Tug of War is a great activity!
Tug of War pits two or four teams against one another, with each team trying to pull the other team across the line. Tug of War is great for field day, gym class, after school activity, or even picnics!
Types of Tug of War
Traditional tug of war is played with a single rope. Historically, manila rope was used because it came in the right diameter, offered great grip and was inexpensive. Today tug of war ropes are available in synthetic materials like Unmanila or polyester and nylon blends that, while more expensive than manila, are both more comfortable to grip and will hold up to sun and moisture better.
4-way tug of war is played with a special configuration of rope. Either 4 separate ropes connect to one another via steel ring or shackle in the middle, or one rope is woven into a square with 4 separate lengths of rope emanating from the four corners of the square.
Gladiator tug of war is played where individuals or teams try to pull their opponent facing away from one another, usually wearing some sort of pulling harness. Gladiator tug of war relies on each teams leg strength, while traditional tug of war requires both leg strength and grip strength.
Choosing the right Tug of War rope
First, decide whether you want a traditional tug of war rope or a 4-way rope.
Second, choose a rope length based on the number of users. Gopher offers traditional tug of war ropes in 50', 75' and 100' lengths. 4-way tug of war ropes are available with 17.5' 20', and 25' of pulling length.
Third, choose a rope diameter based on the age of the users. Smaller diameter ropes are obviously easier to grip for smaller hands. Gopher offers ropes ranging from 1/2" diameter up to 2".
Fourth, choose a rope material. Manila tug of war ropes are durable, inexpensive and offer plenty of grip. Unmanila ropes are made of a synthetic fiber that most users will find more friendly on their hands. Blended tug of war ropes made of polyester and nylon are the softest ropes and will stand up best to sun and moisture.