Pool games


by Stephan J. Smith, DC

Playing games in a pool is a great way to get some healthy exercise while you’re having fun, and if done as a family, it creates some bonding time as well. As always, make sure to follow typical poolside safety rules to help prevent injuries. Don’t dive in water that is too shallow. Don’t run on the pool deck. Don’t jump at or onto anyone in the water.

The following is a list of swimming pool games and their respective descriptions as found on Wikipedia.org:

Water games are games played in a body of water, such as a swimming pool, pond, lake, or river.

  • Chicken fight – Two person teams: one team member sitting on the shoulders of his or her teammate or riding piggy-back. The object of the game is to knock-down or separate an opposing team through a team effort.
  • Fish out of Water – One swimmer must be picked as the game’s searcher. This swimmer must close his or her eyes when surfacing from under the water, but, at the same time, he or she is allowed to open the eyes when under the water. The purpose of the game is to catch another swimmer when the other swimmer is out of the pool. When a player suspects another of being out of the pool, they exclaim: “Fish out of water!” Then, the swimmer who got caught must become the next searcher.
  • Gator – One person is chosen to be the first Gator, and treads water on one side of the playing area. The remaining players stand on the pool deck on the side opposite the Gator. These players are prohibited to enter the water until the Gator says the word “gator”. Once the word has been said, the players are free to enter the water whenever they wish. Once they enter the water, they must swim to the other side. If the Gator touches (more commonly “tags”) any part of the player’s body before he touches the other side, he is caught. After all players have crossed to the other side safely or have been caught by the Gator, the round is over. The free players get out of the water and the Gator and whomever he caught swim to the opposite side of the playing area.
  • Marco Polo – One player is chosen as “It”. This player closes their eyes so they can’t see and tries to tag the other players. The player who is “It” shouts out “Marco” and the other players must respond by shouting “Polo”, which “It” uses to try to acoustically locate them. If a player is tagged then that player becomes “It”.[1]
  • Sharks and Minnows – One person selected as the shark and the rest as the minnows. The shark starts in the water on one side of the pool and typically shouts: “Who wants to get eaten by a shark?”, at which point the minnows may begin to dive in to swim to the opposing wall. If the shark manages to grab a minnow up to the surface, the minnow becomes a shark in the next round. After all the minnows have either reached the wall or been brought up to the surface, the shark(s) swim to the middle and the cycle starts again.

My only caveat is to be careful when attempting Chicken Fight. Trying to carry someone that is too heavy for you while they are being pulled or pushed can cause back injuries!

Be careful and have fun as you burn calories…

Guest post by Dr. Stephan J. Smith. Dr. Smith is a wellness expert and Chiropractor in Brighton, Michigan. Along with Dr. Vladimir J. Brajak, he co-owns Advantage Family Chiropractic and is available to speak to your group, organization or company on several popular wellness topics. For more information or to schedule a talk local to Brighton, contact us at 810-288-5823.