Tag is without question the most iconic playground game of all time. That’s largely because the rules are hyper simple, and in order to play, kids need only do a thing that they already love to death anyway: run as far and as fast as they can. That said, it makes some sense that a handful of South Carolina parents are somewhat confused with a new rule that bans the students at Seaside Elementary School in Myrtle Beach from playing tag.
Roxanne Altman, the parent of a child at the school, even noted that tag was a good game to help kids develop motor skills like “running, dodging, and stopping.” Altman also pointed out the fact that the rule switch was sudden and not announced to any of the parents at the school. Beyond, that, there seems to be no impetus or inciting incident behind the new rule.
“We have a rule at recess that says ‘Keep your hands, feet, objects and comments to yourself.’ Many times, tag leads to children getting hurt, mad or involved in physical altercations, so we are just being proactive,” said new Seaside Elementary Principal Barbara Ammons. “They can still play kickball, basketball, soccer, run around, swing, etc. as long as it doesn’t involve putting your hands on another child.”
Ammons’ rationale is based on the fact that kids may get hurt or fight while playing tag. But tag is also a way less physical than the still permissible soccer — a game that requires running while precariously dribbling a ball between your feet as you try and keep it away from other players.
For Ammons, the new rule is about preventing injuries more proactively. But, as far as Alman is concerned “You could trip in the hall,” so why bother banning playground game? Alman fears that the random rule will ultimately prevent kids from participating in other games the benefit their development.