How to play Red Rover

Two teams of equal size form opposing arm-in-arm chains that one player on the opposite team must run through to break.

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How to play Red Rover

Red Rover is the outdoor game that pits two teams against each other to break through a human wall. Use strategy, strength and agility to outlast and beat the other team.


At least 6 people, divided into two equal teams

Game play

Two teams line up opposite each other, no more than 30 feet apart. The first team agrees to call one player from the opposite team, and chants, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (player’s name) on over!” The person called runs to the other line and attempts to break the chain (formed by the linking of hands). If the person called fails to break the chain, this player joins the team that called Red Rover. But, if the player successfully breaks the chain, he may capture either of the two players whose link was broken by the dash, and bring them back to his original team. Teams take turns calling out Red Rover and challenging a player on the opposing team.


The objective of the game is to end with the most players on your team by maintaining the integrity of your chain. The game ends when all the players end up on one side.

Word to the wise

While the game’s objective is keeping the chain intact, players holding on too tightly might cause injury to players in the chain-links or to the runner. Remember, it’s just a game!

Also in Outdoor Games:
Kick the Can, Mother May I?, Marco Polo, All
See more games:
Card Games | Indoor Games | Pen and Paper Games

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