The scary schoolyard 'game' that left a Queensland teen fighting for his life.

Forget handball or touch footy, there’s a new playground ‘game’ with much higher stakes. It’s called ‘tap’ out’ and it’s left a teenage boy fighting for his life in a Gold Coast hospital.

Jamie Cox suffered critical head injuries on Wednesday, after a fellow Palm Beach-Currumbin State High student placed him in a headlock, reports The Courier Mail.

The 15-year-old fell unconscious, collapsing to the ground and fracturing his skull. He underwent emergency surgery as is currently in a serious but stable condition.

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According to media reports, Cox's injuries were the result of a dangerous playground game called 'tap out' or 'blackout', in which a person is physically restrained until they decide to surrender.

However, The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that a Cox family source described the incident as a "prank gone horribly wrong".

“Jamie was set upon without warning — there was no game,” the source said. “It was done unannounced and without warning.”

Students from the school told the paper that Cox was dropped to the ground after about 20 seconds when the student restraining him noticed he was struggling.

A spokesperson from the Education Department said the school had spoken to the parents of both students involved in the incident.

"The school does not condone any behaviour or activity that puts another student at risk of serious injury," he said. "The school is treating the matter extremely seriously and is also working closely with police."

Police launched an investigation after learning of the incident yesterday.