What it is: One of my favorite (and silliest) variations of freeze tag.

Best for: Big group of at least 10.

What you need: A bunch of people and somewhere outside to run around.

How to play: It’s just like normal freeze tag with one variation—all players must keep their arms and legs either all bent or all straight, always. So start by picking someone (or perhaps more than one someone, if you’re playing with a large group) to be It. Then everyone (including It) chooses how they want to start—with all their limbs bent, or with all their limbs straight. To illustrate this somewhat silly concept, I’ve drawn these amazingly accurate and clear animations:


All clear? Good. So let’s say Matt, Ann, and Leroy are playing (along with a big group of their friends from yearbook camp). Ann is chosen to be It. She counts to a designated number while the other players run away (remember, with all their limbs either bent or straight). Then Ann finishes and starts chasing people, and the game works just like freeze tag, except any time Ann tags someone, she switches the way she’s running. So if she starts the game with all her limbs bent, then tags Matt, as soon as she tags him she switches to all her limbs straight.

It works the same for the other players. Say Matt starts the game with all his limbs straight, and then Ann tags him. First, he has to freeze (it’s funniest if you set the rule that he has to freeze in whatever goofy position he was in, no moving allowed). Then after Matt is unfrozen by Leroy touching him, Matt switches from all his limbs straight to all his limbs bent. So basically any time you are unfrozen or tag someone, you switch. And that’s the game!

Experiences: I think your first experience with something can really influence how you feel about it forever after. My first experience with this game was with a bunch of friends on a study abroad in Europe. We had been aboard a bus for hours and hours, and when we got out at a rest stop before driving for lots more hours, someone suggested we play this game. It was a blast! Maybe it just felt really good to run around after being so cooped up. Maybe it was just that I was with a bunch of silly friends and we were in Europe and feeling exhilarated. Or, maybe, this game really is just that awesome. So try it and find out!

Variations: Besides the regular freeze tag, give banana tag a try! Kick the can is another tag variant, kind of a tag and hide-and-seek combo. Have fun!


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