Oh My Freaking God! Unregulated Freeze Tag?!

Via Reason from the pathetic hulk that was once the great state of New York

Dodgeball, Red Rover, Wiffle Ball – those time-honored kids' games, along with activities like Steal the Bacon and Capture the Flag – have been deemed dangerous by the state as part of an effort to tighten regulations for summer camps in the area.

Any indoor or outdoor recreational program that offers two or more organized activities, including one that falls on the "risky list" determined by state officials, will be considered a summer camp under the new rules and subject to the associated regulations.

The rules aim to curtail a loophole in previously passed regulations by the state Health Department that count activities like horseback riding and archery among the "risky list," but do not include many activities like Freeze Tag and kickball featured in indoor programs.

Update: They backed off.   Kids will still be at risk from unregulated red rover.


  1. TomG:

    I live in the Albany area. Saw this in the Times Union and was considering sending to a few places. I guess if it hit Reason, I won't have to.

  2. Elliot:

    "Game on!

    New York state health officials have backed down from a proposed plan to place new regulations on classic children's games like tag, kickball and Wiffle Ball at day camps in the state.

    Some had called it an attempt to "legislate fun," as the proposal faced increasing criticism from lawmakers and recreational sports businesses."  — http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/19/classic-kids-playground-games-regulated-new-york/#ixzz1K0WIdccT

  3. L Nettles:

    This from the spokescritter for the Health Department

    "There will be flexibility in how the law is implemented," Mathis said.

    That makes it sooo much better, we know we can trust them. Waivermania

  4. John VI:

    This isnt a safety issue. Its a revenue issue for New York.

    Read the fine print. All these games were added to a list that if ANY recreational group plays any of these "unsafe" games along with 1 other, they had to "register" with the state as a summer camp, pay a small $200 fee for the priviledge, and finally, had to ensure "medical personel" were on hand in case of "injury" to any children playing.

    They are fishing for registration fees, noit safety by any stretch of the imagination. :(

  5. marco73:

    The state is trying to tax the smaller players off the field. There will be so many requirements to have a summer camp, there is only going to be 1 outcome: those businesses that manage to comply and charge accordingly, and those folks who will ignore all permits and open illegally.
    So what is better for the citizens? To have a simple, low cost permitting process that allows for many entrants into the market, or a complicated high cost process that artifically restricts the market? Economists have one answer, and governments have another.

  6. Dr. T:

    Isn't it great to be a kid in the NannyStates of America?

    Tag and Whiffleball games require the presence of medical personnel.
    Tree climbing has been banned in some parks and forests.
    Kids must wear protective gear to bike, roller blade, or skateboard.

    Future generations will be comprised of mollycoddled, dependent wimps if the government nannies (and some overprotective parents) get their way.

    I grew up in rural upstate NY in the 1960s. I wish NY state's current government nannies could witness what I and the neighboring kids did without adult supervision:

    Climbed trees, vines, hay lofts, old silos, and gravel pits.
    Jumped from the top to bottom of the steepest parts of the gravel pits making as few hops as possible.
    Had wars using icy snowballs in winter and dried mud clods the rest of the year.
    Biked without helmets or pads down dirt roads with 20-degree slopes.
    Set up intersecting paths and jumps for snow-sledding battles.
    Hiked alone in the woods for hours.
    Played along the banks of the Oswego River, in an abandoned section of the Erie Canal, and in a pond in the woods.
    Jumped off a bridge thirty feet above the river.
    Played kick-the-can, freeze tag, baseball, and tackle football.
    Walked and biked on the shoulder of a road with a 55-mph speed limit.
    Jumped off the roof of a barn (13-feet high) onto hard-packed ground.
    Had electric fence-holding contests (with our goat fence, not the more powerful horse and cow fences, though we got zapped by them more than once when crossing the pastures).
    Drove a go-kart at age ten (with nine- and six-year-old siblings as passengers).
    Drove a farm tractor (with disc harrows) at age twelve.

    Despite such adventurous childhoods, I and my neighbors broke no bones. Our worst injuries required only a few stitches to repair. Scrapes, cuts, bruises, blisters, and sunburns were common but were ignored. Even as ten-year-olds, we were responsible enough to be independent, play hard, and accept dares. Few children today are given the chance to become independent and responsible, and we are the worse for it.

  7. Judge Fredd:

    As much as people disparage my home state of Louisiana, we don't get anywhere NEAR this level of idiocy.

  8. Orion:

    I was about to write a nifty little anecdote about the dangerous things I did as a kid (in the 80's) unsupervised. But then I realized I was preaching to the choir. It's too bad for my kids, unfortunately they won't get to roam as much as I did. Two working parents means they are in structured activities most of the time.

  9. James H:

    "Kids will still be at risk from unregulated red rover."

    What about duck-duck-goose? That seems very dangerous with all of that running around.

  10. DrTorch:

    "duck-duck-goose" Are you KIDDING ME? A "game" that by it's very nature promotes racism, ostracism and xenophobia? A "game" that incites violence toward others with a slap in the head? A "game" that encourages the strong to prey on the weak.

    PLEASE ban that game from all venues...for the children of course.

  11. Pete:

    Dr T
    You missed a fun one. We used to climb dead trees to the top about 10 to 20 feet up and sway back and forth as hard as we could until the tree would break. Just remember to push away on the larger trees before you hit the ground so they wouldn't land on you. By the way not one injury between us from this activity. By the way do parents still tell their kids to play in traffic like mine used to do?

  12. Orion:

    I tell my kids to play in traffic. Dang, really wish they listened to me more;