In a moment I am going to ask for one pair to become the first part of what we call the blob. The blob will have this at either end.
So for example, not that it needs to be you two, but with the two of them holding hands they will have the ability to boff people by tagging them on either end of their blob. Thank you very much. So very good.
(Is there a warning for what is coming?)
There is warning for what is coming, exactly.
In terms of boundaries, effectively, it’s everything that is within the foliage. So don’t go out into the roads, don’t go behind the tree. It is everything on the inside area. As you would have already noted this morning it is still a little bit slippery. There is going to be a lot more rapid movement, also you are having to need to coordinate with one other person.
So a couple of things need to know, apart from just keeping it inside this area, if the boffer team here, the blob, actually manages to tag you, you go to the outside edges of the blob and you take the boffers.
So naturally the blob gets bigger and bigger. The line gets bigger and bigger. The ability to evade a tag becomes harder and harder. Okay the blob keeps getting bigger.
Couple of things though, if in the process of being chased you and your partner should let go for any reason you are immediately tagged and join the blob. Same thing if the blob in an effort to try and chase anyone should break in half or any other part, then anyone they may have tagged or are chasing is set free until they rejoin. So the only time a tag can be successfully made is when they are holding hands.
Alright, have you got the idea? Please hold hands ladies and gentlemen. The blob is about to start. We have this area here. We are going to invite now, is there a couple that would like to raise both of their hands, maybe this couple? Kristen are you happy with that?
Alright well I am going to suggest they are going to be the blob and notice how wide their reach is ladies and gentlemen. Keep inside the foliage and good luck.
(Safety goggles on)
(people running around playing Blob Tag)
Alright they join the end of the blob. A blob is any touch of the boffer on the back or below the waist.
Ask for one pair to volunteer as the initial ‘blob’ or ‘taggers,’ and invite all other pairs to flee within a designated area. The blob pair will be ‘It’ for the entire game and are required to remain linked (ie hold hands) at all times with each other as they pursue other co-joined pairs.
As soon as the blob makes a (compassionate) tag, the newly-tagged pair will break hold with their partner and, as individuals, join hands with the outside hands of the starting blob partnership, ie once there were two, now there are four.
The newly-expanded blob just got a little harder to escape.
The chase continues until everyone is caught, with just a few caveats:
If the ‘blob’ of co-joined taggers should break links at any time, whoever they are chasing (or perhaps just tagged) is released back into the wild;
If a couple should lose grip of their partner in an effort to flee the ‘blob,’ they are automatically tagged; and
No matter how long the blob becomes, only the two people at the ends can make a tag.
Also, despite the attraction of running through the middle of a very wide blob to escape the evil clutches of the end-taggers, all escape activity must occur around the outside and not under or over the blob’s linked arms.
Practical Leadership Tips
If possible, invite people to find a partner of roughly similar physical abilities. This criteria is not essential, just nice.
At appropriate junctures, invite the ‘blob’ to stop and huddle up to discuss effective strategies to chase the remaining pairs. This will promote collaborative and problem-solving conversations.
To stress once more, running through, over or under the out-stretched arms of the blob is not kosher.
If more than one pair volunteer to be the initial blob, strategically choose a pair which you believe will last the distance, ie they will be involved in the chase for the whole activity.
This exercise demonstrates the principle of ‘tipping points’ (see Framing Ideas tab.) Perhaps conduct a brief conversation at the end of the activity to identify when the tipping point was reached. And importantly, relate this concept to their ‘real’ worlds, eg school, work, society, etc.
Switch: Allow the blob to stop at any time, release their hold and switch 180 degrees to rejoin and resume their chase for purposes of strategy and convenience.
Boffer Extensions: For particularly large areas, provide two boffers (pool noodles) one for each outside edge of the blob, to act as an extension of the blob to make tagging a little easier.
Strategic Tags: If working with a mixed group, challenge them to ‘save’ anyone pair which consists of an X-Y combination (for example, girl and boy) to make it possible to re-populate the X-Y world at the end. In this case, the blob will need to be very intentional about which pairs they choose to chase and tag.
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Useful Framing Ideas
Have you heard of the term tipping point? It’s that point at which a typically rare phenomenon has reached a critical mass or sufficient momentum to become rapidly and dramatically more common. So, in the beginning, very little is noticed or achieved, but as more and more adopt his new ‘thing’ the overall objective becomes rapidly easier to achieve. Consider the various initiatives which have been adopted around the world to encourage people to quit smoking. Thirty years ago, there was very little momentum, but it could be argued that in the past decade, a tipping point in this campaign has been reached suggesting that success is very much assured. This next exercise demonstrates this process perfectly…
This next exercise will provide an opportunity for you and your partner to focus on ‘being here’ or ‘being present.’ In the context of developing a full value community, there will be consequences for when you and your partner are present and when you are not. Remember this when we stop to reflect on what happens during the activity at the end…
Reflection Tips & Strategies
Coupled with one or more reflection strategies, here are some sample questions you could use to process your group’s experience after playing this terrific, large group tag game:
What strategies did you employ to avoid being tagged? Or to effect a tag as the blob?
As the blob, what worked and what didn’t work to successfully tag other pairs?
What were the consequences of being or not being present?
At what point did the game reach a ‘tipping point’ ie when the odds switched in favour of the blob?
Can you think of other experiences or phenomena in which tipping points have been observed?
How might this exercise relate to our work on becoming a full value community?
The inspiration for Blob Tag was sourced in one of the books published by the New Games Foundation. The NGF ceased to operate in 1983, but their two primary activity books – the New Games Book and More New Games – can still be found in many libraries.