Red Rover

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 20
Occupation: Preschool Teacher
Residence: Bronx, NY
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/20/14
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Red Rover is a children’s game that I played as a kid and my friend, who works as a preschool teacher, told me about her students playing.

The game works like this:

Two groups of children stand opposite each other in an open space.  Each of the two groups form a line and grasp hands forming a chain.  The group that has been selected to go first will decide on a player from the opposite team and call out “Red Rover, Red Rover send (players name) right over.”  The player who has been called then runs from their side to the side that called them in an attempt to break the chain with the force of their body.  If they succeed in breaking the chain they return to the side they began on, but if they fail they join the other team.  The game ends when all players are on one side.

This folklore was significant to my friend because she played it as a child and she is witnessing other children playing the same game, which connects her with the children she teaches.

The game is interesting because although it is a game played on teams the teams change throughout the game, so there is no set opposing forces.  This most likely fosters unity between the group who take part in the game