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How tag became a professional sport

Tag went from childhood game to competitive spectacle. This is how.

Yes, that tag.
Phil Edwards is a senior producer for the Vox video team.

How do you make a classic children’s game into a sport? The founders of World Chase Tag figured it out. Watch the above video to learn their story.

Brothers Christian Devaux and Damien Devaux founded World Chase Tag after being inspired by their own Windsor, UK, backyard games of tag. From there, it grew from a hobby into a sport with an athletic talent pool — parkour athletes — that had long been ignored. Now there are strategies, tag-specific terminology, and even a media infrastructure surrounding the classic playground game. Commentators dissect strategies on YouTube and the sport has made its TV debut in America.

Strategies for World Chase Tag draw from the parkour tradition but also from influences as varied as ball sports and gymnastics. It’s a game that’s quickly developing a vocabulary, from “idling” to “herding,” as well as unique personalities.

But as the above video shows, it all stems from that initial passion for a backyard game that was exciting enough to become a sport watched by millions.

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