9 Best Football Tailgate Games

Football and tailgates go together better than about any other sport. When you are throwing a gameday party to watch your favorite NFL or college football team, you can keep everyone active and entertained with these football themed tailgate party games. 


Combining football and bowling may not sound like an obvious match, but Fowling does just that and it is incredibly fun. 

The objective of the game is to knock down a set of bowling pins, arranged in a typical bowling ally formation, at the opposite end of a playing area. Players take turns throwing a football at the pins to knock them down. The team who knocks all o their pins down first wins. There are other rules you can add to adjust the playing experience.

Flag Football

Before you fill up on food and drinks, get your gang together for a competitive (hopefully friendly) game of flag football. Afterall, what is more fitting for a football tailgate party than actually playing a game of football. Flag football kits like these make it super simple and affordable to have everything you need.

Flag football is fun for all ages and can provide a good bit of exercise before indulging in the delicious gameday food we all love. 

Football Cornhole 

Cornhole is at every tailgate party, its almost a rule. Football cornhole is a variation on the classic cornhole game. Players drive down the “field” by throwing the bags in different holes on the board. 

The goal is to score a touchdown or field goal. Successfully tossing a bag through one hole might gain you 40 yards, another hole might be a “penalty flag” and you would lose 5 yards. 

The game will provide a fun change up to the traditional cornhole experience. There are different versions of this game available. Each has its own slightly different rules or elements, but the basic gameplapy and premise is the same. You can take a look at some of these options here.

Football Toss Games

There are so many versions of football toss games out there, and you can even make up your own. The premise is pretty self-explanatory, throwing a football to hit a target or go through a target to score points. Everyone dreams of being the guy whothrows the winning touchdown pass. Here are some of our favorites to help you live that dream:

Football Drill Challenge

Tailgating is about getting pumped up for the game. What better way to get your head into the game than by participating in some football drills (safely of course). 

From tackling dummy, tires, rope drills, cones, or route running. There is a ton of football related drills that you can set up to challenge all those who talk big about their glory days.

You can organize an obstacle course of sorts and time individuals, then display the times on a board for bragging rights. Alternatively, you could divide up into teams and the course could serve as a relay race.

You can purchase legit football drill equipment or improvise the different pieces needed. For inspiration you can check out the full gamit of drill videos available online:

Field Goal Kicking Contest 

Its good! Who wouldn’t like to take their shot at blasting the pigskin through the uprights? Ordinarily a field goal kicking contest would only be possible if you had access to an actual football field. However, there are some clever products out there that can bring a miniature set of uprights to your event. 

Assuming you have the space, a field goal kicking contest will set apart your tailgate party from the rest. The smaller size of the goals allows anyone to enjoy this activity. You are going to enjoy some laughs with this game because it is easier than it looks. Just be sure you set it up somewhere away from the food, you don’t want rogue kicks flying into the wings!

Fumble! Card & Pong Game

If you are looking to offer a unique and fast paced game to your guest, Fumble! is the perfect game for a small group. This game is great for all ages, and its simple rules can be picked up quickly.

Gameplay involves each player getting dealt a hand of cards. Each card is a position on a football team, QB, RB, WR, etc. Ping pong balls are placed on the table, one less than the number of players. There is one orange ball and the rest are white. When a player gets six cards of the same position, they get to grab the orange ball, this is a “touchdown”. The other players then must quickly grab a white ball. The player who does not get a white ball is out.

Then, the player who got the orange ball gets to bounce the ball into a cup to attempt an “extra point”. The other players with white balls can do the same thing to attempt a “field goal”. This completes the round and it starts over with the remaining players. Check out the full description of the rules here

Football Game Bingo

If your tailgate is going to continue right through the game, you can keep things interesting no matter what the score with a game of football bingo.

Football bingo is like regular bingo, but instead of numbers on the board, you have different football events. For example, one slot on the board may be “interception” or “safety”. Everyone watching the game can have “bingo” cards with different things on them. Participants get to mark their card accordingly when these things happen in the game.

You can create your own bingo cards, you will need different variations for each player. For an example, download this football bingo card:

Football Tic-Tac-Toe

On its own, tic-tac-toe games between two adults typically get boring fast. Football tic-tac-toe provides a familiar game but adds in the skill of accurately throwing a football. This requires strategy and athletic coordination in order to win. 

You can set this game up very easily. All you need is a wall or some target that you don’t mind throwing a football at, and that you can use tape on. Use tape to make your tic-tac-toe grid lines. The grid can be as large as you want, but you will want each box to be at least 6 x 6 inches. obviously, you will also need a football.

There are many different ways to set this up. You can hang up a large rug, use a large piece of board, or even draw the grid on the ground. If it is hared to see if the football hits the square, then you can use chalk to cover the end of the football allowing it to leave a mark where it hits.

When it is a player’s turn, they throw the football to try and hit the square where they want to place their mark. If they do not hit the square they do not get to place their “X” or “O” and it is the next player’s turn. 

Adding this football element helps to make this classic game back into a challenging and enjoyable game where the outcomes are unpredictable.

Game Time!

These games are simple and easy to set up for your football tailgate party. Remember you can always adjust rules and gameplay to suit the players in your group. Have fun and be safe!

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