Tail Chase

Activity Overview

Participants learn about and practise preventing another participant from invading their territory by taking their tail away.

  • Primary (Ages 6-9)
  • Junior (Ages 10-12)

Facility

  • Gymnasium
  • Outdoors

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 tail per participant (e.g., scarf, cloth, pinnie, flag football belt with attached flags)

Safety

Inspect the activity area and eliminate potential hazards. Check that the surface provides safe traction. Clearly outline the boundaries for the activity and set them a safe distance from walls and obstacles.

Activity Information

Activity Set-up

  • Divide participants into pairs.
  • Give a “tail” (e.g., scarf, cloth, pinnie) to each participant and have them stuff a small part of it into the side of their shorts/pants. Tails are not to be wrapped around belts or in belt loops.
  • Remind participants that no body contact is allowed and that they can only grab their partner’s tail.

Activity Instructions

  • At the signal, each participant tries to grab the tail of his or her partner without having his or her own tail taken.
  • When a participant’s tail is removed, it is returned and the participant puts his or her tail back, and the participants play again.
  • Have participants count how many times they can remove their partner’s tail in the allotted time.
  • The leader asks open-ended questions to help participants refine their movement strategies and tactical solutions during the activity. Examples include: When being chased by your partner, what are some choices that you have to avoid getting your tail taken away? What strategy can you apply to successfully remove your partner’s tail?
Tail Chase

Adaptations

To maximize the challenge and the fun, participants could identify their own ways to increase or decrease the challenge.

To decrease the challenge, participants could:

  • Work in groups to try and grab one group member’s tail.
  • Allow the taggers to use an implement to tag participants (e.g., pool noodle) before progressing to removing tails.
  • Provide “safe areas” where participants can go to avoid having their tail taken out for a limited amount of time (e.g., five or ten seconds).

To increase the challenge, participants could:

  • Create groups of four to five participants, where one participant tries to grab the tails of other participants.
  • Work independently to take as many tails as they can. If a participant’s tail is taken, that participant continues to play and tries to take another participant’s tail.
  • Wear two tails and a tagger tries to capture both tails.

Pause for Learning

Throughout the activity, consider highlighting the following skills, concepts, and strategies to avoid having another participant invade their territory by taking their tail away. Note that this list is not exhaustive, and further learning opportunities may arise during the task.

Movement Skills and Concepts

  • Locomotion and relationship: travelling around the activity area while trying to avoid getting your tail caught by the opponent and/or trying to take your opponent’s tail away
  • Spatial awareness: Moving appropriately in different directions and pathways to be successful at keeping your tail safe and taking your partner’s tail

Movement Strategies

  • Applying skills and strategies to avoid getting your tail taken away and being successful at taking your opponent’s tail (e.g., with a tail, constantly switching directions and moving into open space to make it challenging for the tagger)

Living Skills

Personal Skills

  • Understanding one's own strengths with skill/concept application and areas that need improvement when participating in the territorial game (e.g., practising dodging skills to be successful at quickly changing directions to avoid getting your tail taken and being able to take your partner’s tail)

Interpersonal Skills

  • Showing respect and demonstrating fair play through following the rules and structure of the game

Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

  • Gathering information and analysing it to make appropriate decisions to be successful in the territory game (e.g., anticipating your opponent’s actions to decide what your next move should be)