Tug o’ War

Aside from the raw muscle power needed for tug o’war, it is also a technical sport. The cooperation or “rhythm” of team members play an equally important role in victory, if not more, than their physical strength.

Loch Ness Games 2016

Two teams of eight, whose total mass must not exceed a maximum weight as determined for the class, align themselves at the end of a rope approximately 11 centimetres in circumference. The length of the pull may vary but officially should be 12 feet which is measured by two markers on the rope each six feet from the centre. When either mark passes the stick placed in the ground by the judge at the central point of the rope when starting competition, the other side has won that pull. The teams then change ends and the best of three is the winner.

The coach will encourage the team to pull as and when required dependant on the opposing teams actions. The coach must be very alert to keep his team fully aware of the moves intended or to just hold awaiting the correct time to make a move. The competition will commence with the command from the judge `Pick up the rope`, thereupon the two teams move back until the rope is taught and the judge inserts the marker flag opposite the central marker on the rope.

The teams thump their feet into the ground for firm hold and then lean back on the rope and the judge gives the command ` Pull` whereupon the two teams then pull with all their strength. The object is to pull with nearly straight arms and legs from as low a position as possible with all members of the team in unison. Slowly but surely, the other team is forced into surrender by a runaway pull.

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SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES ASSOCIATION – TUG-O-WAR RULES

  1. Team to consist of five or eight members and one coach
  2. Raised heels up to a maximum of ¼ inch (7mm) allowed on footwear, and footwear to be inspected prior to start of competition
  3. Overall pull to be 12 feet and winner of each tie to be decided by best of three pulls
  4. No hand over hand pulling allowed. Team members must go back with rope when pulling.
  5. Anchorman to loop rope round one shoulder to secure rope as per style used at present. No knot is permitted on the rope end.
  6. All team members to remain on their feet at all times, no hands are persistently allowed on the ground apart from the anchorman who is permitted to use one hand on the ground.
  7. Draw for ties to take place prior to start of competition. Succeeding rounds to be redrawn at judges discretion.
  8. Teams through coaches will be reminded of the rules prior to commencement of competition. Only coaches can consult with the judge and judges decision is final.
  9. A team member is permitted to pull for only one team during a competition.
  10. Judge to toss coin to determine direction of pull.
  11. Prior to commencement of pull, judge will ask coaches if they are ready, then give the command `take the strain`, at this point team members may heel in, when teams are balanced, order to `pull`, is given and the tie has commenced.
  12. In weight restricted competitions competitors must be weighed with boots on
  13. Teams will leave area of competition during ties in which they are not involved.
  14. Two warnings for infringements including foul language will be given. A further warning will result in disqualification and forfeit of points award for attending competition