Catching

This post was first published on my Tumblr on Dec 1, 2012, and is now updated with my experiences since then.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, my friends and I get together to exercise. As most of us are guys, we need to train for NAPFA, so we focus on stuff like pull ups and the 2.4km run.

On Fridays, if we have enough people (minimum six players), we usually play Catching after our training. This trains our shuttle run, stealth and observation skills.

Yesterday, we did have six people, so we managed to play two rounds. Our house rules were:

Two catchers
If you’re caught, you’re sent to Jail (where we placed our bags)
You’re considered caught only if a catcher’s entire hand touches you (so fingers don’t count)
The boundary was limited to the two levels of the TP Sports Complex and the Field
Time limit of 10mins (only applied to round two)

For the first round, we started with the runners with the fastest and slowest 2.4km run time. I was the fastest, so I became one of the catchers. Nothing interesting happened, so I’ll skip to Round Two.

We’d agreed that the first and last people to be caught in Round One would be the catchers in Round Two and we applied the 10min rule, so that the game would have a definite end (I wasn’t able to catch the last person and Round One dragged on for quite a while).

Anyway, I’d found a strategic spot at the corner of the second level, giving me high ground, good visual distance and several escape routes. I was the last survivor (I guess they hadn’t found me yet) and when I saw the faster chaser coming up the stairs, I quickly vaulted off my ledge and leapt down towards the field. I hadn’t anticipated the new catchers using a trapping strategy, so I was quite surprised when catcher #2 started running towards me. Luckily, I was already halfway down the steps, so just as he stepped on the bottom step, I did a lazy vault over the stair railings, dropping safely onto the sand pit (PARKOUR!). As I hoped, he was too tired to react fast enough.

My next mistake was when I realized I’d trapped myself. There was nowhere else to run but towards the field, and unfortunately a wall of girls (I swear it was a wall; they were running together in a horizontal line) doing their 2.4km run appeared in front of me. Catcher #2 was closing in, but I manged to jink and get away… almost right into the waiting arms of catcher #1.

I guess my adrenaline level was really high and/or the catchers were really tired, but I managed to escape again.

This was the most exciting point in the game (at least for me) and I knew then that this was the way it should be played. With two catchers, the game became more of outsmarting your opponent and less of outrunning. The physical fitness factor does come into play and hopefully by training like this, we can all improve our acceleration and reaction times.

It was excellent training for Running Man as well… XD

-Jace

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