Senior Tag, a longstanding UAHS tradition, has begun.
BY EZRA LIU ’24, KATIE MESSNER ’24 AND ADELAIDE PETRAS ’24
Senior Tag is a longstanding tradition for UAHS seniors, occupying the last several months of the school year. This year, the game began in April and will continue into the summer until the last team is eliminated. Senior Tag is unaffiliated with UAHS.
“I feel that it brought the senior class together and that it was kind of nice as an end-of-year activity,” senior Emily Barker, who participated in Senior Tag, said. “It was fun just spending a lot of time outside of school just hanging out with my teammates.”
The rules of the game are outlined in a seven-page document that can be found in the bio of the Instagram account @uahsseniortag23.
Individuals are eliminated by being shot with a water gun. To be “safe” from being eliminated, one must wear only a swimsuit. There are various exceptions, including Sunday being a safe day and school and work being safe areas.
To play senior tag, participants were required to pay $15 each, or $60 per team. There are a total of 52 teams in the game this year.
Each year, one or two seniors self-appoint themselves to be gamemasters, organizing and officiating the game. This year, the gamemasters are Erick Nowak and Ryan Sivakumar.
“I heard that from last year’s gamemasters that it was very hard,” Sivakumar said. “It wasn’t really that stressful. I mean, it was actually a lot of fun running it and organizing.”
According to Nowak, the gamemasters’ main task is to ensure everything runs without problems.
“We’re all here to have fun and nobody’s, you know, trying to take advantage of anybody else,” Nowak said. “Just especially staying on top of things and just staying organized also helps. Make sure the game runs smoothly.”
From a player’s perspective, Senior Tag participant David Tucker said that the game can be stressful at times.
“It was very paranoia-inducing, you know, waking up every morning to go to school and being scared that someone was camping in your backyard with a water gun, ready to ambush you at any second — that was a little scary,” he said. “But overall, I think it was a lot of fun being able to more or less connect with people who you wouldn’t really connect with normally.”
This year, the gamemasters put their own spin on the game, changing some rules from last year.
“We tried to get involved ourselves by changing the rules a little bit, evolving from different things from past years,” Sivakumar said. “For the Gamemaster Hunt about two weeks ago, we did something different. Everyone came to Thompson Park. One of us, Erick, was tagging people, and I was hiding, so it was like they were trying to find me while they were getting hunted by Erick.”
Tucker provides advice for future Senior Tag participants.
“Trust no one,” he said. “Because chances are that no matter how well you know one of those people they’re going to talk to that person because everyone is working together in some way.”
Not everyone takes Senior Tag seriously; people participate with varying degrees of effort.
“I’ve heard stories about people turning on each other and getting really angry and, like, it’s just a little game — it’s not that big of a deal,” Barker said.
Overall, Senior Tag is an enjoyable experience that brings the senior class together in their final months together.
“It was just very enjoyable creating this community for this game that’s a tradition in UA,” Sivakumar said.