Flashlight Tag wasn’t really tag; it was part tag and mostly hide-n-seek. I think we only played it at around age 11 or 12, the year when parents gave us a little slack at night, and before girls started affecting strange emotions.
It was generally played with a fairly large group of kids, one with a flashlight, and six or eight hiding. Everyone wore dark clothes, so hiding in the dark was pretty easy. I think that is what made the game fun, hiding basically in the open and often only yards away from the flashlight seeker.
I think there was a home base involved, and counting and hiding. If you were caught in the light and identified, you were it and the hiding started over again. If you made it to home base you were safe, but I don’t believe there was any “Alli-alli-in-free” save.
The funny thing about kids and games is years later when my own were around eleven or twelve I was asked if it was alright for them to play out after dark. I asked what were they going to do outside at night and was told, “Flashlight Tag!”
Same name, same game, same rules. I never told them of this game. I never mentioned rules or anything. How was it still called the same thing. It wasn’t called “Midnight Tag,” it wasn’t called “Night time hide-n-seek,” it wasn’t called “Dodge the Flashlight.” It was still called “Flashlight Tag.”
Was this game carried on from 12 year old to 11 year old, year after year for 30 years, or are 12 year olds so similar that they naturally invent the same game and call it the same name?
Whatever, this game is probably not played today. Apparently it is not safe for 12 year olds to be out at night, and electronic toys have probably made our old games obsolete.
Computers and modern electronics are really cool.
So was Flashlight Tag.
Yup, flashlight tag. We did it too.ReplyDelete
Interesting thing about this game, you can use it to explain to people why active sonar is BAD when conducting undersea warfare. As with flashlight tag, you can see the guy with the flashlight long before he could see you. Same with active sonar. Interesting. Well, to me it is. (I'll betcha Skip likes it too!)
We were even known to turn off the radar and turn off all of the lights on the outside of the ship so we could remain unseen (sort of).Delete
The thing I remember most about flashlight tag is Dad telling us to stop because the batteries would be used up when we really needed the flashlight.
I am guessing it was because he didn't have "a source" for free batteries.
On another note, we somehow learned to say, "Olly, Olly oxen free."
I guess word of mouth amongst kids leaves something to be desired
Olly, Olly oxen free? That doesn't even make any sense!Delete
yard lights always made things interesting, too, as you had to stay out of their ring of light. :)ReplyDelete
Made me think of the games we played at recess when I was attending a one room school; maybe there's a post for my grandkids in there. Thanks for the flashback.ReplyDelete
I feel deprived! Flashlight tag is a new one on me...ReplyDelete
Never heard of this sport. Hide and Seek, yes done that, but we were too poor for torches (flashlights in American) when I was a boy. We had to set cats on fire to see at night, and they didn't last very long.ReplyDelete
I played flashlight tag. Same rules. haha I never let my kids play though. Mostly because of the sick predators we have in our world today. You just don't know what will happen. My kids were deprived of all kinds of fun games like that.ReplyDelete
Yep, when we were kids we played outside and made up all kinds of games. We played flashlight tag too. It was great fun. My son played outside all day. My grandkids didn't want to go outside. Too many things to play with indoors. Not as much fun as when we were young.ReplyDelete
Have a fabulous day. ☺
We played many games outdoors when I was a kid, even at night, but I've never heard of flashlight tag. I think we would have enjoyed it.ReplyDelete
We used to play something similar although, as the youngest of four and possibly occasionally being a little annoying, I sometimes wasn't given a flashlight and the others would just run away and leave me in the dark ...ReplyDelete
We had no variation of this. But we played Hide 'n Seek in the dark, over a two block area. When the seeker gave up, a lung's full of breath and "All-ee, All-ee in free" echoed through the air.ReplyDelete
I can't recall playing this, specifically. The suburban street where I lived for nearly 30 years, until moving recently was a very closely knit neighbourhood. Kids of all ages hung out together and it was common for groups comprised of those between the ages of 8 and 20-something to go out together at night to play Manhunt.. which sounds similar to what you described.ReplyDelete
