Are you wondering how to play tug of war? Read on to learn the tug of war rules. Master them to tug down your opponents, the next time you meet them on the battle ground.

Tug Of War Rules

Tug of war, rope war or rope pulling is a game which everyone might have played as a child. It is a game projecting the potency and will power of the players. To play the game, the players are divided into two groups of equal numbers each. A testimony of strength, the main objective of the game is to pull the members of the opposition team or a certain part of the rope into your own area. This is an entertaining game and gets more interesting when both the teams try their level best to pull the opposition using all their strength, falling and screaming out their lungs in the process. However, just as other games, tug of war also has certain defined rules. These rules and regulations guide this war like game  and help players play a healthy and unbiased game. 

How To Play Tug Of War

The Rope
The game involves usage of single equipment i.e. a rope. In an official competition, the rope is required to be at least 115 feet long. There is a red mark made in the middle of the rope. This red mark on the rope needs to be at a perpendicular angle to the exact centre point on the ground, before the commencement of the game. A white mark is made exactly 13 feet from the red mark on either sides of the rope. The game is won when either side with this white mark crosses the centre point.
Weigh In
This game requires certain weight requirements as well. There are 5 different weight divisions in an official game. These divisions range from 1234 pounds per team to 1587 pounds per team. Before the start of the game, each player is weighed individually and this number is stamped on a part of their body which is easily visible.
According to the rules of tug of war, each team can accommodate a maximum of 8 members. However the combined weight of these members should not exceed the weight determined for the particular category.
Field and Marking
The game has to be played on a flat grassy patch of land. A line referred to as a centre line is marked on the playing zone and the rope is placed in a manner that its centre mark should align the centre marked on the ground. On either sides of the rope at the distance of 4 m from the centre line, 2 more marks need to be made. This is the point where in the first member of each team will stand.
How to Play
As mentioned earlier, the centre of the rope should align with the centre marked on the ground. As soon as the referee blows the whistle, each team can start pulling the rope into their territory. The objective of the game is for each team to pull the rope along with the members of opposition team to their side. As soon as the second mark on the rope from the centre red mark crosses over to centre line, the team to pull the rope to their area wins the game.
The tug of war competition requires a judge. There are 3 different commands that the judge gives to the players. The judge first announces “Pick up the rope”, he then says “Take the string”, and finally he tells the players to “Pull”. Once the pull command is said out the teams start pulling the rope. If a member of the team falls down that member is given a caution. Each team is allowed two cautions before getting disqualified.
There is a particular technique that needs to be applied while playing this game, if not then there will be a foul which can call in for disqualifications. For e.g. lowering your elbow below the knee level while pulling the rope is considered to be a foul and is called ‘locking’. Touching the ground for a longer period of time is also considered as a foul.

How to Cite

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