Steal the Bacon

[Also known as "Burning Handkerchief" in Portugal]

The object of 'Steal the Bacon' is to take the "bacon" back to your own side without being caught.

In this game, two teams are chosen, and one umpire is selected. One object is required, the bacon. (a glove is a common choice)

The members of each team are numbered. They form two opposing lines and place the bacon in the exact center between them.

The umpire then calls out a number. The players on each side who are assigned that number are the players for that round. No other team members leave their side of the field.

Neither player may touch the other until someone touches the bacon. Once a player touches the bacon however, the other player may tag him/her.

If a player is able to grab the bacon and carry it back over to his/her own side, that team scores a point. (VARIATION: in some games, points are scored by carrying it to the other teams side or either team's side)

If a player is tagged after touching the bacon and before he/she returns their own side, the team that tagged him/her scores a point.

Note that the sequence of play usually involves the two kids running out and hovering over the bacon, waiting for a slight advantage to grab it and run back before the other player can react.

The game is over when a predetermined number of points are scored, or when all numbers have been called.

VARIATION: The umpire can call more than one number, in which case several players from each side participate. In some games, players may tag any player on the opposing team, in others, a player may only tag the player on the other team that they share a number with.

Increased participation by all players:
Get groups of four any way you want, as many as you can. Place 2 on one line and 2 on the opposite line, facing each other.  Now, the team of 2 must have a person in front and a person in back. The person in front is going first while the person in back waits minimal time for a winner in the first game. Now that both teams of 2 are facing each other on opposite lines about 60 feet away were ready to start.
All kids are sitting in front of me for the demo and you start by raising my hand - I'll tell all kids to practice putting their arm down when you put your arm down.  Pretty soon were all doing at the same time.  Now, the first person on each team will raise their hand simultaneously with their opponent across the way - remember, with 24 students you'll have 6 teams of 2 on one line and 6 teams of 2 on the opposite line 60 feet away.  There are 6 games going on at the same time!! However, students must understand the safety side of the game and must remain in their invisible
alley-way. Kids understand that they cannot run all over the gym because that's an accident waiting to happen. Once the teacher tells the kids about the 'raising hand rule' and the invisible alley-way, Steal The Bacon never
ran much smoother - there is very little waiting time.  Getting back to the game - the first person on each team raises his/her hand and when both arms of teams facing each other goes down at the same time(if they do not go down at same time it's considered a do over) they run to the middle and regular Steal The Bacon rules apply. The bacon must be returned to a designated spot, preferably on middle line(neutral location) once a winner is declared - then next teammate is ready. It's a blast to watch once you take the little time required to organize it, and, like I said, there is very little waiting time. You can always have one side of teams rotate one slot to their left or right for fresher competition.

90's Version contributed by Neil Wallner

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