By John Focht
Of course anyone who has been to the Shore has seen a Beach Paddle Ball game. It’s the game with two paddles and a pint-sized ball that is sold at every five-and-ten and boardwalk shop in every beach town.
Traditionally, Beach Paddle Ball is a game played between two players, or a team of two-vs.-two as they volley the ball back-and-forth. Successfully volleying that tiny ball back-and-forth is not as easy it sounds though. The ball cannot bounce and sometimes it is tough to get any momentum going.
To make paddle ball an enjoyable beach game, use a racquetball instead of the tiny paddle ball. I know, I know, the paddle ball enthusiast out there consider this cheating, but a racquetball has got a great bounce.
Draw a court in the hard-sand and you can play a great game of beach paddle ball (or may even call it beach tennis). Much like tennis or even Ping-Pong, you must successfully hit the ball in the air over your half of the court. The ball can only bounce one time on your opposition’s side of the court. If the ball bounces more than once, or if it bounces off the court, the point is yours. If the ball travels in the air and does not bounce on your opponent’s court, and your opponent does not swing at it, the point belongs to them. The game is played to 21, and you must win by two.
Using a racquetball makes a volley back-and-forth game a bit more manageable since the ball can bounce. It can also really draw up interest with everyone in the family. Create a family tournament and see who gets bragging rights for the next year as Beach Paddle Ball Champion.
Ok, ok so this is not the true way beach paddle ball is intended to be played, but it is fun. Of course the actual game of paddle ball (played with the tiny paddle ball itself) is just as enjoyable. The rules are relatively the same as mentioned above with using the racquetball, but the significant difference is the ball cannot bounce. True beach paddle ball can be played in either the hard or soft-sand.
Another great way to enjoy paddle ball is a simple game of volley back-and-for the between two players. After all, not all beach games must be a competitive battle. Volley the paddle ball back-and-forth between two players and see how many consecutive volleys you can get. Keep score and see if you can break your record of consecutive volleys.
If you do have more than two players, get challenges going and break the groups into teams. See which team can get the most volleys in the air. Although it is a competitive game, you’ll enjoy going against teams to see which team can keep the volley going longer.
Beach Paddle Ball can also be played with just one player. See how many times you can consecutively hit the ball in the air. Then, try to break the previous mark. You’ll be surprised to see how many in the family or group want to join in to see who can set the single-person volley record for this day.