Game of the Month: Running Games

by Dagonell the Juggler

KITTY IN THE CORNER The game is for five players and requires four bases or "corners" laid out in a square. Four players each stand on a base. The fifth player, who is "Kitty", stands in the center of the square. He calls out three times "Kitty in the corner". After the third call, all five players race for a different corner at random. The first player to reach a corner keeps it. The player who is left without a corner becomes "Kitty" for the next game.

RELAY TAG You need a starting line, which is also a finish line and a turnaround point such as a convenient tree. Players form two teams. For simplicity's sake, I am arbitarily designating one team as "Scorers" with players 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 and the other team as "Defenders" with players A, B, C, D & E. When Player A says go, Player 1 tries to race from the starting line, around the tree and back to the finish line without being tagged by Player A himself. Player A must wait until Player 1 has crossed the starting line and then must try to tag him before he returns to the finish line. However, he must also avoid being tagged by Player 2 who will try to tag him as soon as he crosses the starting line. Player 2 must try to tag Player A without being tagged by Player B. Player B must tag Player 2 while avoiding Player 3. Player 3 tries to tag Player B while avoiding Player C, Player C tries to tag Player 3 while avoiding Player 4, Player 4 tries to tag Player C while avoiding Player D, Player D tries to tag Player 4 while avoiding Player 5, and Player 5 tries to tag Player D while avoiding Player E.

PICKABACK RELAY You need a starting line and a turnaround line. Players divide into a convenient number of teams. The lightest person on each team, usually a child, is the "burden". At the starting signal, the first person on each team carries the burden on his back to the turnaround line and back to the start, where the next person takes the burden and repeats the course. The first team to have all players except the burden race the course with the burden on their back wins. If the burden ever touches the ground, the team must start over. If this still doesn't sound tough enough, there's an ancient Eqyptian tomb painting which shows children playing this game where the burden has to juggle!

FOLLOW THE LEADER Players choose a leader. Everyone else lines up behind the leader one arm's length apart. The leader begins running and the players follow. Whatever the leader does, everyone else must do or drop out of the line; swing from a tree limb, jump a brook, walk along a fence rail, etc. The last person to drop out becomes the leader for the next game.