Jarts Splash Review
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Players: 2 players or teams (ages 8+)
Playing Time: About 30 minutes

Each summer weekend, the cottage owners on the lake where I spent my childhood summers set up their volleyball nets and their Top Toss towers for another weekend of lakeside fun. But it always seemed like a shame to play near the water instead of in it. So, one summer, our neighbors decided to set their volleyball net up in the water instead of on the beach. And that’s the same idea behind Jarts Splash: it’s classic Jarts moved from the beach (or the yard) to the lake (or the pool).

Jarts Splash comes with four floating Jarts (two red and two yellow), a floating ring (with flags, so you won’t lose it), and a nice mesh bag to keep everything together.

Before you start playing, you need to place the ring 30 feet away from where you’re standing. If you’re playing in a pool, that could mean that you place the ring at the other side of the pool—or it could mean that you place the ring somewhere in the pool and play from the deck. If, however, you’re playing at the beach—like me—just place the ring 30 feet or so out (or down the beach) and hope it stays there.

Game play is simple—but it’s challenging, too. As with regular Jarts, players (or teams) take turns tossing the Jarts at the ring. Using Quick Play Scoring, players earn one point for each Jart that lands inside the ring. The first player (or team) to reach 10 points wins.

Wherever you choose to play, Jarts Splash poses plenty of challenges. For instance, if you’re playing in a pool, throwing the Jarts might be a challenge, depending on how deep the water is (and how tall the players are). After all, if you’re standing in waist-deep water, it won’t be easy to throw underhand. On the other hand, if you play at the beach, you’ve got the added challenge of wind and waves, turning the ring into a constantly moving target. So, instead of getting used to the distance and getting into a groove—as you do with regular Jarts—you have to judge the distance to the ring with each throw. Because of the game’s challenges, play could continue for quite a long time—and since it does get a bit monotonous after a while, you might prefer a shorter, five-point game to the “quick” 10-point game.

No matter how long you play, though, Jarts Splash is a fun way to pass a lazy summer afternoon. It’s challenging but easy-going, and whether you’re diving into the pool to retrieve the Jarts or wading through the lake, it’s good exercise, too. So it’s worth keeping in your beach bag—right next to your family-size container of sunscreen and a good book.

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