How to Play Capture the Flag


Find and bring back another team’s flag.  Avoid getting tagged and getting thrown into “jail”!

  • Recommended Number of People: 10 or more.
  • Recommended Age: 12+.
  • Materials Required: two flags, a very large outdoor space.

How Do You Play Capture the Flag?

Capture the Flag has some similarities to games like “It Tag” and “Freeze Tag.”  It involves teamwork and running.


Form two teams.  Prepare an appropriate playing area (be safe!  Avoid trespassing in areas that people should not go and other dangerous places).  Set up two zones as “jails” for the two teams.  Also mark a center line that separates two zones.  Give each team a “flag,” a bright object like a t-shirt or traffic cone.

Playing the Game

Have each group hide their flag somewhere in their territory.  The flag must be at least partially visible and not impossible to retrieve.  When a team hides a flag, they can not move it once it is set in its original place.  Once both teams are ready, the round begins.


The goal of the game is to find and grab the other team’s flag and bring it back to your zone.  If members of the other team enters your zone, you can tag them to “imprison” them in your zone.  Similarly, if players of the other team touches you (or your teammate) when you are in the opposing team’s territory, then you (or your teammate) must go into the other team’s prison.  When a person touches their teammate’s hand in prison, they become released from prison.

Some additional rules that are often employed:  No more than one guard for a prison.

Have fun but ensure safety is the highest priority.  Clear the area of any dangerous obstacles or hazards and be sure everyone plays by the rules.