Looking to add some spice to your practices while enhancing your athletes fitness and conditioning? Circle Tag is a great small group game that is not only fun but has many benefits as well.

How To Play

  1. Have three to four athletes create a circle much like a huddle with their arms over each others shoulders. One person in the circle is designated to be tagged. You don’t want to create too large a circle. Three to four is best.
  2. One person, the person who is  “IT”, stands outside the circle and stands opposite the person he is trying to tag.
  3. On the GO call the person who is IT does whatever he can to make the tag. He cannot go through or over the circle but must run around the circle in either direction. He is free to change his direction as he sees fit.
  4. The circle reacts accordingly trying to protect their teammate from being tagged.
  5. Each game ends when the person is tagged between the shoulder blades or 15-20 seconds, whichever comes first.


Aside from being a ton of fun, Circle Tag helps to develop acceleration, deceleration, lateral movement, reactivity, teamwork, communication and strategical thinking. And yes heartrates will go up.

Below is a video of the Peterborough Junior C Lakers engaging in a game of Circle Tag as part of their preseason training.

I’ve played Circle Tag on many occasions with both boys and girls of various ages all with much success. Use it as a transition game or insert it into the middle of your practice. Your athletes will enjoy the game like competitive atmosphere while gaining many athletic benefits.

Let me know how it goes for you and feel free to share your pictures or videos.

David Kittner
Youth Fitness Guy
Peterborough, Ontario