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"It's a time when accidents can happen"
October 18, 2006 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Tag, you're out! "I've witnessed enough near collisions" in the playground area, D'Elia said. "I support anything that makes the playground safer and helps teacher to keep track of them."
posted by setanor (123 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Such a dangerous game it is.
posted by caddis at 10:35 AM on October 18, 2006


I can't believe their calling tag a contact sport. Let's just stick all children in impervious plastic bubbles to keep them safe from other extreme sports like hopscotch.
posted by jjb at 10:38 AM on October 18, 2006


.
posted by dead_ at 10:40 AM on October 18, 2006


Jesus Mary and Joseph! What goes on up there in Boston? FIrst the belly button thing then this!??! PLus you got rid of Pedro??

Your roly-poly grade school kids maybe won't get a bloody nose playing tag now, but they'll have stress fractures and various old-person ailments from being 400-lb. layabouts! Boston, please get a grip.
posted by Mister_A at 10:41 AM on October 18, 2006


I guess we have to take in online.

Tag! caddis is it!
posted by Pastabagel at 10:43 AM on October 18, 2006


Tag was banned at every school I ever went to. Is this uncommon? Is this an interesting thread? Not really, no.
posted by biffa at 10:44 AM on October 18, 2006


Please, it's not Boston. It's a suburb of Providence that wants to be a suburb of Boston.

And I think the keyword to answer your question of "what goes on up there" is.... suburb.
posted by noble_rot at 10:44 AM on October 18, 2006


Well. . .I do not support this, but my statistics of student injuries indicate that the most likely scenario is running on pavement and falling. The leading piece of equipment associated with injuries is the simple horizontal bar.

But far and away, simply running and falling are tops.
posted by Danf at 10:46 AM on October 18, 2006


Tag as a contact sport. All kids games are contact sports. I'm trying to think of something we used to play that didn't involve roughousing.

I am now waiting to here of schools establishing safe "Hide and Seek Zones" where any possible lawsuit causing hiding spot is eliminated.

Poor kids. No fun at all.
posted by Salmonberry at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2006


Biffa, it's an interesting thread solely for the discovery that you apparently went to retarded schools for the entirety of your educational career.
posted by setanor at 10:49 AM on October 18, 2006


Man, I remember elementary school. We always loved when the soccer fields would freeze over and we could play "Smear the Queer." How times have changed.
posted by dead_ at 10:49 AM on October 18, 2006


Not only is tag dangerous, but the fact that someone has to be "it" can be construed as discriminatory.
posted by The Gooch at 10:51 AM on October 18, 2006


I guess we have to take in online.

Tag! caddis is it!
posted by Pastabagel


Haven't you heard?! ZOMG WEBRAEGE!!1
posted by ninjew at 10:51 AM on October 18, 2006


Danf, the solution to running and falling is to replace the blacktop with spongy grass.
posted by mmdei at 10:53 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Tag? Tag is now dangerous??

It's official, we're now raising a generation of complete and utter pussies.

(seriously, it's no wonder some of them grow up and become gangbangers and schoolyard snipers or even worse, goths. They never had psysical contact and violence demystified)

(yeah, I know, that's an oversimplified crackpot theory. But still, TAG?)
posted by jonmc at 10:54 AM on October 18, 2006


Tag was a contact sport when we played it. We would pull the hard rubber handle grip off a bicycle and use it to tag with. The person who was it would have to whip that thing at some and hit them to make them it. Technically we we're supposed to throw at the head but that rule was not enforced very often.
posted by octothorpe at 10:55 AM on October 18, 2006


When I was a wee tyke we had this game where we'd run into each other head-on going as fast as we could. No ball. No name for the game. No point other than it was kinda head-bonking fun.

Well, one time the other kid somehow got a finger in my mouth and left a quater-sized piece of skin flapping in the back of my thoat. That time wasn't so fun.
posted by Cyrano at 10:55 AM on October 18, 2006


Then you had a new game called Flap The Throat-skin.
posted by jonmc at 10:56 AM on October 18, 2006


on the one hand, i would have loved it if games like those and dog house and red rover were against the rules in school. i would have had fewer brusies and wounds (i still remember xxxx whipping the ball at my stomach during dog house, knocking me on the ground and knocking the wind out of me and then some other kid stepping on my hand while i was on the ground). i also remember quite a few fucked up wrists because of red rover.

but, on the other hand, kids play games, yo. running around is good. hand eye coordination and all that. just teach them to play safely and without malice. those are both important ‘life lessons’ that should be more of a priority than worrying about getting sued because suzie cut her forehead playing king of the mountain.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:58 AM on October 18, 2006



Danf, the solution to running and falling is to replace the blacktop with spongy grass.

Which becomes either brick-hard dirt, or mud, given a lot of traffic, depending on your climate.

