NYC
04/19/2011 01:32 pm ET Updated Jun 19, 2011

State Bureaucrats Regulate Dodgeball, Kickball, Freeze Tag [UPDATED]

AP UPDATE: – New York state health officials have yanked a set of proposed guidelines for what were initially deemed risky day camp games like tag, Red Rover and kickball.

Health department spokeswoman Claudia Hutton says the rules and lists of games and activities were sent out to municipalities and other camp operators under the previous administration.

She says that after a review spurred by a lawmaker's questions Friday and subsequent news reports, they've been judged too detailed and amount to micromanagement.

Hutton said Tuesday that the department will continue gathering information during a comment period that ends May 16 and will formulate new safety regulations that are broader.

The regulations are required under a 2009 rule meant to close a loophole in the law that allowed indoor day camps to operate without the same state oversight applied to outdoor day camps.

ORIGINAL POST:

The New York Health Department is trapped in the role of lamest camp counselor ever.

As part of a law passed in 2009, state officials have labeled seemingly harmless sports like wiffle ball, kickball, freeze tag and red rover as potentially dangerous.

New Yorkers told about the law were skeptical that many of the sports were unsafe. One woman said the real risk is that children won't participate in athletics.

"You could develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome," Deborah Graham, a mother of two told the Daily News. "And when (kids) eat, eat, and eat, they get diabetes. That's dangerous."

State Sen. Patty Ritchie also mocked the law.

"It looks like Albany bureaucrats are looking for kids to just sit in a corner in a house all day and not be outside," Ritchie said. "I don't think Wiffle Ball is a dangerous sport."

From the News:

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.

Adam Langbart, president of the New York Camp Directors Association, told 1010 Wins the law's fundamental purpose is to make sure all summer camps are regulated.

"People are dissecting the law and dissecting the rules and regulations and basically taking things out of context," Langbart said. "You gotta look at the big picture and not just say, 'Oh. The state wants to regulate Wiffle Ball. They don't."