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Chase and Catch Games Prisoners Base

( Chase and Catch, Command and Response, Defense and Attack, Strategy, Tag, Team Wars and Battle )

Prisoners Base is one of the most popular games for both boys and girls who are beginning to care for team organization and is capital for adults. It gives opportunity for vigorous exercise for all of the players for the use of much judgment prowess and daring and for simple team or cooeperative work.

The game is found under many different forms. Several which offer marked or typical differences each possessing distinct playing values are given here. These differences are in (1) the arrangement of the ground and (2) the rules governing the players and game.

The differences in the grounds may be classed as follows —

I. The entire playground divided in two divisions one belonging to each party each division having a small pen for prisoners at the rear. (Diagram I.)

II. The main part of playground neutral territory with home goals for the opposing parties at opposite ends with prisons in near or attached to them. (Diagrams II V.)

III. The main part of playground neutral territory with home goals for both parties at the same end attached or separate and prisons at the opposite end either (1) on the same side of the ground as the home goal or (2) on the enemys side of the ground. (Diagrams III-IV.)

The rules for play for the second and third types of ground are fundamentally the same though differing in details and they differ from those for Diagram I. The playing qualities of the games for the last three diagrams however are very distinct because of the different methods of the enemies approach to each other (which make differences in the risk of “dares”) and because of the differing risks in rescuing prisoners and taking the enemys goal by entry.

It has seemed best to make a selection of the typical forms and leave the leader of games free to choose his own. The first form is the simplest for beginners and younger players and makes a good introduction to the game for such players.

Stealing Sticks is still another form of Prisoners Base. The main difference lies in the carrying away of the enemys property.

Prisoners Base and related games are supposed to have descended from the days of border warfare. They are very old and Strutt mentions a “Proclamation at the head of the Parliamentary proceedings early in the reign of Edward the Third … where it Prisoners Base is prohibited in the avenues of the palace at Westminster during the sessions of Parliament because of the interruption it occasioned to the members and others in passing to and fro.” The game at that time was played by adults.

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