New York Health Officials Back Off Proposal to 'Legislate Fun'

New York health officials pulled back a proposal that would have placed new regulations on classic kid games like tag and Wiffle Ball that officials deemed unsafe.

Just in time for summer camp season, the list was delivered to towns, villages and camp operators, and in a surprise to many, games like kickball were placed in the category of “significant risk of injury.”

In turn, public outcry called for the state to stay off their handball courts.

Some had called it an attempt to "legislate fun," as the proposal faced increasing criticism from lawmakers and recreational sports businesses.

Dave Mullany, president of Wiffle Ball Inc., based in Shelton, Conn., told that he was shocked to hear that lawmakers in Albany recently identified the activity as "poses a significant risk of injury" along with other iconic childhood pastimes, like dodgeball.

"It's crazy," Mullany said on Tuesday. "Amid all this talk of us becoming a nation of overweight kids, we really need to promote activity and kids having fun. Should these kids go to summer camp and sit quietly with their hands folded? It's a little disconcerting to see fun being legislated."

The New York Health Department maintains these lists make sure camps have the proper medical equipment to treat any injury that may result from any particular activity. The games range in danger from archery to kickball.

“A lot can be misread,” Claudia Hutton, a department spokeswoman told “For example, Arts and Crafts sounds like it’s glue and paint, but in some cases they use power tools.”

Leaders at the department are also relatively new and are working with legislation that was authored during the previous administration.

Hutton said the department is open to suggestions from residents before it implements any new guidance and the decision is likely to be made on May 16.

The department created the list of risky recreational activities in response to a state law passed in 2009. The law has yet to be implemented.

"People talk about how we're less and less active and that we're concerned about the increasing waistlines, so to kind of limit what kids do for activity and recreation is somewhat ludicrous," Mullany continued.

Mullany also noted that Wiffle Ball is the only activity identified by brand name.

"It catches you off-guard when you see something like this, and especially as the only brand name mentioned," he said. "I'm sure I'll be hearing from friends who are parents."

The games are not banned at camps, but they come at a play-at-your-own-risk cost. Camps that want campers to play the games will be required to pay a $200 registration fee and have medical staff on hand.

There are roughly 2,300 regulated summer camps in New York that are required to be under permit and be inspected twice a year by the state's Department of Health.

The state claims that this has resulted in markedly low levels of serious incidents. State statistics claim that of more than 640,000 children who attend camps, less than two-tenths of one percent are injured in any manner.

Games/activities on the warning list:

* Capture the Flag

* Crab Soccer

* Dodgeball

* Flag Tag

* Flag Football

* Ga Ga

* Kickball

* Nuk-em

* Red Rover

* Steal the Bacon

* Tag (all varieties)

Click here for more on this report from The New York Daily News.'s Joshua Rhett Miller contributed to this report.

The AP contributed to this report.