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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NY bureaucrats overreach, claim Freeze Tag & Kickball are 'dangerous'

In an effort to intrude into summer camp, under the pretext that they are not regulated enough by government, the Health Department of New York has created a list of dangerous games-including Freeze Tag, Wiffle Ball, kickball and dodgeball, labeling them as having a "significant risk of injury". Any camp offering two or more organized recreational activities - with even just one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.

ALBANY - State bureaucrats have identified a potentially deadly hazard facing our children this summer - freeze tag.
That's right, officials have decided the age-old street game - along with Wiffle Ball, kickball and dodgeball - poses a "significant risk of injury."
And classics like Capture the Flag, Steal the Bacon and Red Rover are also deemed dangerous in new state regulations for day camps.
"It looks like Albany bureaucrats are looking for kids to just sit in a corner in a house all day and not be outside," said state Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-St. Lawrence County).

"I don't think Wiffle Ball is a dangerous sport."

The Health Department created a list of supposedly risky recreational activities - which also includes more perilous pursuits like archery, scuba and horseback riding - in response to a state law passed in 2009.
The law sought to close a loophole that legislators said allowed too many indoor camp programs to operate without oversight.
Under the new rules, any program that offers two or more organized recreational activities - with at least one of them on the risky list - is deemed a summer camp and subject to state regulation.
Ritchie said the regulations could cripple small recreational programs, forcing them to pay a $200 fee to register as a summer camp and provide medical staff.

Personally I think it is far more likely that these bureaucrats are at a significant risk of being pansies, more than there being any real danger to children. No doubt there are plenty of scraped knees and minor bruises in some of these games, but isn't that what being a kid is all about? Good god, some of my best scars are also my dearest memories from childhood. How would I have learned what it was like to get the breath knocked out of you if not for tag? To what do I owe my love of sports if not for being a natural at kickball and dodgeball as a youngster? These games made me tough, competitive and above all, taught me the joys of playing. They made me a kid.

While there is potential for serious injury just walking down the street, that is no reason to stop doing it or to regulate it to the point of being ludicris. The bureaucrats complain as our youth get fatter, claiming it is somehow the chips making them that way, yet at every turn they attempt to regulate the fun out of childhood.