Inner Circle

Inner Circle is an incredibly exciting and active large group game with minimal set up. The main thing you will need for this is space to play.

PREP TIME– 2 Minutes

ITEMS NEEDED– 3 Flags per Team (or other items if you choose)

GAME TIME– 10-15 Minutes per Round

PARTICIPANTS– 2 Even Teams (we recommend 25 per team)


Inner Circle is a terrific game for a camp or retreat. The game requires plenty of space to run around, but other than that, it is pretty simple.

Start by drawing a middle line. If you are in grass, just use some loose items nearby (flip-flop, t-shirt, etc) to denote where the line is. Put teams on opposite sides of the line. They are allowed to place themselves anywhere within their area.

They will then form two circles. The outer circle will need to be larger than the inner circle. We recommend 15 on the outer circle (facing out) and 10 on the inner circle (facing out). Each participant in the circle must leave space between them and the people they are next to (1-2 feet is sufficient). You’ll want to use a large space so you’re not too bunched up.

Inside the inner circle will be three flags (you can use a different item). We recommend using the same color flags for each team if possible. From here, the game operates much like capture the flag, with anyone from either circle being able to try to steal the other team’s flags.

Here is the twist: only the outer circle is allowed to tag anyone who crosses into their territory up until the point their opponent reaches the inner circle. The inner circle CANNOT prevent their opponents from entering the circle. However, once the opponent has the flag, they can only be tagged by someone from the inner circle once they leave the circle. The outer circle CANNOT prevent them from reaching the other side at this point. If someone is tagged, they are out and must go to the sideline to watch the rest of the game. They must also drop the flag where they are on the playing field.

Basically, each circle has a role to play on defense, while anyone can participate in offense. The game requires some strategy and involves a fair amount of luck, but once a team has captured all three flags, they are declared the winner!

If teams are struggling to finish the game, give a 5 minute countdown to finish the game. Whoever has more flags is the winning team. In the event of a tie, whoever collected the last flag first is the winner.


1. Help teams denote who is an inner circle and who is an outer circle by painting an “I” or “O” on their cheek, wearing a certain color or tying a bandana on their arms or legs.

2. Play tournament style with several teams if you have a large team.

3. If the game is moving slow, set a number and make each team send so many into enemy territory.

4. Have some upbeat music in the background to give them game even more energy!

5. Have some extra officials to help you keep track of everything.

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