Red Rover

Red Rover game

Red Rover is a classic children’s game that promotes teamwork, coordination, and friendly competition. It’s a simple yet exciting game where two teams face off against each other, attempting to break through the opposing team’s line by running through their joined hands. Red Rover can be played in various settings such as schoolyards, parks, or backyard gatherings, providing a fun and energetic experience for participants of all ages. Grab the kids and head outside for some fun!

Game sheet

  • Number of players: from 6 children
  • Ages: from 7 years old
  • Supplies: Outdoor space or playground: The game can be played in an outdoor area such as a schoolyard, park, or backyard. Make sure you have enough space for both teams to line up and for players to run freely. There is no need for special equipment or accessories to play Red Rover.
  • Played outdoors
  • Play time: about 20 min

Red Rover Basic Rules

Team Formation:

  • Divide players into two equal teams.
  • Each team forms a line by holding hands, creating a human chain.


  • The two teams position themselves facing each other, with some distance in between.
  • One team takes a turn calling out “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [Player’s Name] right over!” They must choose a player from the opposing team.
  • The called player must then let go of their teammates’ hands and run at full speed towards the other team’s line, attempting to break through.

Breaking the line:

  • The player running (the “rover”) tries to break through the opposing team’s line by choosing a spot where they perceive it to be weaker or easier to break through.
  • The opposing team’s line must keep their hands joined tightly, forming a strong barrier.
  • If the rover successfully breaks through the line by separating the hands of two players, they get to choose one of the broken players to join their team.
  • If the rover fails to break through the line, they must return to their original team, and the game continues with the same team calling out.

Winning the game:

  • The game continues with teams taking turns calling out and sending rovers.
  • The game ends when one team successfully recruits all the players from the opposing team, forming a complete line without any remaining players.
  • The team with all the players wins the game.

Red Rover Variants

  • British Bulldog: In this variant, the game starts with one or two rovers in the middle. The rovers aim to catch players and turn them into rovers. The game continues until all players become rovers.
  • All-Runners: This variation allows all players to run at once when called, leading to a more chaotic and fast-paced game.
  • Ghosting: Instead of physically running, players can take turns calling names without actually running, making it a strategic game of predicting and tricking the opposing team.
  • No Line Breaks: In this variant, players attempt to break through the line individually without choosing another player to join their team. The game continues until all players have had a chance to run.

These rules provide a foundation for playing Red Rover. Feel free to adapt them to suit your preferences and the available space. Remember to prioritize safety and sportsmanship while enjoying this classic game with your friends and family!

The educational advantages of the Red Rover game

  • Fun and Entertainment: Red Rover is a fun and entertaining game that brings joy and excitement to players. The competitive nature of the game, combined with the thrill of trying to break through the opposing team’s line, creates a sense of enjoyment for all participants.
  • Physical Activity: Red Rover involves running, which promotes physical activity and helps to improve cardiovascular health, endurance, and coordination.
  • Teamwork and Cooperation: The game emphasizes the importance of teamwork and cooperation. Players must work together, holding hands tightly, and coordinating their actions to form a strong line and defend against the opposing team.
  • Communication and Strategy: Red Rover requires players to communicate effectively and strategize. They must choose the right timing and select the weakest point in the opposing team’s line to break through successfully.
  • Social Interaction: Playing Red Rover encourages social interaction and builds camaraderie among players. It provides an opportunity for players to bond, support each other, and develop friendships.
  • Inclusion and Fairness: Red Rover can be adapted to include players of different ages, sizes, and skill levels. It promotes fairness as players take turns being the caller and the rover, ensuring everyone gets a chance to participate.
  • Development of Sportsmanship: Red Rover teaches sportsmanship and fair play. Players learn to accept both victory and defeat graciously, respect the rules, and show respect towards opponents.

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