Healthy August

How to play British Bulldog


This is a very popular game to play out at the park with your friends and to get your heart jumping. The rules are similar to games played all over the world and it is called by different names – but I know this as British Bulldog.


British Bulldog is a tag type game, there is also a team element to it, which means the more friends and Study Buddies - the better.


Start off with selecting two Bulldogs one or two players. The bulldogs stand in the middle of the play area. All remaining players stand at one end of the area called home. The aim of the game is to run from one end of the field of play to the other, without being caught by the bulldogs. When a player is caught, they become a bulldog themselves. The winner is the last player or players not caught. These are then the Bulldogs for the next round.


The size of the playing area is flexible and there is no set number of players as long as there is enough space for the players to run about and enough players to have fun.


When I was young this game would get a little rough in the playground with some of the boys taking the capturing of the players a bit too far, leading it to be banned from many schools in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s due to injuries, particularly if played on the playground and not on the field. So choose the grass over any other surface.


So, as a group you should be able to agree how the Bulldog captures the players before you start. It can be nothing more than tapping on the shoulder or if you have some old-school ties that need using up, tuck these in to the waist band of your shorts, skirts or trousers – at the side of your hip. Once the Bulldog has pulled your tail-ties off - your caught.


Don't forget to record this in your diary!


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