The group is divided into two teams, and a leader appointed for each. A large square is marked upon the ground and the opposing teams line up upon opposite sides of the square behind their leader, each locking his arms about the waist of the man in front of him. At a signal to go both groups endeavor to tag the rear end of the group in front of them by running about the square, keeping on the lines. Should a group succeed in tagging the rear of the line in front, but it is found that their own line is broken through the effort, it does not count. But the broken line can be tagged by the rear of the line and it will count. So it is up to that part of the line which has broken loose at the rear to catch up with the rest of its team.
All but two of the players stand in parallel lines or ranks, one behind the other, with ample space between each player and each two ranks. All the players in each rank clasp hands in a long line. This will leave aisles between the ranks and through these a runner and chaser make their way.
The sport of the game consists in sudden changes in the direction of the aisles, brought about by one player who is chosen as leader. He stands aside, giving the commands, “Right face!” or “Left face!” at his discretion. When one of these commands is heard, all of the players standing in the ranks drop hands, face in the direction indicated and quickly clasp hands with the players who are then their neighbors on the right and left. This brings about a change of direction in the aisles and therefore necessitates a change of direction in the course of the two who are running.
[Illustration: Maze Tag]
The success of the game depends largely upon the judgment of the leader in giving the commands, “Right (or left) face!” These should be given quickly and repeatedly, the leader often choosing a moment when the pursuer seems just about to touch his victim, when the sudden obstruction put in his way by the change in the position of the ranks makes necessary a sudden change of direction on his part. The play continues until the chaser catches his victim, or until the time limit has expired. In either case two new players are then chosen from the ranks to take the places of the first runners.
It is a foul to break through the ranks or to tag across the clasped hands.
One player is selected to be “It” and chases the rest. In order to avoid being tagged, a player may lie upon his back with both feet and hands off the ground.