You'd think traditional kids games that get them moving — things like tag, or kickball — would be an unambiguously good thing. But that would be to underestimate the idiocy of political bureaucracy.
When I was little, my favorite game in the whole world was Red Rover — you know, where you join hands and another kid tries to barrel through. I still remember the exhilaration of breaking through the chain, the pain of crashing to the ground when it gave too easily, the burn as someone pushed against your clenched fists, the one girl whose "strategy" was to just hang on your arms until her weight broke them apart, even though it was obviously illegal. In retrospect, it was really violent. I was super into it, and made everyone play it all the time, even when they didn't want to. (A level of peer pressure and bossiness I now apply only to karaoke.) And considering Albany's turned on freeze tag, it's no wonder they don't approve.
That's right: freeze tag, Wiffle Ball, kickball, dodgeball, Capture the Flag and, yes, Red Rover pose a "significant risk of injury" to day-campers. Reports the NY Daily News,
The Health Department created a list of supposedly risky recreational activities - which also includes more perilous pursuits like archery, scuba and horseback riding - in response to a state law passed in 2009. The law sought to close a loophole that legislators said allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate without oversight. Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities - with at least one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation....the regulations could cripple small recreational programs, forcing them to pay a $200 fee to register as a summer camp and provide medical staff.
Of course, these are only guidelines — presumably really reckless camps will still allow the occasional bout of Sharks and Minnows. So, what's approved? "Frisbee, tug of war and sack races." Ponder, analyze, debate — trust me, you'll still be confused.