Sharks and Minnows


Informant: Sharks and minnows. It’s kinda like tag. Some kids are sharks and some kids are minnows. The sharks tag the minnows. If you’re a minnow and you get tagged you have to squat down and raise a hand. You have to stay there until another minnow comes and high-fives you. Then you can get up and run again. The minnows lose once the sharks get all of them. Now that I think about it, I don’t think there was ever a way for the minnows to win.


I asked a group of friends what games they played on the playground as a child. This was one of their responses. The informant was raised in suburban southern California.


Everyone I spoke to about childhood games could often remember the rules perfectly, but never how one party could win. I’m sure there had to be a way, but everyone, myself included, couldn’t remember. Maybe the bell rang before we could ever finish.