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Command and Response Games Single Relay Race

( Command and Response, Relay Race, Running, Tag )

This game differs from the track event known as a Relay Race. The form here given is one of the best for engaging in strenuous exercise all of a large number of players in a limited playing space.

A wall or fence is chosen for a goal or a line may be drawn across the ground for this purpose or a goal object may be placed for each team around which each player on the team must run. From fifty to a hundred feet back of this goal or objective point and parallel to it a line is drawn to serve as a starting line.

The players are divided into two or more groups of equal numbers. Each group lines up in single file behind the starting line. If possible there should be at least five feet distance sideways between the files. The first player of each file stands toeing the starting line and at a signal runs forward to the goal touches it with his hand if it be a wall or fence or with his foot if it be a line on the ground or runs around it if it be an object. He then runs back to his line and touches the outstretched hand of the next player (called “touching off”) who should have moved forward to toe the starting line. As soon as this touch is received this player in turn runs forward touches the goal and returns in the same way. Each player as he returns leaves the playing space at the rear. The file moves up one place each time that a runner starts so that the next player will toe the starting line.

The file wins whose last runner is first to dash across the starting line on his return run. If desired each runner may hold a flag in his hand and pass it to the next player instead of merely touching the hand. This flag should not be on a stick which is dangerous for the runner receiving it.

Starting over the line before being touched by a returning runner is a foul. Where athletic procedure is not observed this starting over the line may be penalized by having the transgressor go back and start over again. In an athletic event it disqualifies the team unless the competing teams have made an equal or greater number of fouls.

Where this game is played in strict athletic form the first start is made in response to the usual signals (1) “On your mark ” (2) “Get set ” (or “Get ready “) (3) “Go ” In competitive events of this sort crossing the starting line before being touched off is a foul also touching a goal object around which the players may have to run. There should be a judge of fouls for each team and two judges at the finish. The team wins which finishes first with the fewest number of fouls as explained for the Potato Race. The simple “touch-off ” and not the handing of flags is customary in athletic procedure.

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