Ringolevio

Ringolevio (also spelled ringalevio or ring-a-levio)[1] is a children's game that may be played anywhere but which originates in the streets of New York City, and is known to have been played there at least as far back as the late 19th century, when it was known as "ring relievo".[2][3][lower-alpha 1] It is one of the many variations of tag.[4] It requires close teamwork and near-military strategy. In Canada, this game is known as Relievio; that name was also used in Boston and Ireland in the 1950s. It is also, in some places, known as coco-levio.[5]

Emmett Grogan wrote a fictionalized autobiography called Ringolevio,[6] which was published in 1972. Echoing the memories of hundreds of thousands who grew up in the neighborhoods of New York, Grogan wrote: "It's a game. A game played on the streets of New York, for as long as anyone can remember. It is called Ringolevio, and the rules are simple. There are two sides, each with the same number of players. There are no time limits, no intermissions, no substitutes and no weapons allowed. There are two jails. There is one objective."[7] The first chapter of this autobiography describes a particularly serious game of ringolevio played by Grogan and his gang.

It seems likely that the game was brought over from the British Isles; it is very similar to a game that is called Bedlams or Relievo.[8] According to Stewart Culin, relievo became ring relievo and then ringoleavio.[9] A similar game, called Prisoner's Base, was played by members of Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery against a group of Nez Perce.[10][11]