The Untold Truth of World Chase Tag

The world is full of grueling, unusual sports. For Instance, Britain has the Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll, which Time describes as an annual race in which "stalwart athletes [chase] eight-pound rounds of double Gloucester cheese down a ridiculously steep hill." That sounds hill-arious until you realize people frequently suffer serious injuries in the process. During Afghanistan's national pastime, Buzkashi, it's not cheese that rolls but rather heads. NPR likens Buzkashi to polo; only instead of whacking a ball on horseback, men jockey for control over a decapitated goat carcass for hours. But if you're looking for an intense sport that isn't too cheesy and won't get your goat, then World Chase Tag is it. 

Many Americans recognize Tag as a game for kids, and not the kind that grow up to be headless goats. But nobody kids around when playing World Chase Tag. Its intensity level is through the roof, and a simple slip-up could reasonably make a grown-up cry like a baby.

You can't spell 'chase' without 'aches'

According to Newsweek, World Chase Tag originated in England. Back in 2009, Christian and Damien Devaux were gardening at their home when they decided to play tag with obstacles such as benches and bins. They patented their extreme Tag makeover in 2014. The game's popularity grew by leaps and bounds, attracting parkour fans who now leap and bound over bench-like barriers during organized competitions. 

World Chase Tag competitions consist of rapid rounds that last 20 seconds each. The chase is contained in an arena with clearly defined boundaries and stepping out counts as getting tagged. There are no tag-backs. Contests come in four formats: " team chase off, multiplayer, singles chase off and winner stays on." The team format entails two groups of up to six people competing between 2 and 16 times, depending on their agreed-upon number of sets. Points are only awarded for tags that occur within the 20-second time limit. Singles chase offs are a one-on-one version of that competition.

If you've seen the athletes in action, then you know that this sport isn't for the faint of heart or flabby of stomach. Participants are a lot like Apollo Creed: lightning fast and hard to catch. They swiftly zip under, over and around multi-level platforms, narrowly avoiding horrific mishaps as the audience watches with the wince-worthy excitement. The game takes nimbleness, stamina, strategy, and strength. If you can master all those things and excel at parkour, then World Chase Tag should be child's play.