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The children's game that's got professional athletes playing and millions watching online

It has been described as one of the oldest and most played sports in history. Chase tag -- played in a 1,550 sq. ft. arena -- has become the latest craze in action sports.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 9:00 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2020 9:00 AM

It's a popular playground game that has entertained children all over the world for generations.

So what happens when you add in jumps, obstacles and a time limit to the game of tag?

You get World Chase Tag, the first and only global league for professional, competitive tag, which has revamped the popular children's game with some exciting innovations.

Created in 2011 by brothers Christian and Damien Devaux, the league has traveled all over the globe and has been broadcast on TV channels such as ESPN, BBC, and Fox Sports.

It has also gained a popular internet following, with the high-flying, high-octane action viewed over 350 million times on YouTube.

While the basics of tag remain the same -- one person chases an opponent in an attempt to touch them with their hand or "tag" them -- the league has introduced some rules to make it more exciting.

The "Chase Off" format -- the sports' most popular format -- is played by two teams with two teams consisting of a maximum of five athletes.

A match consists of a predetermined number of chases -- usually 10-16 -- which are 20 seconds in length.

A Chaser and Evader -- one from either team -- compete, with the winning athletes staying on as the Evader. The loser is replaced by a teammate who becomes the Chaser.

A team is awarded one point when their athlete successfully evades their opponent for the entire duration of the chase and the team with the most points after the chases wins the match.

The league has also held four world championships -- most recently, with WCT 4 taking place on August 24, 2019 in London -- where the best and most exciting teams from across the globe compete against one another.

At WCT 4, United -- a team comprised of athletes from France and Switzerland -- beat Blacklist (European Champions) to take home the trophy.

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Not just for the pros

While World Chase Tag might be just for the professionals, the custom built 12m x 12m Quad can be easily adjusted to alter the difficulty.

This means tag is accessible to all levels, even youngsters who have just started doing physical activity.

"Chase Tag has become an exciting new entry point for kids to engage in fitness & sport by inspiring them to create their own Quad from whatever space and obstacles they can find around them," the sport's website states.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"Indoors or outdoors, in a school playground or out on a farm, kids are inventively creating their own unique quads and rediscovering the simple game of tag -- everyone knows the rules & anyone can play."

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