Summer is all about being outside, but it’s way more than just sunning and swimming. It’s a great season for taking up a new outdoor game or sport to help you get moving and stay fit. 


Not all of them need expensive specialized equipment. Furthermore, a lot of used sporting goods are great for beginners and can be snagged for a song at garage sales and thrift stores. Here is a brief history of some outdoor games you might be playing this year. 



On Thanksgiving Day 1937, Walter Frederick Morrison and his future wife, Lucille, had a grand time tossing a popcorn can lid back and forth. 

They were playing the same game at the beach with a cake pan (worth 5 cents). A passerby offered them 25 cents for the pan. Morrison saw dollar signs — well, at least cents — in a 20-cent-per-pan profit. After World War II, Morrison and business partner Warren Franscioni started making flying plastic discs before ending their partnership in 1950. Morrison formed his own company, American Trends, and made Flyin-Saucers and the Pluto Platter flying discs. He later sold the company to Wham-O, who coined the term Frisbee. 



The game of pitching horseshoes at a target may have derived from a game of quoits played by Roman officers during the occupation of Britain. But, lacking the proper quoits, it’s thought the Romans used horseshoes instead. 

Peasants in medieval Britain also used horseshoes in improvised games of quoits. Colonists brought the game with them to North America. In 1926, the game was governed by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America and even now holds the national and world championship tournaments. 



Volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in 1895. Morgan was the physical director of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Holyoke, Massachusetts. 

He was looking for an indoor sport for businessmen who found basketball too vigorous. Official rules for the game were written by the YMCA and the NCAA in 1916, and, in 1928, the United States Volleyball Association was formed.

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