Also, it's a bitch to play 4 square on grass.
posted by Danf at 10:59 AM on October 18, 2006


So I guess 'smear the queer' is right out, then?

(Think 'king of the hill' but with a ball instead of a hill. Type of ball doesn't particularly matter.)
posted by oats at 11:05 AM on October 18, 2006


When I was young we used to play this game called "Murder Ball". The idea was to throw a tennis ball at a wall and then someone would catch it one-handed, if they dropped the ball or caught it with both hands then they had to drop the ball and run for the wall before someone else picked up the ball and hit them with it, when that happened you were "out" and couldn't play anymore.

Oh, and then there was tackle-basketball, that was fun too.

Banning Tag, sheesh...
posted by Vindaloo at 11:08 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid we played tag on ice.
With pickaxes.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:10 AM on October 18, 2006


"...my statistics of student injuries indicate that the most likely scenario is running on pavement and falling..."

Well, now for kids from Attleboro it's going to be getting their asses kicked by kids from other schools. God help them when it's time for middle school.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2006


Red Rover was the awesomest game ever. And really, I'm tired of people trying to ban whatever they didn't like when they were in school. Everyone hated something. And learning to suck it up and get back in the game when someone steps on your hand? That's a key life lesson right there. Knowing that sometimes you do things that aren't toally safe because they are fun? Life lesson no. 2.
posted by dame at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2006


.
posted by christopher.taylor at 11:12 AM on October 18, 2006


Children need to experience the fear and threat of harm and danger when they are amongst their peers in order to be equipped to handle similar situations when they are older. The game of tag for example teaches children that there is always someone else that you can pick to be 'it'. This comes in handy in their cubicle based job when they get the crappy assignment and employ them in handing the assignement off to the next poor shlub.

Let's add it up... No Fluffernutters, No Tag, no dancing No nothing
posted by Gungho at 11:13 AM on October 18, 2006


I think we can all agree on Blood Meridian's take on the raising of children:

At a young age, said the judge, they should be put in a pit with wild dogs. They should be set to puzzle out from their proper clues the one of three doors that does not harbor wild lions. They should be made to run naked in the desert...

Forget tag; it's when Boston schools start banning the pits of wild dogs that we should start worrying.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:14 AM on October 18, 2006


The variant of the king of the hill game was called "commando" in my town. Basically, the one with the ball gets creamed by the rest of the group, when caught. . .then if able, the one with the ball kicks it up in the air and then everyone creams the next to catch it.

A lot of fun.

I was thinking that America has been getting it's ass handed to it in international competition in various sports. Maybe we ARE getting to soft by having a zero tolerance for kid injuries.
posted by Danf at 11:16 AM on October 18, 2006


Vindaloo: Murderball was (at my school) a group of kids standing against a wall with on kid throwing the ball at them, attempting to hit them. If a kid caught the ball, they would then become the thrower.

Sadly, this game is probably banned too...
posted by christopher.taylor at 11:17 AM on October 18, 2006


First they came for lawn darts, and I said nothing because we impaled the neighbors dog one summer.

Then they came for dodgeball, and I said nothing because one of those dodgeball fucks near gave me a concussion.

But then they came for tag, and all that was left were the kids we picked last for the team and they thumbed their pocket protecters at us while we clung to duck-duck-goose.

...or something. Remember when the playground and recess was cool?
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:18 AM on October 18, 2006


It seems to me that any playground activity could not fail to be astronomically less dangerous than putting a child in an automobile. Why not focus on something really threatening to kids?
posted by graymouser at 11:22 AM on October 18, 2006


Greg Nog, thank you.
That brought tears to my eyes.

And speaking or bringing things to things...

I find it quite interesting how threads like this one, specifically on the sissification of our chillens, are like blacklights in that everyone who wears the telltale stripes of that radioactive substance I like to call conservatism (or "DAMN, STUPID PEOPLE TODAY AND THEIR DAMN STUPID STUPIDITY AND MEN ARE MEN AND PEOPLE ARE EVIL AND GET OFF MY LAWN AND grumble...grumble...belch) can be seen to quite obviously glow when exposed to said threads.

Considering only one story is linked, this hardly seems the horseman of the apocalypse that some seem to think it is.

Bet me people have already blamed this on the ACLU.
First Christmas is cancelled, and now this!
DAMN LIBRULS!
posted by mer2113 at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2006


What goes on up there in Boston? FIrst the belly button thing then this!??! PLus you got rid of Pedro??

Come on, Mister_A, Pedro signed with the Mets 'cause the Sox would only give him a 3-year deal. The Mets gave him another year, and he couldn't even pitch two full seasons for them-- the rotator cuff surgery he had last month puts him out till maybe mid-next season, and he's unlikely to be an ace when he comes back. It wasn't fun, but it was the right decision.

Plus, Attleboro != Boston.

