Marco Polo (game)

Marco Polo (game)
Marco Polo (game)
Players 3 or more
Setup time < 1 minute
Playing time no limit
Random chance Low
Skill(s) required swimming, sound localization

The children's game Marco Polo (English pronunciation: /ˈmɑrkoʊ ˈpoʊloʊ/ ( listen)) is a form of tag played in a swimming pool.[1]

One player is chosen as "It". This player closes their eyes so they can't see and tries to tag the other players. The player who is "It" shouts out "Marco" and the other players must respond by shouting "Polo", which "It" uses to try to acoustically locate them. If a player is tagged then that player becomes "It".[2]

In a variant, if "It" thinks that someone has climbed out of the pool, he or she can shout "fish out of water", and if anyone is out of the water they become "It". If someone sits on the side of the pool with their legs in the water, "It" can call out "mermaid on the rocks", or "fish out of water" and that player becomes "It".

The game can also be played on land as well, with slightly modified rules. It is similar to Blind man's buff where one person is blindfolded while others choose hiding places around the room.

See also

  • Blind man's buff


  1. ^ Bittarello, Maria Beatrice (2009). "Marco Polo". In Rodney P. Carlisle. Encyclopedia of Play in Today's Society. SAGE. ISBN 1412966701. 
  2. ^ Jeffrey, Phillip; Mike Blackstock, Matthias Finke, Anthony Tang, Rodger Lea, Meghan Deutscher, Kento Miyaoku. "Chasing the Fugitive on Campus: Designing a Location-based Game for Collaborative Play". Proceedings of CGSA 2006 Symposium (Canadian Games Study Association).