Going back to at least 1930 and maybe even further, Red Rover sees two lines of children facing one another, with hands clasped. One side calls a child over. If that child can break through the other team’s line, then they can call another one of their team members over. If not, they join the other team’s line. The game ends when all the kids end up on one side.
Apparently, in San Diego, they are very serious about Red Rover. In 2011, at Carlton Oaks Elementary School, one child suffered a broken leg while playing the game. The parents of the 7th grade student then sued the school and won a settlement of $15,000 to recover costs from X-rays, a cast and physical therapy.
Two years later, the boy was still struggling through pain.
At least one other parent wasn’t happy with the lawsuit, “I think it’s kind of ridiculous. I mean, kids play. I mean, we played when we were kids and I don’t know, I just don’t think [the school district] should be sued for kids playing and getting hurt,” said parent Sheila Tongsot.