So it's July that rare month when we are almost guaranteed that it won't snow.
With that in mind we all might want to put away our boardgames for a few weeks and get outside.
So for the month of July I will look at some yard games which are a lot of fun.
To start I have to go with horseshoes.
Horseshoes is a game which can easily be set up in your backyard. The actual boxes, the area where the pegs go, can be elaborate or can simply be an area of grass.
The more elaborate boxes are wooden, and are basically a sand box with the metal target peg going in the centre. There is usually a raised area on both sides, also of wood where players stand top throw from.
Clubs, like the one here in Yorkton, go a step farther and make the box area out of concrete, but you would need to be pretty avid as a player to go that far at home.
For most of us we are going to simply buy a set of shoes and pegs at the local store, and on occasion pound the pegs into the backyard, or at the cabin for an afternoon, or two of fun.
That is the way I play horseshoes. I grew up around the sport, with both my grandfather and father playing fairly regular. As a youngster, and into my teens I would try, but was never very good at it. It looks simple enough to throw the horseshoe at the peg to have it land around the peg for a three-point ringer, but like most sports, it takes more skill than it looks too.
My father actually became a very dedicated player in his later years, traveling all over the province, and further, to play in tournaments.
My son now has his horseshoes, and we've been out a couple of times this year. I am still terrible at the game, but enjoy it anyway. It is more of an aerobic workout than you might think, both the throwing of the shoes, and constantly bending to pick them up -- especially if playing singles. If you are playing with a partner (allowing four to play) the effort gets split.
While for most of us horseshoes is just a fun way to kill some time and get out in the fresh air, it can be taken very seriously, with provincial, national and international events for a range of age groups.
And like handicapping in golf, there is a system for seeding players which means you end up competing against those of similar skill, which certainly enhances the appeal of tournament play.
The game is certainly one to consider it you want something to do in the backyard, or you can head to the club pitches in the city on Tuesday evenings where they are always looking for new potential members.
If anyone is interested in this game, or other boardgames feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Review appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 4, 2012 - Yorkton, SK. Canada