Tag and smear the queer were and are great games for children. We never played much Red Rover, in my town in suburban Boston in the 80s, but Murderball sounds familiar... what did we call it... ? Suicide?

Never played tackle basketball, but I did do some Shovel Basketball. Still have some scars from that one.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2006


Earth To Be Made Child-Safe
Planet Renamed 'Sportin' Kids Family Fun Play Globe'
posted by jcruelty at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2006


"Tag" ("it", dammit) was banned at my school, which turned it into a much more fun game where you had to play tag without looking like you were playing. Always seemed pretty safe to me. Now, British Bulldog, that was a dangerous game.
posted by Luddite at 11:44 AM on October 18, 2006


We called murderball "butt ball," because we aimed for the butt.

At my elementary school, we invented a popular game called "Buddy Ball" that was outlawed when one kid, who was running for the ball, tripped over a bench and knocked his skull really bad. That game had zero kid-on-kid contact; after it was banned, the boys went back to tackle football and the girls to Wall Ball.
posted by muddgirl at 11:46 AM on October 18, 2006


mer2113-- a hallmark of dogmatic thinking is an inability to evaluate the merits of an argument or situation, instead basing one's opinion on opposition to an imagined straw-man adversary's reaction to the situation.

For example, some conservatives, unwilling to allow facts about Jack Abramoff or Dennis Hastert seep into their brains, respond with a knee-jerk Ted Kennedy joke when confronted by unpleasant facts.

This one person in this one town is doing something that appears to many of us, based on our experiences, to be dumb. That's it. No one's blamed the ACLU, no one's talking about the apocalypse, except you.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:46 AM on October 18, 2006


also, we've decided to ban toilet training on the off chance there's a shark in the bowl.

(mer2113: nobody's saying it's the apocalypse. we're cracking some jokes about a stupid decision. lower those hackles. and conservatives here are rare as toilet sharks)
posted by jonmc at 11:47 AM on October 18, 2006


I'm trying to think of something we used to play that didn't involve roughousing.

Doctors and nurses. Nobody ever got hurt during a good old game of doctors and nurses.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:47 AM on October 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Murderball sounds familiar... what did we call it... ? Suicide?

That's what we called it. They tried to ban it, but we played anyway. Hardly a week went by without someone running off to the nurse after getting nailed in the jumblies with a handball.

Kids are going to be kids. And kids play tag. And kids get hurt. Did anyone ever die from a scraped knee?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:47 AM on October 18, 2006


Life is pain. Get used to it.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:47 AM on October 18, 2006


Ahh...even more fatties in our future weee!
posted by evilelvis at 11:54 AM on October 18, 2006


(above) "Life is pain. Get used to it."

Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.
posted by inigo2 at 11:55 AM on October 18, 2006


Blame this one on:
posted by psmealey at 11:55 AM on October 18, 2006


We played War Ball (Murder Ball, more or less), and tag was fine. What they need to ban is red bellies.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:55 AM on October 18, 2006


When I was in school, we played a game where we took everything from the supply closet (including frisbees, rubber balls, soccer balls, footballs, large wooden poles, and jump ropes), and threw it all at once across the gym back and forth at each other for about ten minutes straight. We didn't call it Orgy of Destruction, but we should have.
posted by designbot at 11:56 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I look forward to the day when children are all penned in like veal.
posted by pmbuko at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Well, I was gonna say something of substance, but it's time for lunch so here ya go:

im in ur skool, taggin' ur kidz.
posted by mullacc at 11:58 AM on October 18, 2006


Life is pain.

Well, actually, the pain only comes about because of your desires and if you just release your desires, everything will be OK.

I have an 8-point plan for you. And I'm not selling anything. Well, to be more precise, I am selling nothing.
posted by GuyZero at 11:59 AM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Flap The Throat-skin.

Best Vanessa Del Rio movie ever.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:02 PM on October 18, 2006


When I was young we used to play this game called "Murder Ball".
We called in wall-a-ball back when I was a wee lad.

My favorite game was from Jr. High we called "Rodney David." At the after-school progream, David wanted us to go around and literally throw the basketballs at him as hard as we could. Of course, he could throw them back at us but it was usually 4-5 on just him. One time, he completey snapped and was aiming to slug some kid over the head when he wasn't looking with an aluminum bat. Luckily, one of our coherts was paying attention and grabbed the bat away as David went to swing. Of couese, we were back to our normal mayhem the next day trying to kill him with basketballs.
posted by jmd82 at 12:02 PM on October 18, 2006


I'll take two.
posted by jonmc at 12:02 PM on October 18, 2006


The sad part of this is how horrible adults turn out when they weren't beaten up enough as kids. It gives you some badly needed humility.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:05 PM on October 18, 2006


How are our indolent and pampered kids going to muster the energy to repel attackers with schoolbooks, globes, compasses, and trapper keepers?
posted by Mister_A at 12:10 PM on October 18, 2006


I suppose they're going to ban trying to shove broomsticks into the spokes of your friends' bike tires next?

