They hollered, so they let "it" go.

An elementary school south of Boston has outlawed traditional recess chase games such as tag because they're deemed too rough for kids.

Concerned educators at Willett Elementary School in Attleboro, Mass., are trying to quash unsupervised contact games on the playground out offear that injured children could hold the school liable.

The risk of children running into each other prompted principal Gaylene Heppe to approve the tag ban, calling recess "a time when accidents can happen."

Tag and touch football are the latest children's games disappearing from the schoolyard after some area schools eliminated dodge ball years ago. But critics of the playtime restrictions stress the importance of active, free play as essential for a child's natural physical development.

Besides, they argue,scrapes and bruises are all a part of life, as are games in which there are winners and losers.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," Debbie Laferriere, a mother of two kids who attend Willett,told the Associated Press. "Playing tag is just part of being a kid."

The let-kids-be-kids debate in Canada was over the issue of snowballs on the playground. Snowballs are banned at many Toronto schools, but although a principal in Niagara Falls, Ont.,enforced asimilar ban, a Grade 5 student suffocated under a giant snowball while building a snowman.

Parents in England accused a primary school of imposing "overzealous" rules last year when another popular field game, British Bulldog, was banned.

In 2002, a Santa Monica school banned unsupervised tag because officials felt it not only led to physical injuries, but could also create emotional injuries and self-esteem problems for the weaker or slower kids.

Since February, tag — and even soccer — are no longer acceptable recess activities at Adams Elementary School in Spokane, Wash. Freedom Elementary School in Cheyenne, Wyo., also dumped tag this year because the principal found the game often escalated into "slapping and hitting and pushing, instead of just touching."

Celeste D'Elia, a Willett Elementary School parent, said her son feels safer because of the new rule against tag. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.

With files from the Associated Press