There are some people who will tell you drinking copious amounts of beer is bad for you. These same people, upon hearing you passed out on your lawn at 1 p.m. last Sunday—after, say, beginning your day at Paul's Cocktails at 6 a.m.—will also toss around words such as “liver failure,” “brain damage” and “early death.” Clearly, these people need a drink, and soon. To that end, I recommend Sloshball, where the only things tossed are softballs and, if you're any good, cookies. Yours.

Much like its sober counterpart, Sloshball is best reserved for the summer, when, for whatever reason, spending considerable amounts of time running around outdoors in search of a bitchen tan doesn't seem like a bad idea at all. But that—and, well, bats, gloves, bases, dugouts and the infield fly rule—is where the similarities end.

To play Sloshball, gather at least a dozen people, some gloves, a couple of softballs—emphasis on soft,like the kind you find at batting cages—a bat or two and whatever you think works as a base bag—placemats, sacks of rice, five-year-old boys. Oh, and a full keg of beer.

You'll also need a suitable softball field, the best of which, notes 10-year Sloshball veteran—and bartender!—Robert Hoover, are found at elementary schools. Stay away from schools in upscale ZIP codes, however. “The nicer the field,” Hoover warns, “the more chance you'll get broken up.”

The rules of the game are fairly simple. Split your friends into two teams—co-ed, Hoover recommends, with a boy-girl-boy-girl batting order—and have the strongest among you haul the keg out to second base. To spare both drama and prolonged buzzkill at-bats, players are pitched to by a team member and limited to four pitches each, regardless of foul tips. Then, after the token coin toss, huddle-ups and ass pats, play ball. Oh, and one more thing: you can't pass second base without chugging a cupful of beer.

Of course, the chances that anyone could hit a triple, round the bases, and both fill and chug a cup of beer are slim, so, as Hoover explains, “It's always good to designate a beer bitch—someone responsible for filling beers.”

So what happens when you're stuck on second finishing your beer while another runner approaches? Drink up, buttercup—or risk both of you getting tagged out. Don't quite “get” how to chug? “Hold your nose and open your throat,” advises Hoover.

But if you think the drinking ends with your second-base pit stops, apologize to your liver and think again: the best part of Sloshball remains what is, really, the only fun thing about softball in the first place—the seventh-inning stretch. In lieu of actually stretching, however, the teams line up across from each other along the first base line for a “Boat Race.”

Beginning with the first people in line for each team, the pairs square off in a race to see who can chug their beer the fastest. Once a person is finished with their cup, they place it upside-down on their head, signaling the next one in line to start drinking. The team who drinks through their line fastest is awarded the difference in runs on the scoreboard. For example, if the score leading into the stretch is five to 10, the winning team gets five runs—and that's when, Hoover says, things get messy.

With any luck, by game's end, both teams will be equally hammered—regardless of the final score—and those pesky soldiers of sobriety you invited? They'll be face-down in left field, cackling incoherently about how the Earth is spinning and, of course, pleading for just one more inning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *