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Kickball, Tag & Capture the Flag Labeled 'Risky' Sports by NY State


"significant risk of injury"

The nanny state chronicles have grown. And gotten much more asinine.

New York bureaucrats have decided numerous classic kids games now pose a "significant risk of injury." What games, you might ask? How about capture the flag, kickball, all forms of tag, and even Wiffle Ball.

The New York Daily News reports on how it happened:

The Health Department created a list of supposedly risky recreational activities - which also includes more perilous pursuits like archery, scuba and horseback riding - in response to a state law passed in 2009.

The law sought to close a loophole that legislators said allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate without oversight.

Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities - with at least one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.

Ritchie said the regulations could cripple small recreational programs, forcing them to pay a $200 fee to register as a summer camp and provide medical staff.

"It's crazy," Dave Mullany, president of Wiffle Ball, Inc., told "Amid all this talk of us becoming a nation of overweight kids, we really need to promote activity and kids having fun. Should these kids go to summer camp and sit quietly with their hands folded? It's a little disconcerting to see fun being legislated."

The website lists some of the now "risky" activities:

  • Capture the Flag
  • Crab Soccer
  • Dodgeball
  • Flag Tag
  • Flag Football
  • Ga Ga
  • Kickball
  • Nuk-em
  • Red Rover
  • Steal the Bacon
  • Tag (all varieties)

Health Department spokeswoman Diane Mathis told the Daily News the list is simply a set of guidelines, and not a blacklist.

"There will be flexibility in how the law is implemented," Mathis said.

But one New York politician still thinks it's ridiculous.

"It looks like Albany bureaucrats are looking for kids to just sit in a corner in a house all day and not be outside," state Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-St. Lawrence County) told the Daily News.

"I don't think Wiffle Ball is a dangerous sport."

Read the full report from the Daily News.

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