Appalachia Games

Anty Over

Anty Over game

The Frank C. Brown Collection Of North Carolina Folklore describes the game of Anty Over like this:

A group of kids divide into 2 teams. The teams get on opposite sides of the house. A person out of one group has the ball and yells out “Anty” someone on the other side of the house yells out “Over” then as the ball is thrown over the building the thrower says “Over she comes!” If someone catches the ball they then run around the house and try to hit a member of the opposite group with the ball. If they hit someone that person has to become part of the other team. If no one is hit or if no one catches the ball when its thrown over, the game continues with each side taking turns throwing the ball over.

Frank C.  Brown documented the game Anty Over being played at several places in Avery County, NC in 1917.

The Foxfire 6 Book describes the game in much the same manner, but details the danger of running into another person as you run around the building. I suppose the whole team ran around to see what was going on.

I think this might have been the game B. Ruth was asking about the one that drove her Mother crazy because of the sound of the ball hitting the roof.

I couldn’t help but think with the increased size of school buildings and houses this would be a harder game to play today.

Did you every play anty over?


*Sources Foxfire 6; Frank C. Brown Collection Of North Carolina Folklore


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  • Reply
    J.Dianne Anderson-Nickel
    April 12, 2022 at 6:07 pm

    We played “Anty Over” in my neighborhood in South Alabama.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    We played Kitty in the Corner. One person was the caller and everyone else stood by a base (tree, other designated visible spot). The caller would shout out, “One, two, three — kitty in the corner!’ Everyone had to run to another base, but only one person to a base. The person who didn’t get to another base became the next caller.
    Also, there was “Mother, May I?” and “Red Light, Green Light.”

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    April 29, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Yep, played this one, and Red Rover, at home, but not at school. Forgot all about Anty Over. We played King on the Mountain, or King of the Hill, on three or four of the big, round hay bales that we would roll together. When you were knocked off, you knew it, or you fell in between the cracks head first.

  • Reply
    RB Redmond
    April 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Yep! I don’t think we could’ve thrown the ball over the house we grew up it; it was too tall – about 2.5 stories with 14 foot ceilings in the rooms on the first floor. Now I do think the brothers threw the ball over the attached garage once it was built, but I can’t remember doing it. Sounds like a fun game though!
    One game we did play one summer was to see who could lean out the upstairs window the farthest. (You’d open the window, sit on the sill, grab ahold of the sides and lean back out the window as far as you could, then we’d argue about who leaned out the farthest.) I remember playing one time, with Nancy and I running down the stairs and through the kitchen to go outside after, when Mom stopped us and asked where the fire was. One of us said, “Oh, we were playing to see who could lean out the upstairs window the farthest, and Pattie won.” Mom stood there for a second, then her eyes grew big, and she ran with us fussing all the way to see where Pattie had landed. Well, she’d landed on that garage roof safe and sound. If we’d played out any other window, it could’ve been bad, and we knew that so we picked the window above the garage. But Mom fussed us out anyway – and we weren’t allowed to play that game anymore. LOL
    We did play a game at Grandma’s house where we threw the lids of tin cans over the neighbor’s garage. Pattie got the bad end of that too, cause one caught her on the bridge of her nose between the eyes and left her bleeding like a stuck hog. We weren’t allowed to play that game anymore after that either. sigh
    And come to think of it, Pattie got the bad end of a yard game called Jarts , where one threw these huge darts that looked like this ( across a yard trying to get it into a hoop that laid on the ground. Somebody threw one, and it stuck in her leg right above her knee, taking a chunk as it fell out.
    That Pattie, she ruined all our fun games. (Just kidding)
    Funny the memories that pop up when one gets older! And hey, can you imagine having Jarts like those in the stores nowadays. Now they have weights on the end instead of sharp metal points. Whew! Parents nowadays would have coronaries just at the thought of the old kind still being for sale, but these were popular games back when we were growing up – and we survived ’em, barely I guess. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Bob Aufdemberge
    April 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    When we played this game back in the day (late 1940’s to early 1950’s), we called it “Handy over”. The side without the ball would yell “handy over”, then the side with the ball would throw it over without saying anything. Beyond that, it was just as described in the blog entry. We never played it at anyone’s house, just at our one-room school.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