When I was a lad, we played a harmless game called "catch the knife"...
posted by I Am Not a Lobster at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2006


When I was young we used to play this game called "Stone the Piggie".
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:14 PM on October 18, 2006


To put this in context -- there's liability concerns at schools beyond the suburbs of Boston.

"East Hartford, CT...Town Council last week approved a $75,000 settlement of a lawsuit filed by the mother of a former Pitkin Elementary School student who suffered significant injuries when he ran into a pole on the school's playground. [source].

"Swing sets, 'monkey bars,' merry-go-rounds, and even slides are disappearing from schoolyard playgrounds due to liability concerns" [source]

And from our friends in the U.K.

"Schools are banning time-honoured playtime pastimes such as conkers because headteachers are afraid of being sued by parents in the event of an accident." [source]
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on October 18, 2006


Jaysus Begosh people. Kids are virtually indestructible - if we don't let them smash into each other (in a mutually agreeable fashion of course) how will they ever learn to take a hit?

Back when I was a kid we took turns throwing each other off the jungle gym, had bottle rocket wars (launched from hands no less) and played "push the other guy out of the car". Nobody ever got hurt, because the fear of death ensured our highest level of performance.

Now kids play pattycake with oven mitts, and grow up to sue over papercuts. Sheesh.
posted by Aquaman at 12:17 PM on October 18, 2006


Sigh. I feel bad for kids now. They can't ride in the front seat of cars, they can't go trick-or-treating by themselves, and now they can't play tag. It's a sad world.

At my elementary school, we had not only monkey bars and the wooden-seated swings, but a merry-go-round on black top. I still have scars on my knees from being drug around the merry-go-round and we had at least one kid a year that got a concussion from falling from the top of the monkey bars.

As for stupidly-dangerous yet fun games, we had king of the tree (like king of the hill but higher up and more opportunities for concussions and dislocations of shoulders) and gorilla basketball (like regular basketball but without all the pesky foul rules. Full contact.)

Kids will be kids and part of growing up is finding new and interesting ways to maim yourself. It just makes me sad that more and more kids are loosing the neat (yet violent) aspects of childhood. Then again, my father tells stories of his brothers shooting each other with pellet guns...for fun. So maybe it's a natural progression.
posted by teleri025 at 12:21 PM on October 18, 2006


What I was trying to say (clumsily and with too many words...it's a problem, I'm working on it) is that if this story makes you truly upset (and not just mock-internet-Metafilter upset), you're conservative, no matter who you vote for.

Conservative meaning "things should not change".

I may have missed some especially well-done sarcasm.

But, even if it's not real here, there is a considerable amount of true sentiment out there for keeping things exactly as they are. Which I don't think is automatically good (or bad).

I just find any authentic reaction to this story other than "meh" to be troubling because those reactions seem to have nothing to do with the actual event. They're just cover for an agenda.

And I loved tag. It was about as meritocratic as kid's games get.

Anyone else remember "ringolevio"?

(stands there, hands in pockets, just wanting to be involved in the game of tag that is Metafilter.)
posted by mer2113 at 12:22 PM on October 18, 2006


mmdei, it's already happening.
posted by killy willy at 12:24 PM on October 18, 2006


When I was young we used to play this game called "Murder Ball".

We called it Asses Up and if you got pegged in the back on your way to the wall you had to lean up against the wall and let the person who pegged you take another shot at your ass. I got hurt constantly as a child and I think I'm a better man for it.

In fact, I suggest that what the youth of America needs more than anything else is random bullwhippings in the street and a nightly pepperspray in the eyes before bedtime, of course I might be biased on this, I find muffled sobs to be quite soothing.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:24 PM on October 18, 2006


TheOnlyCoolTim

There oughta be a book on how to beat your kids just enough to make them compassionate, yet not so much that they become Bill O'Reilly.

ya think?
posted by mer2113 at 12:25 PM on October 18, 2006




Ah, ye good ol' days!
posted by ericb at 12:26 PM on October 18, 2006


There are tag variations that aren't as open to the possibility of full body tackling and shoving injuries and the "I'm fleeing for my life" trip and fall injuries that basic old "it" tag seems full of. All involve plenty of running and dodging and laughing and movement. Banning all tag games is shortsighted. Making tag a little bit safer while keeping its positive attributes is a good thing, and a much better goal.

