Retro Games: How to Play Red Rover, Red Rover!
Back in the days before video games, DVRs, and the Internet, long summer nights were filled with outside activities. Since most of us got to stay outside until “the streetlights come on” we hurriedly gulped down dinner and rushed back out to play with our friends.
We’d play until someone noticed that it was too dim to see much and the lights were blinking on all over the neighborhood. At that point it was a mad scramble to get in your house before your mom noticed it was dark.
Red Rover was a favorite back then and it provides just as much fun, exercise, and entertainment now! It is a great way to use up the last bit of energy before bed.
You’ll need at least six people, but it’s better if you have more.
How to Play
- Choose two captains – one for each team.
- Divide everyone up into two equal teams.
- Each team forms a line, holds hands, and faces the other team – keep the lines about 20 to 30 feet apart.
- The captain of the first team calls one player from the other team by saying, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (player’s name) on over!”
- The person called has to leave his team and run to the other team, attempting to break the other teams’ chain.
- If the player doesn’t break the chain he has to become part of the other team.
- If he does break the chain he can “capture” one of the players whose link was broken and take them back to his team where they become part of that team.
- Teams take turns calling players from the opposing team until all of the players are on one side.
As with all games that involve physical interaction, you should be careful. Try to have the players all in the same age group and similar weights and sizes. If a large person breaks through the chain with too much force, obviously someone could get hurt. Remember, these games are supposed to be fun!
photo credit: Lauren Lank