Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Elbow Tag Game 

Elbow Tag Energizer or Ice Breaker Activity is a Fun, fast and furious tag game for groups.

Benefits of Elbow Tag Energizer or Ice Breaker Activity

  • Fun and interactive
  • Very energetic
  • Encourages critical-thinking
  • No props needed

How To Play Narrative Elbow Tag Energizer Activity

Get everybody to find a partner, for this, you can also use some fun ‘pairing off’ games. Have each pair of players link arms, with the outside arm and hand placed on the hips (creating another potential arm link). When pairing off and you find that there is an uneven number, you can have three players linked together. Facilitators or leaders can also decide to join in on the fun.

Have everyone find a position within the play area, making sure to create enough space between pairs. Don’t stand close to any objects like chairs and avoid standing close to a wall.

Begin with a demonstration, choose tow volunteers from the group, who will then become the ‘Cat’ and the ‘Mouse.’ This is a tag game, so the ‘Cat’ is, therefore, the ‘tagger,’ while the ‘Mouse’ is the one to be tagged. The two volunteers are not coupled together and must then chase each other around the play area. The ‘Cat’ must try and tag the ‘Mouse’ below the shoulders. The chase begins on the word ‘Go’.

Everyone else is linked to their partner and remains still while the chase is going on. The ‘Mouse’ can choose to link with an outside arm of a paired player, which means that there are now three linked players. The other partner linked to the player who the ‘Mouse’ chose, must now separate themselves and they become the ‘Mouse.’ The ‘Cat’ remains the same and carries on chasing the new ‘Mouse.’

When the ‘Cat’ tags the ‘Mouse,’ the roles of each are reversed. In other words, the ‘Mouse’ now becomes the ‘Cat’ and vice versa. Once everybody understands what they need to do, make it more challenging by introducing another ‘Cat’ and Mouse.’ You can even introduce a third ‘Cat’ and ‘Mouse,’ making it even more confusing but fun. Any participating ‘Cat’ can chase down any ‘Mouse’ running around.

The game is loads of fun and will have players laughing and running around. To make it even more enjoyable, add in a few variations.


Contextual Framing Ideas for Elbow Tag

Remember Tom and Jerry or the Coyote and Runner cartoons? The one always chasing the other around, with all kinds of hilarious outcomes. If you had to choose, would you rather be Tom the cat or Jerry the Mouse? The one to chase, or the one who just prefers to be chased?

The next game is a great way to experience both sides of the chase…

Ever felt a moment in your life where everything was quiet and calm, and then suddenly something happened that sets you off into a frenzy? If you don’t keep an eye out, this might happen to you again…

Step-by-Step Instructions for Elbow Tag

  • Groups must form into pairs
  • Each pair must link arms and then place their other arms or hands on their hips. The outside arm is, therefore, an open ‘link’ in the game.
  • Everybody must spread out in the play area, careful to have enough space and not stand too close to other players and furniture etc.
  • Have two volunteers demonstrate the game, they must not be linked. These players become the ‘Cat’ and the ‘Mouse.’
  • The ‘Cat’ is the tagger and must tag the ‘Mouse.’ The chase occurs between all the other stationary linked players.
  • If the ‘Cat’ tags the ‘Mouse’ the players immediately swap roles.
  • The ‘Mouse’ can link arms with one of the stationary linked pairs. This is how they escape the ‘Cat’
  • The other linked player must then separate themselves and they become the ‘Mouse.’
  • Make it more challenging by adding in more ‘Cats’ and ‘Mice’


Facilitators and Leaders Tips

You have the power in your words to guide your group through the game, remember to use them wisely. When explaining the game, make sure to say ‘tag’ and get your meaning across clearly, so players won’t do things like tackle others. Safety is also of concern, only introduce more ‘Cats’ and ‘Mice’ if you see the group managing with less. The game is just as fun with one ‘Cat’ and ‘Mouse,’ especially if space is limited or if the group is not really remaining safety conscious.

 If you are playing along, you could introduce another ‘Cat’ or Mouse’ by simply asking your linked partner to take up the role. Make sure everybody understands that any ‘Cat’ can chase down any ‘Mouse.’

Observe players when more than one ‘Cat’ or ‘Mouse’ is added, some might not be too happy with the change in the game, while others will enjoy it even more. This is where you will find those who prefer an organized set of rules and others just go along with whatever happens.

There is no wrong way to experience the game, but it does create an opportunity for discussion on the lack of structure. The discussion can also include the effects on performance as well as the effect on the overall enjoyment of the game.

Debriefing and Reflection Tips for Elbow Tag

Here are some questions to ask the group, which will help them to process their experience of playing the game ‘Elbow Tag’

  • Do prefer being the ‘Cat’ or the ‘Mouse’ and why?
  • Were you caught unawares during the game at any time? Explain.
  • Did you notice any bad behaviour during the game?
  • How did you feel when the game became more energetic and confusing? Did you enjoy it?

Some Popular Variations of Elbow Tag

  • Everybody Links: Allow the ‘Cat’ to link to paired players as well, this will create a new ‘Cat’ player.
  • Add Limits: You don’t want a player to be a ‘Cat’ or a ‘Mouse’ for too long, so inform players that they must form a link or tag within a few seconds. If this does not occur, the roles of ‘Cat’ and ‘Mouse’ must be reversed immediately.
  • There are many other fun tag games out there including, Hug Tag, Walk Tag and Blog Tag.

Elbow Tag Energizer

Basic Details
Property Type : Energizers
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Energisers
Focus On : Having Fun
Outcome Based : No, just fun
Facilities : Indoor, Outdoor
Props Required : None
Duration : 1 - 5 minutes
Exertion Level : High
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30, 31+
Age : Children, Youth, Adults