I stand firmly opposed, however, to the notion that kids must be beaten down, hurt, smeared and otherwise run over in order to be well-adjusted as adults. I think that's exactly wrong with our society: too many people who think that there's an acceptable level of violence in life, who think that there's a crucial life lesson that must be learned and can only be taught through physical pain. That's a big part of why we're so severely screwed as a society.
posted by Dreama at 12:27 PM on October 18, 2006


With tag banned, the little ones will turn to kiss chase, mark my words. And the school will be bankrupted by sexual harrasment suits within weeks.
posted by jack_mo at 12:27 PM on October 18, 2006


A game for a teacher and his/her five-year old charges!
posted by ericb at 12:29 PM on October 18, 2006


I'm with theonlycooltim. everybody should have the living shit kicked out of them at least once in their lives, and preferably a few more minor skirmishes and accidents involving blood. It demystifies pain and fosters humility.
posted by jonmc at 12:30 PM on October 18, 2006


(I'm exaggerating for effect, but you can always tell those who've never recieved a smackdown or experienced serious pain. They're usually the reflexively indignant and snotnoses with senses of entitlement).
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on October 18, 2006


Growing up, I remember this movie called TAG: The Assassination Game. The basic gist of it is that these college students play a game where they 'assassinate' one another with suction-cup dart guns.

Of course one of them takes the game too seriously, and people start getting killed.

Based on this cautionary tale I think it's a good thing that we don't allow kids to play this on the playground. Way too many opportunities for collateral damage in the crossfire.

[reads article]

Oh that kind of tag? Well that's just bullshit.
posted by quin at 12:34 PM on October 18, 2006


You know, at the risk of sounding like a field monitor, we already did the thread where everybody reminisces about how badass our childhood schoolyard games were.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:38 PM on October 18, 2006


We used to play this game where they throw a ball at you, only the ball has spikes all over it, and if it hits you you had to gut yourself with a rusty paint-can lid and strangle yourself with your own bowels.

We were tough.
posted by Mister_A at 12:39 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


*throws dodgeball at stinkycheese's head*
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on October 18, 2006


mer2113 wrote: What I was trying to say... is that if this story makes you truly upset (and not just mock-internet-Metafilter upset), you're conservative, no matter who you vote for. Conservative meaning "things should not change". ... [T]here is a considerable amount of true sentiment out there for keeping things exactly as they are. Which I don't think is automatically good (or bad).

And I'm trying to say that this is not a useful framework for discussion.

Opposed to privatization of Social Security? Opposed to invading Syria? Then (*tag*), you're a conservative!

OK, that's just super, there's a label for someone. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's actually discuss the merits of the issue at hand.

Tag is good.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:51 PM on October 18, 2006


Straight to the principal's office, Mister mc!
posted by stinkycheese at 12:52 PM on October 18, 2006


We played murder ball with a volley ball, in gym class. I don't know if that is better or worse then a handball. It was really hard on glasses is all I know. I think it was somewhat traumatic to some kids.

We also (on our own time) shot each other up with BB/pellet guns (work eye protection, usualy full-face motorcycle helmets). Now *that* was a very bad idea.

Actually, the list of stupid shit the average boy [used to] tries to engage in is so astounding that we should be begging them to play tag. I never cease to be amazed at the survival rates.

The idea that an injury from falling is 'violence' is really taking it waaay too far. C'mon.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:55 PM on October 18, 2006


What I was trying to say... is that if this story makes you truly upset (and not just mock-internet-Metafilter upset), you're conservative, no matter who you vote for. Conservative meaning "things should not change".

And if you make snap decisions about what a person is based on their half-humorous responses to a ridiculous story, then you are a shit-for-brains, no matter who you vote for. Sit-for-brains meaning 'brains made of shit.'
posted by jonmc at 12:56 PM on October 18, 2006


When I was a kid we used to play balloon knife fight. You hold a balloon in one hand and a knife in the other.
posted by drezdn at 1:01 PM on October 18, 2006


Put tag back in. Ban improper fractions instead.
posted by pax digita at 1:02 PM on October 18, 2006


I don't tihnk I even remember being SUPERVISED during elementary recess. I'm sure there was a teacher or two out there but I'm fairly certain they spent the period huddled by the door gossiping and doing their best to ignore us.
posted by LeeJay at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2006


there's a crucial life lesson that must be learned and can only be taught through physical pain.

I don't know if there's anything that can only be taught by physical pain, but it sure helps a lot. How many times do you put your hand in boiling water? Try it once, and you'll learn a lot through physical pain.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:10 PM on October 18, 2006


our grade-school recess variation on "murderball" we called "peg-ball". we were allowed to run free, but everyone was restricted to a specific zone - the person who was "it" was only allowed to take three steps before throwing the ball. and we played it with a raquetball because baseballs just didn't give a satisfying enough bounce off of the playground asphalt. good times, good times.

now if you'll excuse me, i've got some whippersnappers to chase off my lawn.
posted by the painkiller at 1:10 PM on October 18, 2006


We played tackle football, but only when there was snow on the ground to break our fall. Otherwise it was field hockey but played like real hockey only without the boards and ice. A stick to the face in third grade lost me most of my two front teeth. For all the crap I hated about my childhood, I wouldn't trade it to grow up in this day and age.

and, yes, I feel like a curmudgeonly old man shaking his fist from the top stair of his porch.
posted by Fezboy! at 1:10 PM on October 18, 2006


I think that the "rediculous" tag for this tag thread is ridiculous.

