So create a circle. You can swing around a little bit closer to Matt as well. Fantastic!
I am not going to mark where the circle is just get a sense of where the circle is for where you are standing right now.
Here is how the game works.
This exercise is going to involve a tag. When I say Go everyone needs to run, imagining that this is the circle that you have created, in a clockwise direction. Anyone ahead of you is a target that you can tag.
So for example if I happen, so as soon I start, and I manage to tag Sam. Sam just simply takes a spot anywhere on the perimeter of this circle. We keep running around the outside of him.
I keep running and I try to get Eric, but in the process Dave catches up with me and tags me. The game continues until every person has been tagged.
Okay? So anyone ahead of you is a target to be tagged, of course naturally you are a target for someone behind you as well.
If you get tagged just simply find any spot in the circle keeping in mind that is the spot you want to keep in the centre for where you are. All activity occurs on the outside of those people who are standing.
Generally what happens within about three seconds, half of the group has been tagged, and that will allow us to see a sense of where the circle was at.
We have already talked a little bit you know through your own experience with Project Adventure the concept that we hold very dear and powerfully is Challenge by Choice.
Determine your level of comfort with any part of what I just described. If the whole notion of tag and running sends a chill down your spine then find a role in this exercise that works for you. And it might be hey just tag me. Great, I’m out and just find a spot to stand.
It is probably implicit in a lot of what we talked about this morning because of your backgrounds, but please keep in mind all activity still today, even under the heading of play, is still governed by Challenge by Choice.
Got the basic idea?
Alright, keep an idea of where the circle is at. Remember we are going clockwise, which if you have a digital watch means we are going to your left.
Are you ready? Go!
(Group starts running, tagging, and laughing)
How To Play Narrative
Having picked a flat, open area in which to conduct a lot of running, ask your group to form a large circle, with at least a metre (3′) between each person.
Using chalk or boundary markers or cones (not rope,) mark the inside of the circle where people are standing.
Next, explain that everyone’s goal is the same – to stay in the game as long as possible, and maybe even, be the last person standing.
Then, on your command “GO,” instruct everyone to run clockwise on the outside perimeter of the circle tagging any person in front (that is, to the left) of them. That’s right, anyone!
Or, in other words, everyone is “IT,” but everyone (taggers and taggees) must run in the same direction.
You should expect within ten seconds or so, more than two-thirds of your group will have been eliminated.
Explain that it is very important that all eliminated people assume a position standing on the boundary (this also keeps the chasing to the outside of the circle.)
Gradually, fewer and fewer people are left chasing each other, and ultimately, one person prevails – the winner, or certainly the most exhausted person in the group.
Practical Leadership Tips
When someone is eliminated, it doesn’t matter where they stand (ie they do not have to return to the spot where they started), so long as they stand along the circle’s perimeter.
Technically speaking, an individual is only permitted to chase and tag those in front (or to the left) of them. However, as the field of competitors narrows, some folks may run any direction to tag and eliminate someone (who may have started to their right.)
Expect those folks who make it to the very end, to become quickly exhausted. If it appears that you’re about to witness a long chase, announce “TEN SECONDS REMAINING…” and if you don’t get a result, applaud all of the ‘finalists.’
When observed, discourage the tendency for some people to run a little wider around the perimeter to avoid being tagged.
Let me reinforce the suggestion that you do NOT lay rope on the ground to delineate the circle because it will only serve as a tripping hazard.
You could integrate Circle Tag as part of a well-designed SEL program to help your group establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships.
Specifically, this activity offers opportunities to explore and practice the following social & interpersonal skills:
Demonstrating Self-Discipline & Self-Motivation
Setting Personal & Group Goals
Demonstrating Empathy & Compassion
Recognising Strengths In Others
Build Positive Relationships
Making Reasoned Judgements
Anticipating & Evaluating the Consequences of One’s Actions
Promoting Personal & Collective Well-Being
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Health & Wellness Programming
There is no specific health & wellness perspective to this activity other than promoting the benefits of enjoying a short burst of rigorous physical activity.
In a small way, you could argue that the focus required to successfully (and safely) play Circle Tag speaks to the presence of healthy and respectful behavioural norms. For example, you could invite your group to reflect on the level of safety consciousness that is exhibited during the game, or the ways in which compassion and empathy are felt and expressed. Even the process of setting goals could be explored in regards to the realistic pursuit of others in the game.
If you can think of more explicit ways in which Circle Tag could be purposefully integrated into a health and wellness program, please leave a comment at the base of this page.
Other Way: As above, but everyone runs in a circle tag anti-clockwise.
Bigger Gaps: For smaller groups, of say, only 10 people, start with a lot more space between each person, and/or allow each person to be tagged two or three times (you decide) before they are eliminated.
Team Tag: Assign two or more teams, and randomly distribute them about the perimeter of the circle. People only tag members of the other team(s), in an effort to be the last team remaining.
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Useful Framing Ideas
Consider this situation – you and a mate are being chased by a grizzly bear through the woods. How fast do you have to run? Only a little bit faster than your mate! Now, apply this principle to this next tag activity…
Has anyone had the experience of being so focused on a task that, they lost sight of the bigger picture or what to do next? What might you do if that were to happen to you? Consider those responses as we play this next game…
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 elimination-style tag game:
Describe your experience. Was anyone confused while playing the game?