    We called in Annie Over – Dad & Mom, their cousins and siblings played it in Kansas over the barns or over their respective churches. With just my sister and I and a fruit orchard in south Texas, we had to modify the game – we threw over the tractor shed – maybe that’s why we were usually picked to play outfield in softball ; ) .
    We used a rag ball about the size of a softball made by wrapping strips of rags round and round until they made a ball shape and finally stitching the loose ends and edges tight to the surface.
    As for Red Rover: we played that with two teams. Both sides would hold hands; then a captain (independently or by group decision would call “Red Rover, Red Rover, can ‘ ____ ‘ (naming someone on the opposite team) come over.” That person would run for what they thought was the weakest link in the opposite (calling) line. If they broke through, they took both sides of the link back to their side. If they didn’t they became part of the calling team. The object was to be the team with the most members by the time we had to go in. Teams were constantly changing! This was another rather rough game we played at church or on the school ground. It also led to sprains and broken bones – and yet we still played!!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Another game I’d forgot about. We called it Annie Over, never knew the real name. One of the neighborhood kids usually would find some kind of ball, usually half flat. not that we cared and over the house it’d go.Such simple fun. Our Mamas would have to make us sit down to cool off and never heard of one trying to run us outside.

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    April 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

    We never had a large group to play “anty over” usually just a few, maybe two on each side.
    Now I am pondering the reason that the name “anty over” slipped my mind. “Anty over” doesn’t sound anything like “Red Rover”..
    I do remember “Red Rover” too, but we never had enough to play, except at school.
    Brenda, I do believe we said, Annie over as well!
    Joe Mode, refresh us on Freeze Tag! I remember playing as a kid but have forgotten the rules…
    Ed, was so right on about Red Rover…
    Would’nt it be fun to get a gang of us olden days folks and reenact all these old games while the crowd of youths from the schools watched…I think it would be a “hoot”…I am sure they would laugh and laugh, but then I bet’cha it wouldn’t be long before they threw down their little techie games and joined in!
    Thanks Tipper for the memory and finding the rules of the game!
    I still think at times we yelled,
    “Rover, rover throw the ball over”!
    But, you are right about it being
    Anty Over…
    Hold on, here come “Mama” to make us stop the game!!!!!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Yes, we did play it but never with a basketball. (Not sure we could have hefted it over the house.) We played with smaller rubber balls and it was tons of fun.

  • Reply
    Sharon Schuster
    April 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

    My mother told me about playing this game while growing up in KY and Ohio. I recall that she said they used a ball or a sock and that sometimes it would get stuck on the roof.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

    It sounds like a fun game. We never played Anty at school or home. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a ball. I would love to have some of those dolls the mischievous boys in the family tore the heads off of to use as a ball for some of their games.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Can’t say I have ever tried this game! I agree that it could be a bit annoying hitting the roof, but the feat of getting it over a two story or more house might be a challenge.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    April 16, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I never played that one but I used to throw a ball up on the roof and catch it when it rolled off. It was a good way to play catch when you were alone.

  • Reply
    April 16, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Oh my gosh – for 65 years, I’ve been saying “Annie Over”. I’ve even taught all my grandkids to play that game. Now they will be calling it by the wrong name also!
    Probably by the time the game made it over to Oklahoma, the “T” in Anty had been smoothed out until it couldn’t be heard, lol.

  • Reply
    Kent Lockman
    April 16, 2013 at 8:20 am

    My father (born in 1919) said he and his friends played it using the boys outhouse roof!
    Marianne Lockman

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Never played Anty Over. I do remember when I was in school, the girls would gather on the back steps of the band building and the boys would lob half pint paper cartons of milk across the roof. The winner was the boy whose bomb hit right on the steps. The winner never knew he had won because the first barrage would bring out the referees and “nobody saw nothing.” I never had milk money so I had to be a spectator at all the events. Oh, the sweet innocence of youth!

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    April 16, 2013 at 7:46 am

    We played this game as well, usually using my parent’s house because the yard was bigger and had fewer trees. I had forgotten all about this one. Red Rover and Freeze tag were favorites as well.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    April 16, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Seems like if you had a cedar shake roof, risk of damage could be pretty high. Never played the game, though.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    April 16, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Played this, sometimes it was called “Antny Over”.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

    At first I thought you were speaking of Red Rover, but this one we never played. My mother would have put a quick stop to it if we had tried.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    April 16, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Dad wouldn’t let us throw the ball on or over the house (at least when he was around) said it would damage the shingles,, I’m sure most folks back in the day had metal roofs, we had shingles on the roof and a type of large shingle for siding..

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