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Lawn is for more than mowing

July 09, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

With gas prices remaining high, one way the family can enjoy the warm weather of summer is to stay at home - on the lawn.

Summer is a prime time for traditional lawn games, including some with a new twist.

Horseshoes, multiple game sets and a line of oversized lawn games have been hot items this year, said Devin Lindsay, a sales associate in the sporting goods department at Hagerstown's Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The local Wal-Mart was almost sold out of Sportcraft's Monster Badminton, which cost $20. The price for that game at www.target.com was $20 on Thursday.

The Monster line uses oversized equipment to make lawn games easier for kids to play, said Brian Patti, product manager for Sportcraft in Mount Olive, N.J.

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This was the first year for Monster Badminton, which features a shuttlecock about 9 inches high rather than just a few inches, Patti said.

Also popular has been Monster Volleyball with a ball 16 inches in diameter and with a fabric cover so it is softer than a standard volleyball.

One Monster Volleyball set was still on Wal-Mart's shelves this past week. Store and online prices for that item ranged from $18 to $20.

Sportcraft also has oversized soccer, golf, flying discs, playground ball, tennis and foam rockets to aim at targets, Patti said.

The 16-inch playground ball is good for games such as kickball.

Monster games still available at Wal-Mart, such as the rocket set and boxing, cost $10 to $12.

Traditional-sized lawn games that are hot sellers include multigame sets and horseshoes, Lindsay said.

A three-in-one set for about $12 includes equipment for horseshoes, volleyball and badminton.

Horseshoes alone cost about $17, Lindsay said.

Tossing a Frisbee also is a favorite lawn game.

A group of college friends home for the summer have been playing Ultimate Frisbee at Hagerstown's Pangborn Park at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, said organizer Patrick Molloy.

The rules of the game, which is similar to football, have been moderately adapted to allow for mild contact between players, Molloy said. Others are welcome to join.

Bocce ball, an Italian game that has become popular at the beach, also is suitable for the yard. Sets range in price from $19 to $70 at Web sites for Wal-Mart and Target.

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