Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag is a large group team game where opposing teams must capture the opponent’s flag.

Age Range
Number of Participants
30-60 minutes

Quick overview

A large group team game where opposing teams must capture the opponent’s flag.

Game type


Time Scale

15-45 minutes

Supplies you’ll need

Two ‘Flags’ – these can either be actual flags or stand-ins like a jacket, hat, Frisbee, shoe etc. Something to differentiate between the two teams – bibs, different colour shirts, different face paint etc. A large area. Something to clearly divide the area in two – cones work best for this but, depending on the floor, tape works just as well.


Place your two flags at opposite sides of the playing area. Divide the area in half with either cones or tapes etc. Create a prison area on each side which is half way between the centre line and the flag. The prison area also works best if it is slightly to the side of the playing area.

Game run-through

Split your group into two teams and assign each a side of the field. Explain that their job is to defend the flag in their side of the field while also seeking to capture the flag of the opposite team. At this point, it’s best to have something to differentiate between the two teams in place.

Explain that while they are on their side of the field they are safe. If someone enters the opposition’s side of the field they can be captured by a member of the opposition touching them by saying “Tag 1, 2, 3”.

At this point, the person who caught the invader in their territory must walk their captured prisoner over to the prison which is in their side of the field. They cannot capture more than one person at a time. This prevents one person catching multiple opponents at once and making the game too easy.

Once a prisoner is in prison they only have two ways of getting out. The most likely is that a member of their own team reaches them in the opponent’s land and taps them, saying “Free”. The second way is if you, the leader of the game, shout “JAILBREAK” – this sets all prisoners free. When a prisoner is set free they have free passage back to their own territory and must head straight back there before they can have another chance at capturing the flag.

If someone captures the opponent’s flag they must then bring it back to their own side to win the round. If the person carrying the flag is tagged and the flag is dropped, it is your decision as to whether the flag then stays where it is dropped or resets back where it was first picked up.

If the flag-bearer makes it across the centre line without being tagged, they have scored a point for their team. All prisoners are freed, the teams switch side, the flags are reset and the next round begins.

As leader you may choose to have a set number of rounds like ‘Best out of 3’ or you may say they winner is the team who captures the flag most within a time limit given.