Elementary and middle school night games are usually played in small towns on somebody’s farm, in a tight-knit neighborhood or in a church parking lot.
Does that seem strange? Wasn’t the curfew in the 1980s at sunset? Not anymore. From elementary to college, night games are still a fad.
“It all started by doing mostly illegal stuff,” said Travis Sieh, a senior criminal justice major from Tooele. “Nothing bad, but running around on the golf courses and jumping into other people’s yard had a lot do with the night games I played.”
Sieh said his favorite night game to play was ghost in the graveyard where everybody determined one base and a ghost. The ghost would count down the numbers on a clock and once he hit 12 would scream, “Midnight.”
“Everybody would have to try and hide from the ghost and make it to the base before he caught them,” Sieh said. “It was my all-time favorite game.”
Whitlee Roundy, a junior elementary education major from Richfield, said her favorite night game was called bigger and better.
“We would go from house to house asking a person to give us something bigger and better than a penny and then ask the next house to top the next door neighbor,” Roundy said. “I loved it because it involved a lot of friends getting together.”
Roundy said now her night games consist of throwing glow sticks in a hot tub and going night swimming. She said she works too much to play night games anymore.
Karli Kriese, a sophomore general education major from Palmdale, Calif., said she didn’t play night games as a kid.
“I guess growing up in California you don’t really play games out on the streets,” Kriese said. “We would play freeze tag during the day and if it happened to get dark we would keep playing, but not intentionally.”
Kriese said her favorite thing to do after dark in California was body surfing on the beach.
“When we were younger it was just body surfing and it was fun, but once kids started to get into high school it turned into nude body surfing,” Kriese said. “I guess the type of night games change as you get older.”
Sieh said now that he is in college, he has somewhat forgotten about the games he played as a kid.
“Now my night games consist of playing volleyball out at the school’s courts or playing glow-in the-dark Nerf football,” Sieh said. “Not many college students want to go play freeze tag anymore.”
Sieh said he would love to rehash some of the true night games he used to play as a kid.
“I wish I would’ve grown up in Utah sometimes,” Kriese said. “I would’ve loved to have a childhood like that—where running around outside was OK and not scary.”
While DSC students may no longer play their childhood night games, they still find time to bring together friends to play after dark. DSC offers plenty of space for night volleyball, glow-in-the-dark Nerf football, and even a little capture the flag — if you’re up to it.