Friday, May 31, 2013

How To Arrange A Paper Chase

There are few more healthful or enjoyable ways of spending a half-holiday than in running a paper chase. It is quite easy to get out a little way into the country from any big city by train, trolley, or motor car, and a good cross-country run cannot but be of benefit to any boy.

Any number may take part in a paper chase, and a dozen would be a very good average number. Two of these represent hares, and the remainder become hounds. The method of playing is, of course, for the hares to run off across country, taking for preference a route not known to the hounds, and scattering torn shreds of paper as they run. A certain start—about ten or fifteen minutes—is given, and then the hounds go off in pursuit. Their object is to catch the hares—who, of course, keep together—and they follow the route by tracing the paper that has been laid. Obviously, it is not wise to run on a windy day, as the paper is blown away and the track lost. In order to confuse the scent the hares often lay a false trail, which, after running some hundreds of yards, simply ceases. When the hounds reach the point where the two trails diverge they often lose precious time by deciding upon and following up the wrong one. When it breaks off there is nothing to do but go back and follow the other.

The most suitable clothes in which to run a paper chase are: A sweater, such as is used for football, and flannel trousers.

Canvas or leather shoes, with plain leather soles, should be worn. A large quantity of paper torn up beforehand, and packed in large canvas bags, which are slung in satchel fashion round the body. Each hare can take two bags if the run is to be a very long one.

Those who are going on a paper chase should get to bed in good time at night, for nothing spoils the running powers of a young athlete like late hours at night. It may be tempting to sit up late, but we shall surely suffer if we do so. Our muscles will not be what they should be, and our wind will fail us when we come to run over a long course.

"How to arrange a paper chase." In The Book of Knowledge: The Children's Encyclopaedia, Ed. Arthur Mee et al. (Vol. 19, pg. 6077), 1923.