Official Rules

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As this an official attempt at the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Game of Hide-and-Seek we have to be very strict about the rules of play.

The current record is 1437 people

Largest game of hide-and-seek

Legal notice

This document acts as a guide to the specific considerations and undertakings for your potential record attempt and is to be used in conjunction with the Guide to Your Evidence, which outlines the evidence we require to verify the success of your record attempt.These guidelines should be read and understood by all concerned with the record attempt prior to the attempt – this includes every participant, organiser and witness.
These guidelines are specific to your record attempt and must be followed. Should any part of these guidelines be contravened, your record attempt will be disqualified, without any right of appeal.

Additionally, these guidelines in no way provide any kind of safety advice and cannot be construed as providing any comfort that the record attempt is free from risk.

Guinness World Records accepts no responsibility for the safety of participants or bystanders in any record attempt. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that (a) all necessary safety precautions are in place and that all equipment used is suitable and thoroughly checked prior to the record attempt taking place and (b) you are in compliance with all applicable health and safety laws and regulations.

Finally, the provision of these guidelines in no way constitutes Guinness World Records’ consent for you to undertake a record attempt. Any record attempt will only be considered to be authorised by us where you have signed our standard agreement in relation to record attempts.

Record definition

  • This record is for the greatest number of people playing the same hide-and-seek game in the same venue at the same time.
  • This record is be attempted by a group of unlimited size.
  • This record is measured by the number of participants.

Rules for Largest game of hide-and-seek

  1. The game must be played continuously for at least one hour.
  2. Organizers must indicate to participants a play area of no more than 5 hectare (12.47 acres). If possible, this should be a fenced-off or enclosed area. If this is not possible, organizers should be placed on the periphery to ensure that no player hides outside the play area. Any player who leaves the designated area will not count towards the final total.
  3. Before the start of the game, one “home base” location must be indicated to all players.
  4. One player must be chosen as “It.” The game starts when “It” covers his or her eyes for a period of five minutes, as counted off by an official timekeeper.
  5. During those five minutes, the rest of the players must seek out a hiding spot within the play area.
  6. At the end of the five minute period, a loud signal, aiming to be heard in as much of the play area as possible, should be made to indicate to the rest of the players that “It” is now searching for them.
  7. Players must now attempt to make it back to home base without being tagged by “It”.
  8. Any players tagged by “It” are “out” and must make their way to a specific area designated by the organizers.
  9. Players who successfully reach home base without being tagged are “safe.” The first player to make it back safely to home base will be “It” for the next round.
  10. Only players who were safe in the previous round may participate in the next round.
  11. All players must be well versed in the official rules of the game.
  12. No player may be counted twice.
  13. Only persons present at the venue at the beginning of the attempt may compete in the event.
  14. No player may receive assistance in playing the game.
  15. A loud start and finish signal recognised by all participants must be used. Two experienced timekeepers (e.g. from a local athletics club) must time the attempt with stopwatches accurate to 0.01 seconds.
  16. The organisers must demonstrate that all participants are playing throughout the attempt.
  17. The record is for the number of people playing at the start of the game. There must be a qualified official on site (i.e. a sports referee) to confirm that the rules of the game are being followed, and players continue to play for the required amount of time (unless eliminated per the rules).
  18. Photographic and video evidence of the attempt must be submitted with the claim.

Rules for ‘mass participation – single venue’ records

Please make sure you follow ALL these rules:

a. The attempt must take place at a single location; in a gymnasium, educational establishment, conference or exhibition hall or some similar, public outdoor area.
b. The attempt must take place in a restricted area with entrances and exits clearly marked and controlled.
c. Indoor attempts must take place in a room designated for the attempt and outdoor attempts must be secured with fences or other physical barriers.

STEWARDS

d. For every 50 participants there must be one designated steward.
e. Stewards must not come from the organisation holding the record attempt.
f. Each steward must be allocated a specific group of participants who are to be positioned in a clearly delineated area assigned to that steward. This can be done using coloured clothing, a clearly marked area or another method pre-approved by Guinness World Records.
g. Each steward must supervise their group during the attempt to ensure full participation.
h. Each steward must monitor if anybody in their group leaves the area.
i. The steward must note any participants who need to be deducted from the final total either for non-participation or for leaving the allocated area.
j. If the total number of participants not participating exceeds 10% of the final total the attempt will be disqualified.

WITNESSES

k. Where the attempt has less than 5000 participants it must be overseen and verified by at least two independent witnesses.
l. Where the attempt has 5000 or more participants it must be overseen by two independent witnesses and verified by an independent, professional, auditing firm.
m. The witnesses must personally perform the counting process or directly observe it.
n. The witnesses must perform spot checks during the attempt to ensure the rules above are adhered to.

ACCEPTABLE COUNTING METHODS

Participants must be counted individually by an efficient, accurate method upon entering the venue. Stewards’ individual counts of their sections does NOT constitute an acceptable counting method for the record total, and is meant only to ensure full participation by all those involved in each of their individual sections. The below counting methods are acceptable when performed accurately and in accordance with all guidelines outlined above. Guinness World Records may accept additional methods, provided these methods are pre-approved.

  • Barcoded ticketing system – Tickets obtained prior to the event are scanned as participants enter and the scanner registers the number of tickets. If participants pre-register online and obtain a personalized barcode, the machine can also register their names and other information.
  • Wristbands – These can be barcoded (as with a ticketing system) or individually numbered and handed out in order by independent individuals at the entrances.
  • Turnstiles – Counters on each turnstile record the number of people passing through into the attempt area.

DISQUALIFICATION OF ATTEMPT

Guinness World Records reserves the right that if 10% of the total number of participants are disqualified from the attempt for incorrect or non-participation, the entire attempt will be disqualified.

Participants for mass participation records are defined as:
(i) Individuals who have decided to take part in a record attempt of their own free will
(ii) Their participation is monitored within an established area
(iii) Every participant within the established area is expected to take part
(iv) All participants must perform the same action simultaneously.

If over 10% of participants within the record attempt area do not meet this criteria, then the fundamental principle of the mass participation record ceases to exist and the entire attempt will be disqualified.