A ban on school excursions to laser tag arenas has been blasted by operators as "extreme" and out-of-step with community expectations.
The game was deemed "unsuitable" in the Department of Education's updated policy for off campus activities along with combat sports, shooting, paintball and other "weapons-based real life action games".
The policy also prohibits activities that pose a high risk to students, such as skydiving, and those "not compatible with community expectations and sensitivities concerning violence and aggression".
Sandra Fordham owns Burnie business In the Zone and said for laser tag to be classified as an activity that promoted violence suggested a lack of research.
She said In the Zone made a conscious effort to use the words "phasers" and "tagging" rather than "guns" and shooting".
"It is not a gun and we certainly don't promote violence or aggression," she said.
Mrs Fordham said she respected the Department of Education's desire to meet community expectations, however, In The Zone had received "nothing but positive feedback" since its opened.
There is only five laser tag centres in Tasmania and not one of us had a phone call before this policy was implemented.Sandra Fordham
A Department of Education spokesperson did not answer questions about whether it had contacted any laser tag operators before changing the policy, however, they said the change was part of an annual review "to ensure best practice and to clarify any particular issue that may be raised by schools".
"The decision to prohibit government schools from participating in laser tag activities was made in light of community expectations around simulated violence and gun related activities," they said.
"The ban extends to archery tag and similar weapons based battle simulation games. Both archery and tae kwon do are recognised as sports with strict rules and controls."
Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff defended the department's decision but said parents and carers could ultimately decide what they do outside of school hours.
"I've had a great time playing laser tag with my children but it was on the weekend, not during school hours," Mr Rockliff said.
"During school time, there is a wide range of other activities that provide for a broader educational benefit for schools to consider when taking students off campus."
But director of Devonport laser tag business The Big Big House, Miriam Beswick, said the policy change would have a significant impact on the recreation and tourism sectors as school groups are a significant revenue source.
"Our sector has a very small profit margins and this decision will very likely result in business closures," she said.
Mrs Beswick said school groups often played laser tag as part of team building exercises or for end-of-year excursions.
She said laser tag was a relatively safe activity and it was "unreasonable" to be classified in the same way as skydiving and bungee jumping.
"I find this decision particularly extreme as any sport can be considered 'combat'...." she said