Sometimes simply known as “pull the rope,” this is one of the simplest games around, a classic which most of us can remember from our school days. Tug-of-War has a long history in the Adriatic, and remains a popular game today among children and even youthfully-minded adults.
To play this game, all you need is a rope and a couple of opposing teams. Each team attempts to pull the rope over to their side. Be sure to wade into the water to play this. That way when players fall over, they land with a splash!
The goal with either of these activities is pretty straightforward—see who can go the longest. Both of these activities are very popular with children, but adults will find that they get a good workout doing them too—especially skipping rope in the sand.
This activity is a good choice for children, who know how to run relay races from gym class and other school activities. You will need a few plastic buckets and cups for a relay race on the beach. The idea is to set up a row of empty buckets and to have participants run back and forth with their plastic cups, fetching water from the ocean and depositing it in the buckets. Whoever can fill up his or her bucket first is the winner. This game can also be played with teams.
What’s a beach party without a limbo rod? Challenge participants to see how low they can go. This is a fun game for both children and adults. Even those who are not especially flexible will enjoy it—sometimes falling over is half the fun.
You probably know that the ancient Roman Empire played a role in Croatia’s rich historical heritage. One game which was popular among the ancient Romans and which is gaining fresh traction today in Croatia and around the world is bocce ball.
Bocce ball is traditionally played in a court, but you can also play it on the beach or pretty much anywhere else that you want. You need eight large balls and one smaller one called a “pallina.”
To play, you need to form two teams. Each is given eight balls. They should be in different colors so you can see which balls belong to which teams.
There is a coin toss at the start of the game, with the winner tossing the pallina anywhere past the center line within the court boundaries.
Players on both sides must then attempt to throw their balls as close to the pallina as possible. They can also attempt to knock each others’ balls away from the pallina. Points are then awarded. The first team to achieve 16 points is the winner.
Bocce ball is a great game because it is ideal for all ages, and while it requires skill to play, it is not too demanding exertion-wise. So this is a great game to entertain your party without exhausting yourself at the end of a long day.
Another beach activity you might try if you are artistically inclined is sand sculpting. Try forming teams and challenging everyone to build the coolest sand castle or another sculpture. You can score this if you want, or forget about judging and just enjoy everyone’s results.
You are on the beach, so where better to have a water fight? Think about packing a few plastic water guns and balloons with you, and have an all-out water war on the beach.
Finally, no list of beach games to play during your Croatian sailing holiday could be complete without mentioning Picigin. This is a traditional game from Split which is one of the most popular beach activities in the country. Chances are good you will see others enjoying this sport throughout your trip.
Picigin was first played on the beach of Bačvice. It was invented by a group of students in 1908 who were actually attempting to play water polo. But the water was too shallow where they were standing, so they ended up modifying the game and coming up with Picigin.
To play Picigin, you need to form a circle with at least several players. These players use their hands to hit around a ball. Players are not allowed to catch the ball, only use the palms of their hands to strike it. The idea is to keep the ball in the air. In this sense, it is rather like volleyball, but no net is involved.
Unlike volleyball, there are no sides. No points are awarded, and nobody wins or loses the game. Everyone is playing cooperatively toward the same end. Because of the shallow water, it is possible to take running leaps and dives and land safely.
This makes Picigin the ideal game for a relaxing summer vacation. It is effortless to learn, and there are very few rules. Players of all ages can enjoy it.
Anything else you should know about Picigin? First of all, the best type of ball to use is a peeled tennis ball. Peeling the ball makes it lighter and also helps it to bounce more effectively.
Secondly, as a safety measure, make sure you only ever play Picigin on sandy beaches. Playing on a rocky or pebbly beach is dangerous since you could hurt yourself falling.
One other thing to know is that there are typically around five players, but you can have more players or fewer as needed. If you do play with five people, usually two of them are stationary, referred to as “sidruni,” from the Croatian word “sidro” for “anchor.” The other three are called “trkači,” or “runners.” But again, there are no strict rules, so you can follow this format or not as you like.
Whether you are in search of a simple game to entertain your kids, you are traveling with friends and want to do something really active, or you are searching for a relaxing game to idle away the hours while enjoying some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world, there are plenty of fun games to play with family and friends on the beach in Croatia. Give a few of these ideas a try, or come up with some ideas of your own. No matter what you do, you are sure to have a blast!
Marin @Danielis - November 21, 2017.
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