Steal the Bacon

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Steal the bacon is a tag-based children's game, in which teams try to steal a flag or other item (the "bacon") from the field without being tagged.


The players are divided into teams, typically two. Players are assigned a call-sign, often a number, which is shared by a member of the opposing team. The teams line up on opposite edges of the playing area, which has the "bacon" (a small object which can be grabbed and carried) in the center. A referee calls out the call-sign, and the team members who have that call-sign must run to the center, grab the bacon, and return to their teammates without being tagged by the other player(s) with that call-sign.[1] Tagging of a player may not occur before that player has touched the "bacon". The referee may call out more than one call-sign resulting in many pairs of players, each player attempting to steal the "bacon." The referee may also call "steal the bacon" in which all players on both sides may attempt to steal the "bacon."

There are also educational variants of this game, in which the players' call sign is not directly called, but is the answer to a history, mathematics, or other educational question. The game thus rewards players ability to solve the question and deduce which answer corresponds to their call-sign.[2]

A full contact version of steal the bacon is played at many summer camps, in which the player carrying the bacon is not simply tagged by the opponent, but must be physically kept from crossing back over his team's line. Other full-contact variants for teenagers and adults include versions where items such as tires, fish or greased watermelons are substituted for the "bacon."

Steal the Flingsock[edit]

Steal the Flingsock or Steal the Handkerchief is a traditional children's game mostly played in Europe. The game fits well to be directed by a teacher or an adult that takes care to give same chances to both teams and all players.

  • Chose a referee (maybe the teacher or some adult).
  • Create two teams and line them up at a distance enough to run across from each other
  • The referee will stand with the handkerchief in the center between both teams.
  • Teams assign a different number to each player.
  • On each turn: the referee will say a number and the players with that number will try to steal the handkerchief without being tagged. The one that manages to return with his/her team gets a point. If tagged, the other team gets the point.

Popular culture[edit]

A 2010 PBS documentary, New York Street Games, mentions steal the bacon.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Keys to the Classroom: A Teacher's Guide to the First Month of School
  2. ^ Scouting Magazine
  3. ^ Hector Elizondo (Narrator), Matt Levy (Director). New York Street Games (Motion picture). New York City. Retrieved 14 Nov 2011. 

External links[edit]