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Chase and Catch Games Three Deep

( Chase and Catch, Circle and Breakthrough, Strategy, Tag )

This game is one of the standard favorites for both children and adults.

All of the players but two form in a double ring facing inward that is in two concentric circles with one player directly behind another.

There are several methods of getting players into this formation. One method is to have the players march in column two abreast form in a circle and all face inward. Another method is to have the players form in a circle in single file one player steps in front of his neighbor on the right and each alternate player in quick succession around the circle does the same thus accomplishing the end of bringing all of the players in couples one behind another.

The two odd players one of whom is runner and the other chaser start outside of the circle generally one of them being on one side of the circle and the other opposite. The object of the game is for the chaser to tag the runner. The runner may save himself by stopping in front of any couple standing in the circle whereupon that file having been made “three deep ” the outer player or third man becomes at once liable to tagging and in his turn becomes runner and tries to evade the chaser. He may seek refuge in the same way in front of a couple.

Should the chaser tag the runner they exchange places the runner immediately becoming chaser and the chaser being liable instantly to tagging.

It will thus be seen that great alertness is necessary on the part of any one standing on the outside of the circle as at any moment the runner may take refuge in front of his file or couple making him the third man and liable to be tagged. It is not permissible for any third man to take refuge in front of the couple standing immediately on his right or left when he becomes third man.

Both runner and chaser may dash through the circle but may not pause for a moment within the circle except when the runner claims refuge in front of some couple. When players are inclined to confuse the play by hesitating while running through the circle this privilege of running through is sometimes forbidden all the chasing being confined to the outside of the circle.

VARIATION.–This game may be varied by having the players who form the circle stand face to face with a distance of one long step between each two instead of all facing toward the center of the circle. In this form of the game the runner takes refuge between the two forming the couple the one toward whom his back is turned being the third man. Both runner and chaser may run between the two circles of players.

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