For the grown ups
Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had as a grown-up as well. While ping-pong itself is all well and good, we like the idea of buying that boozy athlete on your list a ping-pong table and custom-painting it for beer pong. This could mean personalizing it, painting circular outlines for cup placement, outfitting the sides with custom cupholders for water cups or any number of festive decorations. Gift-givers on a budget might want to peruse Craigslist for a used table–especially if you’re going to end up painting the thing anyway.
If a giant, beer-ready ping-pong table seems like a little much, how about some outdoor gaming equipment that can be enjoyed with or without a red plastic cup in your hand? We’ve already decided that croquet is making a comeback in 2010 (just wait). Online shoppers will find that camping outfitter L.L. Bean has a durable, portable six-person set for $129, and for just $6 extra you can get the bag monogrammed. Of course, there’s always Italian croquet–or bocce ball. There is already a crew of guys who bocce every Sunday at Kapiolani Park. If you want to take your gift one step further, include membership information for the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii. Members get free admission to bocce tournaments as well as other events celebrating Italian culture throughout the year.