All you need to play sandpiper is something that floats and is easy to grab with one hand. You need to be at a beach with breaking waves. To begin play, one player (it doesn't matter which one) throws the float out into the surf. All the players then wait for the waves to carry it in to shore close enough to grab. The trick is to avoid getting your feet moistened by an incoming wave. If the incoming wave wets your feet, even if you successfully grab the float, you lose one point. In addition, once an incoming wave wets you, you cannot make another grab until the next wave.
If you grab the float without getting wet, you get five points. If more than one person grabs and retains a hold on the float, each one gets two points . It is legal to wade into an outgoing wave to retrieve the float, but beware of the next incoming wave! If it gets you, you lose that point, even if you get the float. Whoever finally gets the float tosses it back out to sea and play starts again. To be in play, the float must get tossed, or carried by waves, far enough seaward to be carried back shoreward by wave action. The first player to total 25 points wins.
Basketball-style rules of checking apply. If you hold your ground, a player who plows into you to get the float has fouled you and gets no points. If you give ground to your opponent, you have lost that ground. Once a player has fairly grabbed the float, however, you cannot block that player in to force them to get wet. If a player grabs the float but gets wet because of being blocked in intentionally, that person still gets five points.