Did you know there’s an international competition centered around the game tag? Instead of playing it as children in the backyard, these professional taggers compete inside elaborate obstacle courses. So how does this competition work? And what would you have to do to compete and win? Tag! You’re it!
World Chase Tag is a global league for competitive tag. Combining the acrobatics of parkour with the chase and evade of tag, World Chase Tag requires extreme athleticism and fitness. How would you train for this new sport? And what injuries and perils could you face?
Participants in World Chase Tag league compete in a 12 m by 12 m (40 ft by 40 ft) course called the Quad. It is the official arena and balances the chase between the evader and the chaser. Obstacles and elements can be added or removed to accommodate participants of differing abilities.
There are different formats of chase tag. The most common and popular is with two teams of four. Each player goes against a member of the other team, one as a chaser, the other as the evader. Each player goes against a member of the other team, one as a chaser, the other as the evader. The chase lasts for 20 seconds. Players earn points when they evade the chasers. The team with the most evasions wins the game. The best chasers are usually gymnasts, free runners or parkour athletes. Evaders, who need to maneuver quickly and trick their opponents into going in the wrong direction, often have football, rugby or soccer backgrounds. Now that we know about the game, it’s time to get training.
Parkour training will help with moving quickly between and over obstacles. Balance is important. You can develop muscle strength and coordination by walking a straight line on a flat surface, then progressing to ridges and finally to a wall. Doing some push-ups and squats will improve your endurance. You can start with a few sets and gradually increase the intensity. Including 5 k (3.1 mi) runs with wind sprints will build your endurance and improve both chasing and evading skills. Be sure to practice your climbing skills on walls, monkey bars and domes.
Vault practice will help conquer the World Chase Tag. Use both hands as you vault and work to master the basics. Then you can start jumping and climbing over obstacles. Make your jumps precise and smooth. Increase your height as you get comfortable. Rolling and landing will be important, not only for evading but also for preventing injuries. Start with heights from 0.5 to 1 m (1.6 to 3.3 ft). Keep your legs bent and land on both feet. As you increase the height, add a forward roll after landing. Be sure to use your shoulders and not your back.
Training like an American football player isn’t a bad idea either if you want to win this game. You’ll want to have quick turns and the agility to transition between acceleration and deceleration. Make sure to do some more squats and base rotations. All these exercises will make sure you dominate the competition just like when you were a kid. Okay, you’re ready to take on the World Chase Tag. Stay flexible and be prepared to make sudden acrobatic moves. As World Chase Tag’s slogan says, “Keep Chasing and Don’t Get Caught.”.
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- World Chase Tag brings playground game to global stage. Leder, T (2020). 11 News.
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