UT-S1_EP109-Act1_MB0009.jpg

Untrained contestants compete against skilled taggers in "Ultimate Tag."

Tag has always been an outdoor favorite for many kids, but the Watt brothers decided to increase the intensity of the backyard classic.

Fox introduced viewers to the new and intense competition show “Ultimate Tag” on Wednesday. Three men and three women play the game against professional taggers in four rounds — four rounds for the men and four rounds for the women — to win $10,000. The show’s hosted by NFL athletes and brothers JJ Watt, TJ Watt and Derek Watt. 

The show’s almost a tag version of “American Ninja Warrior,” as the competitors go through complex obstacle courses to avoid the taggers and move to the next round. The competitors have been ordinary people with families but are up against taggers who are experienced in parkour athletics. “Ultimate Tag” focuses on players’ speed, strategy skills and dexterity. Each obstacle increases in difficulty level as the episode continues. 

Round one is called “Chase Tag,” which is similar to the game everyone played when they were little. However, in this version, they have to jump over planks, crawl through barrels, climb up hills and still try not to get caught. The first round has three runners against one of the taggers, and it determines the leaderboard at the start of the show.

So, while a runner is out because they were tagged, they have a chance to come back and redeem themselves in the second round. It’s interesting to see the agility of the taggers and how quickly they can move around while chasing the competitors.

Round two is when the elimination begins. It’s called “Dodge Tag” because the runners must go through a new obstacle course to hit a button to get points while dodging two taggers. Since it’s the second round, viewers might notice that runners are understanding the logistics of the show more and start to strategize. They begin to use the obstacles as tools rather than objects to hide behind when running toward the button, and they start to figure out ways to outsmart the taggers. However, if one’s caught, they have to start over.

“Dome Tag” is focused on strength and strategy at the same time because competitors are climbing in and out of a dome that hangs 30 feet above the ground. The runners are given three lives and compete with a different tagger after losing a life. This is one of the more stressful rounds to watch because the competitors have to focus on avoiding the tagger and not letting go of the dome. No one gets eliminated in this round, so the runner is simply getting extra points.

The “Showdown” is the final round when the two remaining players go head-to-head. The challenge is to get past two taggers the fastest. The first part is similar to all the other courses, while the second involves climbing up a small mountain and pulling a lever to stop the clock.

This is a stressful round because the taggers and the floor layout seem to get more challenging. One tagger is on the floor chasing the runner, and the second tagger is near the mountain. The goal of the showdown is speed and time, but each tag adds five seconds to the runner’s amount of time. 

This is the type of show that fans of suspenseful competitions, such as “American Ninja Warrior” and “Holey Moley,” might find entertaining. It has the same suspense and athletic features as the other two shows. In addition, the Watt brothers add a good amount of comedy to this intense game.

Contact Gracie Brogowski at brogowsx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.