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Coastguards and Smugglers (Wide Game)

by Kit
Published: Updated: 2.3K views
With any wide game always bear in mind rules for keeping safe

This is one of the simplest wide games and the basis for many of the more complex wide games. It is effectively an embellished version of `Tag’

Players are divided into two teams, a small team of “Coastguards” and everybody else becoming “Smugglers”. The number of coastguards depends on the terrain. In open spaces smugglers need the advantage of manpower while in woodland, etc where there are a lot places to hide coastguards need it!

Coastguards establish a base which becomes the`jail’. Smugglers are given time to get away and hide.

Coastguards have to catch all the smugglers and play ends when this is done. In the event of this not occurring (as it does frequently) points are made on the number of smugglers still remaining in jail at the end of a time limit.

Smugglers once the game has started have the simple (or not so simple!) task of remaining uncaught. Once captured they can only be released from jail by being touched by a smuggler who is still free.

Coastguards can use what ever technique they want to try and capture smugglers, eg hunting as a pack, in pairs or singularly (Educational to find out which works best and why!). Capture is by touch (as in “Tag”). Once a coastguard has caught a smuggler the smuggler must go back to jail (players showing any resistance or cheating can be expelled from the game for not playing fair!).

Coastguards also have one trick they can use to stop `jail breaks’… jailers, one or two coastguards left to hang around the jail. But its worth while either limiting the number of jailers and/or only allowing jailers within a certain distance of the jail.

This game is best played in wooded areas or bracken heaths where stealth and the opportunity to hide is available. Very difficult to hide on a flat field with cut grass… but still possible!

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