Fun Group Games to Play in the Swimming Pool

Whether you’re looking to throw a big pool party once the weather is warm enough, or you simply need some ideas for how to enjoy an at-home swimming pool with family, you’ll want to become familiar with a few go-to group games that are safe for pool play. Here are six group games that are especially popular with large groups at the swimming pool.

Marco Polo

This classic pool game for three or more players is great for at-home swimming pools where there isn’t the risk of game players accidentally bumping into strangers. In Marco Polo, one player, blindfolded, yells “Marco” while all other players yell “Polo,” prompting the blindfolded person to try to tag the “Polo” yellers. All of the “Polo” yellers, meanwhile, have to swim around trying not to get tagged, or else they will become the next “Marco.”

Sharks and Minnows

In this other classic pool game, a “shark” must stand in the middle of the pools while the “minnows” start out standing at the sides of the pool. When prompted, all “minnows” must dive into the pool and swim to the other side, all while avoiding being tagged by the “shark.”


This game can be played with any number of players, as long as it is over four players and is an even number. In Chicken, players team up into teams of two, with one player sitting atop another player’s shoulders. Players must then try to knock opposing team players down and into the water. Do take note with this game: It can be dangerous, so it is best played in a larger pool area with older children and adults.

Water Polo

This extreme sport can get fierce and exhausting in typical playing circumstances, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt it for play at an at-home swimming pool with family. While standard water polo is normally played in deeper pools, this game is great adapted for family groups when played in a pool where everyone can stand. In water polo, which is much like a pool version of soccer, players must throw a ball into the opposing team’s goal. The team that scores the most goals wins the game.


This versatile sport is just as fun in the pool, and all it requires is a net and a volleyball. Many watersport companies, in fact, make pool-ready volleyballs and offer them with nets as part of a pool volleyball set. Many pool lovers also opt to use a standard beach ball in place of a volleyball.


This is another popular sport adapted for pool play with special equipment. Pool basketball is played with a poolside basketball hoop and either a standard basketball or softer version that has been adapted for safer pool play. You can also opt to get a special type of basketball hoop that floats in the center of the swimming pool.

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