The Official Rules for Capture the Flag

Do you know the official rules for capture the flag? Believe it or not, they exist.

Imagine a game that involves strategic planning to outwit an opponent. Plus, it can be played inside or outdoors. Capture the Flag fits the description for an exciting game that involves planning. These are the rules of the game.

The Official Rules of Capture the Flag

  • Divide the group into two teams with an equal number of players. For an extremely large group, three groups can play.
  • Set up the playing field, which is divided equally. Any obstacles in the course help players hide and dodge being tagged by an opponent.
  • Establish a safe area or home base.
  • Place the flag in the middle of the safe area. The flag may be attached to a ball.

The Official Rules of Capture the Flag - The Engagement

  • Players patrol the boundary of the safe area but are not allowed inside their own home base.
  • Only a few defenders should protect the safe area; otherwise, the opponent doesn't have much of an opportunity to capture the flag.
  • Other team members, called attackers, either search for the opposition or sneak across the enemy line to try to capture the flag.
  • Tagging an opponent on your area results in her capture.
  • Captured opponents are placed in the jail or safe area. This depends on what decision the entire group made prior to starting the game.
  • When entering the opposition's jail, the tagged player should hold one hand in the air so other players recognize they are in jail.
  • Opponents may tag a team member who is inside the jail or safe area to release her.
  • Jailed players may jog within the safe area.
  • The official rules of capture the flag states that jail guards may not enter their own safe area.
  • A tagged jail member receives a free pass to her side of the field. The freed player holds both hands above her head and walks to her side. She cannot be tagged until she has crossed the division line.
  • When a player penetrates the safe area and captures the flag, the opposition cannot tag him until he leaves the safe area.
  • Defenders should notify their team members that the flag has been captured so all attention is given to tagging that player.
  • If the flag is attached to an object, such as a ball, it can be passed to teammates so the flag quickly gets to the other side.
  • If the ball is not caught, the official rules of capture the flag state that the flag is returned to the safe area and the two players involved in the toss and catch of the flag head to jail.
  • The opposition may intercept the ball and return it to the safe area.

The Winner Takes It All

  • A team reigns victorious when the flag is captured and crossed over the division line.
  • A variation of victory calls for the flag to make it into your team's safe area.
  • If both teams capture the flag simultaneously, flags are returned to each side's safe area and the game continues according to the official rules of capture the flag.
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