When I was writing this in the back of my head I thought there was another name we called this and that was it MANHUNT...thank you! We still played it the same with a flashlight, but it was sometimes also called manhunt.Delete
Apparently today, Manhunt is an app that has nothing to do with hide and seek between 12 year olds.Delete
I don't remember playing this. I think we played hide and seek in the dark, but never had flashlights. My parents had a dented satelite dish for years because of our lack of flashlights!ReplyDelete
Sad to see such traditions fade with the helicopter parent mentality. Makes me wonder what this generation raised in the glow of high tech screens will do when they are met with time without batteries and wi-fi. Their parents need to take them camping and be a little less worried about boogy men and a little more worried about kids just being kids.ReplyDelete
Kids just love flashlights...we stck up with cheap ones before our grands come to visit.ReplyDelete
I remember playing hide and seek at dusk when we could barely be seen. It was so scary and exciting-no flashlights. But you are right, we can't allow kids to do that now in most neighborhoods. The dangers of injury are outweighed by dangerous people.ReplyDelete
Never played it, but I'll bet we would have if we'd heard of it. Sounds like fun. Maybe I can play it in my second childhood? ;)ReplyDelete
Now someone would probably get killed if they were hiding out some place in the dark. Never played it, played freeze tag, but not flashlight tag.ReplyDelete
This must have been an American kids' game...I never heard of it. Sounds like fun, though!ReplyDelete
My stepsons played it back in the early 90s, and yes, they were 11 and 12 years old! They played it in the field over by our barn, before we built the house, when the grass was waist-high, with a couple of kids from next door.ReplyDelete
I agree with Joanne. "All-ee, All-ee in free" is the way to call people out of hiding when you're done.
We did play flashlight tag, and so did my daughter and her friends, but we did it all indoors. And we also used the term "Olly Olly Oxen Free". Have no idea what it meant but it had a sing-song quality to it.ReplyDelete
I liked red rover and red light, green light. We played flashlight tag too.ReplyDelete
I remember playing this from age 9 to about 12, every summer when we were allowed to stay outside after dark until the adults got tired, but it wasn't called flashlight tag out here, just hide'n'seek.ReplyDelete
Sad that electronics has taken over, there just doesn't seem to be large gatherings of kids all at one home anymore. We played when there weren't many television sets in the town, families would gather at someone's home to watch the set and the kids would all be outside.
something similar to what we played, but without the flashlight.ReplyDelete
To think of all the games we came up with.... stick and stone.... dabba eye spy which was said as eyes spice (I don't know why)
But the fact was we just had lots of fun playing those games. Tremendous excitement mixed with some sort of adventure.
Oh my god, I would never have remembered this game! We played it a bit but can't remember if that was in the States or here. If here it wouldn't have been called Flashlight Tag, it was probably called "tiggy in the dark with torches" (we didn't tend to make names for things in Australia)ReplyDelete
This post brought back memories. We tried playing that in the house once. It wasn't a school night but we still had a bedtime. The biggest part of the game was not getting caught up sneaking around after the parents said lights out. Living in an old house there were lots of creaky boards. After my dad got tired of yelling because he heard a board creak he snuck upstairs. He was standing in the hallway when my sister ran out of one bedroom into another and brushed his arm. All she could do was scream like someone was killing her. We all laughed at her but not after he grounded us.ReplyDelete
Reading some of the comments, I see that I'm not the only one who didn't play flashlight tag; although Tag, and Hide and Go Seek was major. My kids played flashlight tag a few times, but as you said, kids today don't play those games as much as we did.ReplyDelete
buncha wimps, we don't need no stinking flashlights! We called it Man Hunt and played it throughout the neighborhood with no lights though we did have a variation where anyone caught then became a seeker .... good times. BTW- we had as many girls as guys ...... playing. some of us, anyway.ReplyDelete