Category Archives: Cops & Robbers Rules

Cops and Robbers Rules

There is only time in your life when it is acceptable to be a good robber; and that’s when you’re ten years old and just pretending to be one in the classic childhood game of Cops and Robbers. It didn’t really matter which side you were on, although personally I always found it more exciting to be a robber – hiding out as best you could while riding bikes in your neighborhood and being pursued by a bunch of cops who wanted to catch you quickly so they could get a turn at being robbers. Ah, those were the days – riding into the sunset on your monkey barred, banana seated, customized wheels.

Here are the rules for Cops and Robbers:

What you need: A bicycle, preferably with custom handlebars and a playing card playing percussion on the spokes!

A group of six or more are divided into two teams. One team is the ‘cops’ and the other is the ‘robbers’. The ‘robbers’ get a ten minute head start to hide in the neighborhood. In one version, both the ‘cops’ and ‘robbers’ have to stay together in their groups, in another they can split up. The object of the game is basically for the ‘cops’ to find and pursue the ‘robbers’ until they find and catch up to them.

When playing the version which allows the teams to split up, you’ll often find the ‘robbers’ taking off in different directions when the cops are in hot pursuit. At that point, each individual ‘robber’, when caught, becomes a ‘cop’ and helps try to catch the other ‘robbers’.

This game is best when the neighborhood has lots of small streets to hide in, but is always exciting, especially if you’re a ‘robber’. When the ‘robbers’ are found and caught, the teams switch roles and the ‘cops’ become the ‘robbers’. There are many different versions to this game and normally, children make up their own rules each time. Some have safety zones, some use bags of loot (a bag of pebbles perhaps) that the cops hide and the robbers have to find without getting caught. Others require that the robbers have to be tagged to be caught, but that can be somewhat treacherous when you’re barreling down a hill at 25 miles per hour!