In Thailand in 1986, boys who lived in a floating fishing village constructed a floating dock to have a place to play soccer. Here in the United States, children and teenagers enjoy using a floating dock in a lake as a sort of launch pad or landing point for other types of games. If you own a floating dock or are thinking of purchasing or building one, here are a few games you and your friends and family can play. Of course, you'll need to keep in mind the swimming abilities of the participants before the games begin.
Lake Monster is a bit like a game of tag, with the monster trying to tag the other players. It can be played by 3 or more players. The monster stands and walks in water that is deep enough to cover his or her shoulders. But, since it's believed that most real lake monsters do not go anywhere near the shore, the lake monster in your game is not allowed to get any closer. This prevents the lake monster from being able to run through the water, and it also prevents him or her from getting too tired from swimming or treading water constantly. The monster can lower his or her head into the water to try to sneak up on the other players. The other players try to go from the shore to the floating dock without getting captured (or tagged) by the lake monster. The first captured player then becomes the lake monster, and the previous lake monster becomes a player.
Watermelon Dash is a racing game. Watermelons float, but don't let that fool you into thinking this is an easy game, because watermelons are also slippery when wet. This game can be played by 2 or more people dashing with their watermelons from the beach to the floating dock. Or, it can be played as a relay race with teams of 2 or more people. The race begins at the beach where each player will hold their watermelons. Someone will shout, "Go," to begin the race. The players run into the water and hold onto their watermelons while they swim to the floating dock. When at the dock, the player needs to get the watermelon up onto the dock without any assistance from others or their teammates. If a relay is being played, the next player takes the watermelon to the shore, and the relay continues until the last person has completed the race.
Noodle Jousting is a game played on top of the floating dock. It can be played by 2 or more players. Each player is given a swimming noodle to be used to joust with the other players. The players are not allowed to use their hands to wrestle or push the other players. The object of this game is to joust the other players off of the floating dock and into the water. The winner of this game is the last one standing on the floating dock. This game should only be played by experienced swimmers, and on a floating dock that has foam edging to help reduce the risks of someone getting a head injury when falling off of the dock. Even so, it's important to keep a close watch on the participants in this game to ensure there are no head injuries.
Floating docks can be used as the starting or ending point of many swimming games. Whichever games you choose, be sure to stay hydrated, but not with alcohol, and give adequate rest periods for participants to catch their breath.