Everyone knows Massachusetts is a blue state.

(Were I abler, I'd have made that first sentence into a palindrome. Get on it, MeFites!)
posted by ibmcginty at 1:11 PM on October 18, 2006



When I was young we used to play this game called "Murder Ball". The idea was to throw a tennis ball at a wall and then someone would catch it one-handed, if they dropped the ball or caught it with both hands then they had to drop the ball and run for the wall before someone else picked up the ball and hit them with it, when that happened you were "out" and couldn't play anymore.


We used to play this with a lacrosse ball because of the weird bouncing patterns. Hurt like hell, too.
posted by The God Complex at 1:11 PM on October 18, 2006


We called it Asses Up and if you got pegged in the back on your way to the wall you had to lean up against the wall and let the person who pegged you take another shot at your ass. I got hurt constantly as a child and I think I'm a better man for it.

I remember this one, except from my recollection, not only did the person who pegged you get to take another shot at your ass, but EVERYONE playing the game got one shot before you could reenter the game. Seems far more dangerous than tag.
posted by The Gooch at 1:14 PM on October 18, 2006


How many times do you put your hand in boiling water?

If you have a working nervous system, none. You don't have to put your hand in the water to know that it will badly hurt, and you don't have to be shoved to the ground from behind in the name of "fun" to know that there are assholes everywhere and you need to protect yourself from them.
posted by Dreama at 1:14 PM on October 18, 2006


You know, at the risk of sounding like a field monitor, we already did the thread where everybody reminisces about how badass our childhood schoolyard games were.

I don't recall that thread. But then my childhood games typically involved terajoule-scale effectors and we usually played them in the heart of a burning star.

I have fond memories of "Last One There Is A GSV" and "Stellation." We never played Smear the Queer, but we did play "Smash The Planet The Pussy-Ass GCU Is Hiding Behind And Then Smear It But Good," which seems similar in principle.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:15 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pbtpbtpbt!

Back in my day, during recess we'd get hit in the head by every type of sport-based projectile in quick succession - and that was before our feet even left the school steps and touched asphalt.

Kids today. Soft, I tells ya!
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:33 PM on October 18, 2006


Don't blame overprotective moms and "sissification." Even if every child's parent went to the school and begged them to start a daily unsupervised "run from the rabid dogs" game across broken glass and rusty nails, the insurance guys would still make sure it never happened.

Until it is possible for parents to waive their rights to sue schools for injury that occurs to their little darlings while at school, or at least until a reasonable cap is put on such awards, rules like this are going to exist. How many of the folk who complain about such rules would, if junior came home with a broken arm, suddenly be ready to sue the school for enough to pay off the mortgage and vacation in Hawaii?

Blame lawyers and judges and legislators (many of whom were of course participants in dangerous school athletics programs) for letting folk sue and get rich over the damages of normal living.
posted by pracowity at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2006



What's really scary is that many schools have actually banned *recess*. No liability, no risk of kids hurting each other and no chance for anyone to get made fun of.

Of course, there's no chance of actually making friends either, which is the problem.

Kids don't need to be direly physically harmed or made to experience pain by each other-- they need to learn to take risks and how to handle them.

And in terms of learning, pleasure is far more powerful. What's the hardest thing we ever have to learn? language. is there any punishment involved in learning it? None. except if you consider having to cry to get attention if you don't have language to be punishment.
posted by Maias at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2006


Dreama: Actually, it is helpful to be shoved to the ground from behind in the name of 'fun' to know that there are assholes in the world and you need to protect yourself from them. At least, it is helpful if you are nine years old, and your mother sends you directly from school to piano practice to soccer practice to play date to foreign language tutor to homework to bed, every day of the week, and you never interact with your peers in any unstructured setting whatsoever, and you therefore have no idea how cruel other kids can be-or how wonderful either.

Kids need unstructured time to run around and meet kids on their own terms and just be goofy. I know I sure did, and I was the calmest, most serious, least social, nerdiest elementary school child I've ever known. Adults looking over the shoulder of children to prevent them from spontaneously organizing harmless recess games is yet another encroachment into what little free time remains in the overscheduled overstructured overstressed life that plagues modern children (at least, those who are middle class and up).
posted by Kwine at 1:38 PM on October 18, 2006


I broke someone's collarbone playing tag by tagging him slightly too close to a rather tall cliff.

Whoops. Color me embarrassed.

I stuck to kiss/chase after that. Much better game that imparted the special kind of values that, through slavish adherence later in life, mean I am single to this day.
posted by Sparx at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2006


I do not support this, but my statistics of student injuries indicate that the most likely scenario is running on pavement and falling.

