Some traditional childhood games are disappearing from school playgrounds because educators say they’re dangerous.
Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Spokane, Wash., banned tag at recess this year. Others, including a suburban Charleston, S.C., school, dumped contact sports such as soccer and touch football.
In other cities, including Wichita; San Jose, Calif.; Beaverton, Ore.; and Rancho Santa Fe., Calif., schools took similar actions earlier.
The bans were passed in the name of safety, but some children’s health advocates say limiting exercise and free play can inhibit a child’s development.
Groups such as the National School Boards Association don’t keep statistics on school games.
But several experts, including Donna Thompson of the National Program for Playground Safety, verify the trend. Dodge ball has been out at some schools for years, but banning games such as tag and soccer is a newer development.
Madison’s Thoreau school implemented a controversial mandatory grouping recess plan (no free play) earlier this year.