Game: Kings in Grass Castles

This is an outdoor game combining tag/chasey/tiggy/tips, bluff, and a healthy dose of running around like a maniac. In any given round, one team plays Offence, and the other Defence. They have different abilities and objectives. At the end of the round, the roles switch, and the game continues.

You’ll need:

  • A largish outdoor area. It could work indoors if you have the space (a gym or similar)
  • Cones, or something else to mark largish circles (the Castles). Rope might work. Spray paint definitely would, but might result in some disapproval from the powers that be. I would advise against using it on the carpet that dear old Mrs Smythe donated in 1671.


Mark out a series of Castles on your playing field. We do this by placing roughly circular groups of cones. They can vary in size, and should be distributed across the field. Size will vary. They will restrict the movement of the Offence team, whilst allowing free passage to Defence.

Playing Defence:

  1. Setup. At the start of the round, the Defence team chooses one player to be the King, and another to be the Jester. This information should be kept secret, especially from the Offence. Defence may then spread out across the field of play, before the round starts.
  2. Movement. Defence players have unrestricted movement across the field. In particular, they can freely move in and out of Castles.
  3. Being Tagged. When a Defence player is tagged, they sit/kneel down where they were tagged. They are not allowed to move.
  4. Tagging. Once (and only once) a Defence player has been tagged, they can tag out Offence players that happen to get too close.

Playing Offence:

  1. Setup. Offence begins at one end of the playing field. They may not move until the referee starts the round. There are no special roles on the Offence team.
  2. Movement. Outside of Castles, Offence players can move freely. Once an Offence player steps inside a Castle, they become trapped. They cannot exit the Castle until that round is over. They may still tag Defence players inside that Castle.
  3. Tagging. An Offence player may tag a Defence player with their hand. They cannot ‘accidentally’ tag someone – in particular, the Defence Jester cannot run into an Offence player, and claim to have been tagged. Secondly, Offence may not tag across Castle walls – if the Defence player is inside a Castle, they cannot be tagged from outside. In a similar fashion, an Offence player inside a Castle cannot tag a Defence player outside that Castle.
  4. Being Tagged. Offence players can be tagged by Defence players who have been tagged. See the Defence tagging rules above.

Some other Rules:

Winning a Round:

  • If the King is tagged, Offence immediately wins.
  • If the Jester is tagged, Defence immediately wins.
  • If a round has stalemated (all Offence players are trapped inside Castles), Defence wins.
  • If a round takes too long (determined by the Referee), Defence wins.

After a Round:

After a round completes, Offence and Defence switch roles. The teams alternate until you run out of time, or decide this is a silly game and you’d much rather play dodgeball.

Winning the Game:

  • If there are more overall victories in Offence, the team with the most victories in Defence wins the game.
  • If there are more overall victories in Defence, the team with the most victories in Offence wins the game.

For example,
Purple Team: 3 Offence victories, 3 Defence victories
Red Team: 2 Offence victories, 4 Defence victories

The winner is Purple Team. There were 5 overall Offence victories, and 7 overall Defence victories. As there are more Defence victories, the team with the most Offence victories (Purple) wins.

A more extreme example:
Purple team: 0 Offence victories, 7 Defence victories
Red team: 1 Offence victories, 1 Defence victories

Ignoring the impossibility of that scoreline, Red is the winner because they have the most Offence victories.

The idea is to balance any disadvantage that Offence or Defence has with your particular ground. In our experience, Defence tends to win more games, so this scoring mechanism rewards the team that gets more of the harder Offence victories. Your kilometreage may vary.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *