Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dangerous Playground Games

Crack The Whip

Children form the "whip" by holding the hand of the person in front of them. The head of the whip runs in a Brownian motion, twisting and turning as he or she sees fit. The end of the whip, or the "caboose", is the most dangerous position to be in, as the most force acts upon this point of the whip -- the child may be tossed to the ground (or to the ice, depending on where the game is played) after losing his or her grip.

Red Rover

Children form two teams -- each team links themselves together by holding hands. Teams take turns trying to break through one of the opposing team's links. If a player is unable to break through a link, that player is absorbed by the victorious team; if not, the other team wins the battle, and gains a player in the process. Injuries are commonplace. If a child's arm is not hurt (pulled muscle, bruise, etc.) when the link is maintained, then the other child may be injured (clotheslined, bruised ribs, etc.)

Skinny Skeletons

At a dome-shaped jungle gym, four children stand on their marks at the dome's four "compass points". When the whistle is blown, each child walks up the dome by stepping on its bars -- crawling is not allowed, as arms and hands may only be used for balance. After reaching the top of the dome, the child must fall between the bars. The first to reach the ground wins. Children are not only injured on the way to the top of the dome (usually by falling forward onto the bars), but also when performing the final maneuver (often biting their tongues when their chins hit a bar during the foot-first dive).

Swing Fight

Two children stand in a swing, facing each other, as the judge (or "observer") begins to push them. When the pendulum effect has been established, the observer shouts, "Go!". The two children then use any means necessary to dispatch their opponent from the swing. Injuries often occur when the defeated opponent falls from the swing onto the ground (bruises, scrapes, etc.). Additional injuries may occur before the fall (eye gouging, twisted gonads, etc.)

Stop The Butcher

One child is elected "butcher", and takes his position balancing above the seesaw's fulcrum. A line of children, perpendicular to the seesaw, is formed 15 yards away, facing the butcher. The game begins as the butcher removes his waistcoat, revealing two bandoliers of paring knives (or sharpened sticks). The first child in line may choose to run in a straight line toward either end of the seesaw -- in an attempt to unbalance the butcher, the child must headbutt the seesaw up or down. The child that causes the butcher to fall wins; alternatively, if the line of children is exhausted and neither side of the seesaw has touched the ground, the butcher is victorious. Many children are injured before their headbutt is executed. More savvy butchers can thwack their opponents with the seesaw by simply shifting his or her weight.

No comments: