Jail Break

Type: Wide Game

Equipment: Torches

Setup: Find an area which has a number of hiding places.

Extra Measures: Clearly lay out the borders of the playing area so players don’t go into areas occupied by other pods. Have a large area or line, eg marked by cones, for the jail. Robbers are caught by shining a torch and saying their name.


There are two “cops” and one “jailor”. The rest of the people are “robbers”. The number of “cops” and “jailors” can vary depending on the number of players. A fairly central location is designated as “jail”, The jail should be fairly out in the open and the boundaries definite. A picnic table can work great as a jail (those in the jail would sit on top of the table).

All robbers are given some designated time to go hide (like hide-and-go-seek maybe 30-60 seconds). After the appropriate hiding time, the cops go looking for the robbers. The robbers usually are not in the same spot all of the time for reasons I will describe in a minute. The cops catch a robber by one of many methods (this is where the variations come into play). The robber may be tagged, hit with a light beam, person identified correctly, or combinations of these. When a robber is caught, they are taken to jail by the cop.

The big difference between this and hide-n-seek is, if someone is quick and sly (someone being a robber), they can cause a “jail-break” and let all that are in jail get out of jail. This is done by sneaking up into jail (not being caught by the jailor), stepping IN the jail (or touching the table with both hands), and yelling “JAIL BREAK!” At this point, all that are in jail are FREE. The jailor must give everyone that was in jail and the breaker some time to get away (maybe 15 seconds). Sometimes this game has gone on for hours for one game.

Sometimes it is a fairly short game (but not too often). If you want, you can have the game continue on by having the final (in this example) 3 people to be the cops and jailor.


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