Capture the Flag

Type: Large Group, Active

Group Size: 20 +

Equipment: Two Flags, numerous cone markers


  1. Divide teams into two equal groups
  2. Divide playing area in half with line or cones. Place one team in one half of playing area, the other team in the other area.
  3. Mark off a space for “jail” in adjacent corners of playing area
  4. Place flags in center back of playing area (balls could also be used). This space can be marked off as a free space. No one from the guarding team may enter this space – only those who are trying to capture the flag. No one may be “tagged” inside the space.
  5. On “go”, the object is for each team to retrieve the flag that is positioned in their opponents territory and bring it back to their own side without being “tagged”.
  6. Once tagged, the flag must be returned to its original position and the person tagged must go to the “jail”.
  7. To be freed from jail, team member must run to the jail (without being tagged). They link arms with only one person from jail and can walk back to their side. They must return to their side before returning to capture the flag or free another team member.


  • Define the rules prior to play beginning (see critique below)

capture the flag diagram


  • One can easily adapt rules:
  • Do not allow flag to be tossed, thrown or handed off to another person
  • Or, allow flag (or use a ball) to be thrown. It must be caught. If dropped, it must return to original space.
  • Allow one person to set everyone free, or limited to one or two people.
  • A great variation is to eliminate the jail spaces. If you are captured you switch teams. In this version, multiple flags or balls could be used. Once the flag is brought to one’s side it is placed in the flag area to be retrieved by the opposing team. The winner is the one with all the flags. This was the most favorite version played by the class.