How to Play Tag

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Tag Rules & Instructions

tag gameplay example


Number of Players

  • 2 or more (no limit)


  • Tag can be played anywhere, but you should determine boundaries where the players have to play in


  • Tag only requires some space and the ability to run around. No supplies are needed.


The objective of tag is to avoid being “it”. You are “it” if you are tagged by the chaser.


Step 1: Round Up Players

You need at least two people to play Tag, but the more the merrier.


Step 2: Find A Place to Play

Find a large area outside, such as a yard or playground. Ideally, You want an open area without a lot of obstacles to run into. Be careful letting kids play in the house in case they trip and fall while running. Secondly, set up boundaries to prevent players from running off too far away.


Step 3: Choose A Safe Zone

In most variations of tag, there is a “home base” which protects the player from being tagged while they are there. You’re only allowed to stay in this safe zone for ten seconds at a time! A safe zone can be a door, tree, painted circle on the ground, etc.


Step 4: Determine Who Is “It”

Before beginning, someone needs to be it first. Ideally, someone would volunteer, but if there are none you can play “1,2,3 not it” where the last person to declare it is chosen. You could also play a children’s counting game such as “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to determine who is it first.


Step 5: Count Down

Once you’ve determined who the “it” is, the countdown may begin. To give the participants a head starts in running away, the “it” person will first count to 10. The chaser will shout “Go!” and start racing after someone attempting to tag them as quickly as possible.


Step 6: Tagging Someone

Tagging technique is very simple. You need to use your hand to lightly touch another player. This should never be aggressive! It should be firm enough so that there aren’t arguments about if it happened, but never to the point where it’s inappropriate or dangerous. Ideally, it’d be a small tap on the shoulder or arm to avoid injuries.


Step 7: When to Stop

Tag can be infinite! You can keep going until everyone is too exhausted to play or you can set up a timer and call it off once that is reached. In other variations, there’s an elimination component that helps speed it up if you are interested in keeping it short and determining a winner.


Tag Variations

  • Freeze Tag: Freeze tag is one of the most widely played variations. A player who has been tagged cannot move and must “freeze” unless they are touched by a “non-it” player. If every player has been marked frozen, then the game is over and a new one can begin.

  • TV Tag: You can mark yourself safe by announcing the name of a TV Show and sitting down before being tagged. This can also be played with movies, songs, etc.
  • Hide and Go Seek Tag: To start, everyone runs and hides while the person who is it counts to 30 seconds. The object of the game is to make it to the safe zone before being tagged. The “non-it” players have the option to hide until they get caught or to run for the base while the chaser seeks out the other players.
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