Specifications for Building a Washer Pit Game

by Justin Baragona
Washers is a popular backyard game.

Washers is a popular backyard game.

Washers is a game that can be played a variety of ways. Similar to horseshoes, it is typically played recreationally, such as at picnics, barbecues and tailgating parties. The game can also be played competitively in leagues. The type of washers game that is played generally depends on geography as well as spacial requirements.

Yard Pit

One style of the game uses yard pits. The distance is set at 25 feet from the center of the two pits. The pits' frames are rectangles constructed from 4x4 posts of lumber. It is best to utilize two 8-foot-long posts for each pit, cutting two 5-foot and two 3-foot lengths. The rectangle is formed from these cut lengths. The cup is made from PVC pipe that is 4 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches long. The cup is placed 31 inches from the front of the pit. The pit is filled with soil to the top of the posts.

Square Box

The square box is the most common type of washers pit. The popularity of this pit is due to the simplicity of the design as well as ability to travel with the box and set up a game easily. The box can vary in size. The basic design calls for a 16x16 piece of plywood to be used as the base. Four 2x4 by 14 1/2-inch lengths of wood are used to create the boundaries. Carpet is placed on the floor of the pit and a piece of PVC pipe, 4 inches wide and 3 3/4 inches long are attached in the center as the cup.

Other Types

There are other types of washer pits or boards that are utilized. The octagonal box is utilized in games the same way as the square board. However, the wood and base are cut to create an octagonal shape with the PVC pipe still placed in the center. The octagon creates a smaller target. Another style is the three-hole washers box. This box is made in the style of a ramp, with a flat surface with three holes cut into the top. Game play is different than the pit-style of washers.


The equipment needed, regardless of the style of game, is generally the same. The washers used are 2.5 inches in diameter with a 1-inch hole. It is recommended the separate sets of washers are painted different colors from each other to differentiate between teams or sides. If playing with transportable boxes as opposed to yard pits, a tape measure comes in handy to determine the distance between pits.


Game rules vary greatly based on style of game played. In yard pit washers, scoring is based on proximity to the cup. Only one team can score per throw. The closest throw to the cup scores one point, and a throw into the cup scores five points. Games are played to 21 and the winning score must be by at least two points. For square and octagonal boxes, distance of pits is between 20 and 25 feet. Teams play to 15 or 21 points. Washers landing in the box count for one point while those in the cup are worth three.

About the Author

Justin Baragona began writing in 2006. He was previously a political columnist for 411mania.com and Politicususa.com. Justin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and fine arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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