Capture the Flag | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Capture the Flag

Before You Start: 
  • Divide into two teams.
  • Make sure everyone understand all rules and know where the boundaries are located.
  • Demonstrate safe tagging: light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder. Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
Set Up: 

Divide the playing field in half and designate two small “zones” on both sides to hold people who are tagged. There can also be a designated circle on each side where the flag is placed.

How to Play: 
  • Each team tries to take the other team’s flag and return across the center line without being tagged.
  • When guarding the flag zone or the holding zone, a defender must be at least 2’ away from the zone boundaries.
  • If a player is tagged while on their opponent’s side they are must go to the holding zone on their opponent’s side.
  • If a player who has stolen the flag is tagged, the flag is returned to the flag zone, and the player goes to the zone.
  • A player can be freed from the holding zone when a teammate crosses the center line and tags the player; both players then receive a free walk back to their side.
  • A player can only free one teammate at a time.
  • If an opposing player can get both feet into the flag zone without being tagged, they can remain there without safely (without getting tagged) before attempting to cross the center line.
Variations: 
  • Limit the number of players allowed in the circle at one time.
  • Allow a player in the circle to throw the flag to a teammate. The flag must still be carried over the center line however.
  • The players in the tagged zone can join hands and reach out of the zone to make it easier to be freed.
  • Similarly, all players in the holding zone are freed when a player makes it across to rescue them.
  • For extended games, allow players to hide their flags in plain sight in a designated area.
Game Tags: 
Equipment: 
Development Goal(s): 

To develop teamwork, cooperation, strategic thinking and verbal communication