DAREBASE also spelled “Dare Base”

By Kathi Stringer


This game was our school’s all-time favorite.  4th – 6th grades were all in the same class at our Adventist school back in 1965, and we all played together during recess. As soon as the recess bell would ring, we would run outside and choose up sides as fast as we could and begin to play.  The fastest runners would always get picked first.  And sometimes, the 4th graders were faster runners then the 5th and 6th graders!  Now, lets get started.


Players:                        6 to 60

Age range:                    6 and up

Playing time:                 Variable

Skills required:  Running & Observation


Goal to win the game

  1. Catch all the other team’s players
  2. Have the most prisoners when recess is over.
  3. Circle the other team’s base 3 times.



The game is played across an open field.  Bases are placed at opposite sides of the field, usually about 40 or 50 feet apart.  (Garden hoses arranged in a 10ft circle make great bases). 


Darebase is played with two teams.  Chose a caption for each team.  Each caption takes turns choosing players until all the players are chosen.   For teams with girls and boys playing, each caption should take turns choosing a boy one turn and then a girl the next turn.  This way each team will have an even number of boys and girls playing.  


Starting the game:

The players “dare” each out to come out of their bases so they can be chased or caught.  The last player out of the base is “fresher” and can catch the other team’s players.


More on Being Fresher

The game begins with everyone in his or her base (Fig. 1). This is where the “dare” come in.  I come out of my team base and dare you to catch me (Fig. 2).  But you don’t leave your base.  So I keep going closer and closer trying to “dare” you to catch me.  Then suddenly you bolt from your base in a dead run with all you got and chase me (Fig. 3).  I turn and run because you came out of the base AFTER I did and that means you are FRESHER then I am.   Now I’m running with all I got to get away while I’m screaming for my teammate to protect me and come out after you, because when they come after you, they will be fresher then you are (Fig. 4).  Now finally my teammate leaves their base while you are chasing me, and they are now running after you (Fig. 5).  And, if they catch you, you will be their prisoner because they came out of the base AFTER you did and that means they are FRESHER then you are. 


Note:  Players can return to their base at any time to become “fresher.”




A player can only tag ONE prisoner at a time and must go back to base to refresh before they can tag another prisoner.  A person that is fresher can tag a player and take them prisoner.  The player that tagged their prisoner gets a safe and “free walk-back” to their base.   In other words, after a player tags another player, they have immunity to being tagged until they get back to their home base. 


A prisoner must have one foot in the other team’s base while waiting to be freed.  With one foot in the base, the prisoner should stretch out as far as they can so it will be easier for the prisoner’s teammate to tag and free the prisoner.  Also, every time another prisoner is caught, the first prisoner moves forward and the new prisoner is behind the first one – until there is a long line of prisoners.  In other words, the longer the line of prisoners, the easier it is for your team to free you because you will keep getting closer and closer to your base.  And remember, all new prisoners go to the back of the line!


Freeing Prisoners

If you run and tag a prisoner without getting caught first, then the prisoner is free and both of you get a “free walk-back” to your base.  But, if you get caught before you reach the prisoner, then you go to the back of the prisoner line.


Circling Bases

A player that circles the other team’s base 3 times wins the game.  A circle is not complete until the player returns to their base.  The same player must make the three circles.  It is okay for other players to be trying to make the circles at the same time.  A player can circle the base one time and go back to their base and do the other two circles later.  However, if a player is caught before the circle is complete, or doesn’t return to their base, then the circle doesn’t count.  After a player does his 3rd circle they must return to home base first and then announce the three circles were completed, and the game is won.