers endeavor to keep a small, buoyant rubber ball away from him. The only hitch is that the ball cannot be thrown above water, it must be passed from person to person under water. At any time It is near enough the ball above water to touch it, he may retrieve it without a struggle, and the one who last touched it, or the one who is responsible for not having it in his possession, must trade places with It.
Water Bronc Riding
Get a large watertight steel drum. Put it alongside the dock, and help each aquatic cowboy safely onto the bronco. Then leave him to his own, as the drum is very gently pushed away from the side. Keep a stop watch to see which contestant can stay balanced on the bronco longest.
Davy Jones Football
Stage a football game in water which is about waist deep. Use a rubber football and play the game according to the rules of touch football. That is, do not have any first downs. Each team has four tries and if unable to score must turn the ball over to the other side.
You may permit tackling, blocking and all the rest, because the water will retard any violent action. Punting is also in order if anyone can perform a kicking feat. To get the game underway let the offensive team take the ball one-fourth of the way in from the goal it is defending.
Search for Sunken Treasure
Get a number of empty coffee cans on which the lids can be forced down tightly. Place a slip of paper in each can, writing on the slip of paper what treasure that can represents, such as a candy bar, ice cream cone, bottle of pop and the like. Have these cans placed in the water ahead of time and let your swimmers look for them.
Ice Keep Away
On a hot summer afternoon nothing will be quite so unique at a swimming party as a huge cake of ice. Choose up sides for a game of keep away. Instead of using a beach ball, use the cake of ice. Your swimmers will have a great time as they try to keep the chilly, illusive object away from each other.
Davy Jones Keep Away
Use a bright red brick as your playing object in this game. Then choose sides, equal numbers on each side. By drawing sticks or by some other means decide which team gets the brick first.
The idea is that no one can catch the brick. Instead, if one teammate is to pass the brick on to another, he does so by throwing it into the water near this other teammate, who then must dive down and recover it from the bottom. An opposing swimmer will, of course, try to retrieve the brick first.
One person is It, and must try to tag one of the other swimmers. Let the dock be the safety zone so that no one will get too tired. The one who is It must tag his prey in the water. Also, no touching back, so that the one who has been It will have a chance to rest. Make sure that a competent lifeguard is on duty at all times, in case anyone gets tired.
Water Gun Tag
One of the players is It, the rest of them are to be chased.
It has a water gun, which he keeps loaded at all times. He must squirt water on some other swimmer, who may, of course, dodge or duck under the water or use any other means to keep from being hit. As soon as someone is hit by a stream of water, he must take the gun and become It.
Waves A Rollin'
Give each contestant a stick, or some other object which floats lightly upon the water. Be sure that each contestant has an object uniform with that used by each of the others.
At the signal each object is dropped into the water. The contestant endeavors to propel the object to the goal line without touching it. He may blow it, he may agitate the water causing waves to move it along- but he must not touch it.
Place a large inner tube in the water, beneath the diving board. Each contestant has three tries, to see if he can dive from the diving board through the inner tube.
Or, if your group is small, give each diver ten tries and keep score. Be sure that the inner tube valve is not inside the tube, or injury may result. You may purchase such a tube, made especially for water use, or, if this is unobtainable, you can tape the valve to the side of the inner tube to keep it out of the way of the diver.
Here is one for your better swimmers. Give each contestant a lighted candle, which he is to hold out of the water while swimming from the starting line to the goal. If the candle goes out along the way, he is disqualified.
Divide your contestants into teams, preferably six on each team. You will need a one hundred and fifty foot rope for each team, as well as a small pulley. The rope need be no larger than clothesline rope, and the pulley will be fastened under water to a ladder.
The idea of the race is to have four team members hang onto the far end of the rope, each at a different place near the end, and dive under the water and stay there as soon as the "Go" signal is given.
At the opposite end of the rope the two other team members will pull the human submarines along the bottom of the water, to see which submarine can reach the dock first.
Of course, if any crew member on either submarine surfaces, his sub is automatically disqualified. Have someone at all times watching those who are submerged, to prevent possible accident.
This game is preferably played in water about waist deep.
It can be played in deep water, but only by experienced swimmers. This operates on the shuttle relay idea, with half of each team standing at one goal and the other half at the other. The idea is for each contestant to swim under water until he touches the feet of his teammate at the opposite goal.
That teammate then dives under water and swims back to the other goal and touches the feet of the one waiting there. This continues until the last member of a team has covered the underwater distance. Have someone watching to prevent accident.
Snorkel Endurance Contest
Give each contestant a large straw which he is to place in his mouth so that he can breathe under water. The contestants, at the signal "Go," submerge. If needed, each may have an assistant who helps hold him under water. The point is that each contestant keeps the end of his straw up out of the water. He breathes through this straw, drawing air into his mouth and forcing it out through the straw.
The winner is that submarine which can remain submerged longest.