Studies show the leading cause of death is being born.
posted by poweredbybeard at 1:49 PM on October 18, 2006


Conservative meaning "things should not change".

Just because this change is a stupid, authoritarian, totalitarian, unimaginative, legalistic, bureaucratic, dogmatic, robotic, thick-headed, poisonous, illiberal, booger-faced change, and I don't like it, doesn't mean I'm against change in general.
posted by sfenders at 1:53 PM on October 18, 2006


Yes it does.
posted by Mister_A at 1:58 PM on October 18, 2006


Two Games For a Knife and a Way of Life: Mumbly-peg and Knife Baseball.
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on October 18, 2006


When I'm elected school president, there will be rocket-powered jet packs for everyone.
posted by sfenders at 2:17 PM on October 18, 2006


"tag" should be banned. Jesus Christ, people, they're keywords, and nothing you say can change that! Take your web 2.0 and shove it up your ass!
posted by I Am Not a Lobster at 2:17 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


there are assholes in the world and you need to protect yourself from them

Brings to mind Ralphie, fed up with the bullying by Scut Farkus, turning the tables and beating the crap out of the red-headed punk.


posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on October 18, 2006


I broke someone's collarbone playing tag by tagging him slightly too close to a rather tall cliff.

I cracked my brother's skull with a garden hoe. Oh, wait -- we weren't playing a game.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on October 18, 2006


"We also (on our own time) shot each other up with BB/pellet guns (work eye protection, usualy full-face motorcycle helmets). Now *that* was a very bad idea."

But oh, SO much fun. :)

As long as you stick to those lever-action Daisy BB rifles. Pump guns and CO2, it starts getting too real.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:34 PM on October 18, 2006


I'm working s a temp at my old gradeschool right now. They've made all the games significantly less fun by replacing the uneven concrete with soft grass. My favorite game was Off the Wall.

I think they should ban "titty twisters", the thought of which can still cause me to wince.
posted by elr at 2:35 PM on October 18, 2006


Kids need unstructured time to run around and meet kids on their own terms and just be goofy. I know I sure did, and I was the calmest, most serious, least social, nerdiest elementary school child I've ever known.

Which does not mean, nor need to mean, games which are designed with the built-in strategic advantage of picking out and often roughing up the slowest, nerdiest, fattest, least coordinated, least "appropriately masculine" or least herdlike of the herd. Teaching kids early on to play the game of "othering" and targetting based on perceived weaknesses (which aren't weaknesses at all, in many cases) serves no greater good or specific good. These are exactly the opposite of the behaviors that children should be taught, from the earliest ages, as acceptable and appropriate in a society of interconnected people.
posted by Dreama at 3:05 PM on October 18, 2006


Which does not mean, nor need to mean, games which are designed with the built-in strategic advantage of picking out and often roughing up the slowest, nerdiest, fattest, least coordinated, least "appropriately masculine" or least herdlike of the herd. Teaching kids early on to play the game of "othering" and targetting based on perceived weaknesses...

All true.

...

Can we play tag now?
posted by poweredbybeard at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2006


taught, from the earliest ages, as acceptable and appropriate in a society of interconnected people.

I see the opposite - when I see people who do not know how to act acceptably and appropriately in society, I wish they had been made fun of, beat up, and otherwise "othered" more as children, so they'd learned that certain behaviors are unacceptable and inappropriate and will get them beat up. Doesn't matter if the behavior that's unacceptable in childhood is something that's not really unacceptable, the idea seems to carry over into adult life where the unacceptable behavior is being an asshole but everyone else is now too adult to deliver the deserved beating.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:22 PM on October 18, 2006


I dunno how you played tag, Dreama, but when I played it we didn't target the slow kids overly much. You got much more approval from the herd for tagging somebody fast and fit, thus keeping the game interesting. Anyway, providing an outlet for such behaviours as you describe does not equate to teaching them, and banning everything competitive does not seem feasible.
posted by sfenders at 3:26 PM on October 18, 2006


It's a total gyp that Carl Lewis can run a 10-second 100m and I can't. Bring on the Handicapper General.
posted by Mister_A at 3:40 PM on October 18, 2006


Listen, I got to the party here late, and I haven't even read the comments yet, but I have one thing to say.

This is so hopelessly stupid.

What's next, wrapping them in bubble wrap and removing their fingernails? Oh, and RFID tags?
posted by exlotuseater at 3:46 PM on October 18, 2006


It's all fun and games until somebody breaks a femur.
posted by exogenous at 4:08 PM on October 18, 2006


Damn. I've often felt that compulsory education was one of the most egregious violations of personal rights. Now I know it is. (People think compulsory voting is an offront to personal freedom, but they're willing to send their kids to a virtual prison for 13 years?)

