I’m just reading about how Red Rover is banned in schools in the UK and in Australia. ! Really? That’s too bad. On one hand, I never really liked playing it in grade school because the less popular kids would never get called, and you could just see it on their faces how miserable they were. Or even worse, they’d get called by two popular boys who would strong arm them so that they fell hard when they came across. Bleah.
However, one of my most fun times was “having a Harrington.” When I was in high school and just after, we get a bunch of people together and drive to Harrington Beach on Lake Michigan (so you had to have either enough drivers to do this, as it was about a half hour away or the ability to cram more people in each car than you’d think was possible). It’d be at night, after dark.
Usually, we’d have someone there earlier, who’d scope out a fire ring and bury a cooler of beer and wine coolers (heh). You’d start out with a fire, maybe some smores, and most likely (surely there was one time we didn’t?) drinking. Then, around 10 or so, we’d play Red Rover on the beach. It was FUN! Lots of laughing and it veered between competitiveness and utter silliness. Once, we discovered that my friend Ann had drank too much (with all the drinking we did on the beach, we didn’t usually get to the point of drunk, just to that silly tipsiness) because when she was called, she took two steps from our line toward the enemy line and went face down in the sand. One of us pulled her off the “field” and sat with her for a while, but the game went on, with much arguing over whether we were allowed a replacement for her.
Fun times, a Harrington. Sometimes, it would devolve into skinnydipping, and now, looking back at it, I cannot believe we jumped naked into Lake Michigan late at night, it was COLD!
Anyway, I don’t know if Red Rover is banned here. I’m assuming as the US tends to be more lawsuit-happy that it is, and if so, I am going to have to make sure my nieces and nephews know how to play it. In the UK it’s called British Bulldog (aha! so maybe the rover in Red Rover refers to a dog?) and in Australia it’s called Bull Rushes.