A beer-friendly ranking of Memorial Day games

In addition to far more important things, Memorial Day weekend represents the unofficial start of summer, a chance to ingest alarming quantities of grilled meats, and an opportunity to play games. Hopefully, lots of games. Above all, the biggest challenge on a three-day weekend is determining what might be the best game for you, and here one has to consider plenty of factors: fitness level, locale, whether your mobility is restricted by that new electronic-monitoring bracelet, etc.

But even then, we’ve decided certain games are just better than others, all based on a rigorous testing process that has mostly involved surviving four decades on earth.

So with that, we give you the seven best games to play on Memorial Day weekend.

7. Badminton

Perfect setting: The beach; the backyard; 19th-century England.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes, especially since no one really knows the rules anyway.

Be careful of: Excessive boredom; impaling a child with an aggressive backswing; those shoddy rackets you get with the $9.99 set you bought at Wal-mart.

6. Volleyball

Perfect setting: The beach; a gymnasium if you have knee pads; the set of “Top Gun 2″.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Not well, no, but priorities.

Be careful of: The inevitable ridicule after forgetting to take off your knee pads (Please don’t ask us to elaborate).

5. Tennis

Perfect setting: A tennis court; a particularly-sturdy ping-pong table.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes if you have a one-handed backhand. Or if you have a two-handed backhand and you have a lot of beer (because, you know, spilling).

Be careful of: Bad puns when announcing a score with “love”; clubs where you have to wear all-white; also, mustard stains when having to wear all-white.

4. Touch football

Perfect setting: Beach; open field; the family compound if you’re a Kennedy.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Completely depends on the position: Quarterback, yes. Placekicker, yes. Offensive line if you plan on doing a lot of egregious holding, no.

Be careful of: Pulled hamstrings; concussions; inviting that one guy who repeatedly calls “Omaha” at the line.

3. Cornhole

Perfect setting: Parking lot; beach; most minimum-security prisons.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Frankly, we weren’t aware there was another way.

Be careful of: Using the word “cornhole” in the wrong context.

2. Wiffle ball

Perfect setting: Backyard; beach; a public park sufficiently removed from that weird couple going at it on a blanket.

Can you play it while holding a beer? It’s encouraged, actually (Unless you’re 12).

Be careful of: Pulled hamstrings; diving for pop-ups near a smoldering grill; gratuitous bat flips after going yard off your 8-year-old niece.

1. Golf

Perfect setting: Golf course, preferably one with your name on it if you’re the sitting president.

Can you play it while holding a beer? Yes, especially while waiting for the four octogenarians in front of you to clear the green.

Be careful of: Sandbaggers; seven-hour rounds; thinking that your wife is OK with you being gone all day, because she’s not OK with it. Not even a little.

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