Tug of War

Tug of War

The Tug of War happens at Glasgow Green. Please see the full schedule for Glasgow Green.

About Tug of War

Tug of War is a test of strength, determination and brute strength between two teams and a piece of rope. Many say that the ‘rope’ is the third party in this highly competitive sport that brings out the real spirit of the competing teams. Be warned. It is tough and demanding. No quarter is given.

At the Games

The Teams

Two teams of six align themselves at the end of a rope. The rope is marked with a “centre line” and two markings on either side of the centre line. The teams start with the rope’s centre line directly above a line marked on the ground, and once the contest (the “pull”) has commenced, attempt to pull the other team such that the marking on the rope closest to their opponent crosses the centre line, or the opponents commit a foul.

Age Limitation

For safety reasons persons under the age of 16 years old are not allowed to participate.


Any type of shoe or boot may be worn provided that the sole and heel have no projections (stud, bar, nail etc) that will offer any assistance in pulling. Synthetic grass studded shoes will not be permitted. Footwear will be inspected before each contest. Gloves are not allowed.

Cash Awards

Cash and medal awards will be given at the end of the competition.

Instructions and Rules

Step 1 – Find a level, grassy area to play on. We will play north/south this year.
Step 2 – Make a line on the ground with flour or paint. This will be the centre line.
Step 3 – Choose a non-player to be the judge. His/Her job is to mark the rope, start the pull, determine a winner, and watch for people breaking the rules.
Step 4 – Mark a 120-foot rope at the centre with tape.
Step 5 – Measure 15 feet from the centre in each direction and tape the rope at those points. When this line crosses the line on the ground, the team on that end has lost.
Step 6 – Make one more set of tape marks 2 feet further from the ones you just made. This is as far as each team is allowed to get to the centre of the rope.
Step 7 – Form two teams of at least six people each. The teams should have equal numbers of people.
Step 8 – Make the largest person the anchor. This is the position at the end of the rope behind the rest of the team.
Step 9 – Line both teams up on their respective ends of the rope. Stagger each person so that one is to the right of the rope and the next is to the left.
Step 10 – Have everyone pick up the rope and hold it tight, taking up the slack between the two teams. The judge can now line up the center tape over the line.
Step 11 – When the judge decides the teams are ready, he/she yells, “Pull!”
Step 12 – Each team pulls until one side’s tape crosses the line.

Rope Specifications

Rope dimensions

The rope must not be less than 4” or more than 5” in circumference, and must be free from knots or other holdings for the hands. The ends of the rope shall have a whipping finish.

Rope marking

The tapes or markings shall be affixed so that they are easily adjustable by the judge in the event of the rope stretching or shrinking.

Rope marking out-door

Five tapes or rope markings shall be affixed as follows:

(a) one (1) tape or marking at the centre of the rope.
(b) two (2) tapes or markings each fifteen (15) feet on either side of the centre marking.
(c) two (2) tapes or markings each seventeen (17) feet on either side of the centre marking.
(d) markings listed in (a),(b) and (c) shall be in three different colours.

Pulling Area and Markings

Out-door pulling area and marking
The pulling area shall be flat, level grass covered surface.
One centre line shall be marked on the ground.

Pulling Techniques Rules

Rope Grip
  • No competitor shall grip the rope within the length bounded by the outer tapes or markings.
  • At the commencement of each pull the first pulling member shall grip the rope as close as possible to the outer tape or marking.
  • No knots or loops shall be made in the rope, nor shall it be locked across any part of the body of any member of the team.
  • Crossing the rope over itself constitutes a loop.
  • At the start of a pull, the rope shall be taut with the centre rope marking over the centre line marking on the ground.
Pulling Position
  • With the exception of the Anchor, every pulling member shall hold the rope with both bare hands by the ordinary grip, i.e. the palms of both hands facing up, and the rope shall pass between the body and the upper part of the arm.
  • Any other hold, which prevents the free movement of the rope, is a Lock and is an in-fringement of the Rules.
  • The feet must be extended forward of the knees and team members should be in a pulling position at all times.
Anchor’s Position
  • The end puller shall be called the Anchor.
  • The rope shall pass alongside the body, diagonally across the back and over the opposite shoulder from rear to front.
  • The remaining rope shall pass under the armpit in a backward and outward direction and the slack shall run free.
  • The Anchor shall then grip the standing part of the rope by
    the ordinary grip; i.e. the palms of both hands facing up, with both arms extended forward.
  • The Anchor is allowed to keep the rope below the level of the protective belt and on safety grounds this will not constitute a Lock.

May 21st, 22nd & 23rd 2016