How to Play Catch the Dragon’s Tail Game (Group Version)

Catch the Dragon’s Tail game is one of  the very fun outdoor party or celebration games that is not advisable for individual with weak health because it require running, dragging and pulling  each other to avoid from being caught by the opponents. This extremely fun game is originated in China.

This game is sometimes called ‘Touch the Dragon’s Tail’ and ‘Tag the Dragon’s Tail’, but whatever you may call it, the idea is just same with some variation depending on the ‘taste’ of the organizer.

Photo By Jane Stein via Flickr

Overview and Requirements

  • Time-bounded group game, at least 3 groups
  • At least 8 members participant per group
  • Not advisable for sickly individuals
  • Wide area or playground
  • Handkerchief or ribbon and timer
  • Needs referee, scorer and linemen


To catch the handkerchief tied at the back of the last person in the line (which is called the tail) of its opponent without breaking the line and going outside the boundary.  Only the first person in line (which is called the head) is allowed to catch the tail of its opponent.

Safety First

All participants must remove all jewelries and accessories they are wearing and other sharp and pointed object from their body like ballpens and keys.


Step 1. Form at least 3 groups with at least 8 members per group but the more the better. Make sure that all groups have equal number of members. Let each group fall in line facing in the center, like this illustration below.


Step 2. Orient the group about the mechanics and rules of the game, and show them the boundary.

Step 3. Tie a handkerchief at back, preferably at the belt, of the last person in line of every group. But before that, make sure that you have mark the boundary with some visible materials like plastic twine.

Step 4. Ask the participants to hold on the should, waist or hand of the the person in front of them. There are three common ways to form the dragon: hands on the shoulder, hands around the waist  and hand between the legs. See this illustration below.


The hand between waist formation is only applicable for teens and adults; for kids, the hands on shoulder or around the waist is advisable.

Step 5. Blow the whistle to start the game.

 Basic Rules of the Game

  1. Plus 1 point for every group who catches a tail of its opponents, and minus 1 point for every broken line or going outside the boundary.
  2. Once a head catch any tail, the head should should shout, “Caught!” or any word to signal the referee or the scorer.
  3. Any tail is cannot be caught by the same head for two times consecutively.
  4. The group with higher number of points after the set time is the winner.