(seriously, it's no wonder some of them grow up and become gangbangers and schoolyard snipers or even worse, goths. They never had psysical contact and violence demystified)

Amen, brother. Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt or Hagbard Celine who said, "There were be a lot less wars if there were more bloody noses"?

What I was trying to say... is that if this story makes you truly upset (and not just mock-internet-Metafilter upset), you're conservative, no matter who you vote for. Conservative meaning "things should not change".

That's the stupidest thing I've read on here in a while. And I've read some stupid things.

What? You don't want to give up your freedom of speech because we're at war? Conservative!
posted by mrgrimm at 4:09 PM on October 18, 2006


There are tag variations that aren't as open to the possibility of full body tackling and shoving injuries and the "I'm fleeing for my life" trip and fall injuries that basic old "it" tag seems full of.

I am unconvinced. If it doesn't involve "fleeing for my life" then it can't be much like playing tag then, can it? But anyway, I had no idea there were so many variations. "tag and dodgeball were banned from New Jersey schools on November 18, 2002[citation needed]. Tag is not, nor will it ever be, a "smiteable" game."

Not smiteable. Huh.

British Bulldog is in there! That was an awesome game, and about the only one I was good at, thanks to my devious moves. Of course, "The physicality of the game caused it to gain some notoriety and to be banned in a number of school playgrounds."
posted by sfenders at 4:22 PM on October 18, 2006


The many Variations of the game of tag
posted by sfenders at 4:24 PM on October 18, 2006


More games of tag, none of which seem to be the usual game described as the default on Wikipedia.

I now realize that I am firmly opposed to memetic engineering of tag games. They should be left alone to evolve naturally, lest they be artificially mutated into something lame./
posted by sfenders at 4:53 PM on October 18, 2006


Americans are increasingly risk averse. Nobody wants it to be their kid who is badly hurt on the playground, myself included. But if you keep kids indoors watching teevee because you're afraid of kidnappers, keep them from playing running games on the playground, etc., then they end up at more risk from obesity, fear of anything new, deadened imaginations. You rob them of the fun of playing games and the enjoyment of the outdoors.
posted by theora55 at 5:33 PM on October 18, 2006



posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on October 18, 2006


Tim:

You can't teach empathy by beating people up and "othering" them. In fact, you can create sociopathy this way.

People think that if the bullies "just knew what it felt like" to be left out and hurt, they wouldn't bully. Guess what's usually happening to the bullies at home? Yup, they're being beaten up. They just learn to kick the dog-- or the weaker kid.

True, some of the kindest people are also those who "have been there"-- but having been there isn't what makes them kind. It's being able to imagine oneself in another's shoes and caring about what it's like there.

Empathy is only taught via kindness, not cruelty. Punishment usually just makes mean people meaner or sneakier.
posted by Maias at 7:01 PM on October 18, 2006


Top 10 Most Violent Children's Games
posted by iconjack at 8:07 PM on October 18, 2006


Oyyy. Wake me up when the tort reform happens. Oh, and if you think it's happening, and the boomers aren't dead yet, ten bucks says you're wrong.

Maias: Concur that empathy is only taught by kindness. I'd only amend to 'meaner and sneakier.'

On the other hand, many administrobots in the schools where I grew up confused kindness with limp-wristed pansiness. We had rules, driven by the fear of lawsuits, that prohibited most any response to being bullied except silent endurance. You just had to hope a grown-up would (a) notice, (b) have a clue, and (c) summon up the gonads to do something about it. Which they didn't, mostly for lack of (b). Now, endurance worked OK for civil rights and liberating India and so forth, but that was because there were observers who could serve as a public conscience. (And because, unlike in a grade school, among grown-ups at least some of the sociopaths are locked away from everyone else.) The school rules in my middle school made it amply clear that if someone was giving you crap, you were powerless. And that just makes the mean people bolder.
posted by eritain at 10:14 PM on October 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Man, I remember elementary school. We always loved when the soccer fields would freeze over and we could play "Smear the Queer." How times have changed.

Indeed, now it's "Smear the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Individual".
posted by Tube at 10:27 PM on October 18, 2006


At my primary school, we weren't even allowed to run at recess. At lunch we could, although only on grassed areas. I'm serious.
posted by cholly at 11:21 PM on October 18, 2006


eritain: what a beautiful point about rules and bullies. Well said, indeed.

I grew up in an almost-rural suburb. We played rough with eachother. We had well equiped playgrounds. Even falling off the side of the top of a slide, I was uninjured. I rode my bike rough and risky, and never had worse than scrapes and bruises. One time, I did fall directly on to a knee and had to get xrays. Nothing was broken.

Away from school we climbed trees, swam in gravel pits and played next to the river. We all survived. We wandered far and wide, through town and country. No one got snatched. No one even got significantly lost.
posted by Goofyy at 12:52 AM on October 19, 2006


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