Tug of war

Tug of war (also known as tug o' war, tug war, rope war, rope pulling, or tugging war) is a sport that pits two teams against each other in a test of strength: teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team's pull.

Tug of war
Irish 600kg euro chap 2009 (cropped)
Ireland 600 kg team in the European Championships 2009
Highest governing bodyTug of War International Federation
First playedAncient
Team membersEight (or more)
Mixed gendermix 4+4 and separate
TypeTeam sport, outdoor/indoor
EquipmentRope and boots
OlympicPart of the Summer Olympic programme from 1900 to 1920
World Games1981 – present


The Oxford English Dictionary says that the phrase "tug of war" originally meant "the decisive contest; the real struggle or tussle; a severe contest for supremacy". Only in the 19th century was it used as a term for an athletic contest between two teams who haul at the opposite ends of a rope.[1]


A tug of war between asuras and devas[2] (Angkor Wat, Cambodia)

The origins of tug of war are uncertain, but this sport was practised in Cambodia, ancient Egypt, Greece, India and China. According to a Tang dynasty book, The Notes of Feng, tug of war, under the name "hook pulling" (牽鉤), was used by the military commander of the State of Chu during the Spring and Autumn period (8th century BC to 5th century BC) to train warriors. During the Tang dynasty, Emperor Xuanzong of Tang promoted large-scale tug of war games, using ropes of up to 167 metres (548 ft) with shorter ropes attached, and more than 500 people on each end of the rope. Each side also had its own team of drummers to encourage the participants.[3]

In ancient Greece the sport was called helkustinda (Greek: ἑλκυστίνδα), efelkustinda (ἐφελκυστίνδα) and dielkustinda (διελκυστίνδα),[4] which derives from dielkō (διέλκω), meaning amongst others "I pull through",[5] all deriving from the verb helkō (ἕλκω), "I draw, I pull".[6] Helkustinda and efelkustinda seem to have been ordinary versions of tug of war, while dielkustinda had no rope, according to Julius Pollux.[7] It is possible that the teams held hands when pulling, which would have increased difficulty, since handgrips are more difficult to sustain than a grip of a rope. Tug of war games in ancient Greece were among the most popular games used for strength and would help build strength needed for battle in full armor.[8]

Archeological evidence shows that tug of war was also popular in India in the 12th century:

There is no specific time and place in history to define the origin of the game of Tug of War. The contest of pulling on the rope originates from ancient ceremonies and rituals. Evidence is found in countries like Egypt, India, Myanmar, New Guinea... The origin of the game in India has strong archaeological roots going back at least to the 12th century AD in the area what is today the State of Orissa on the east coast. The famous Sun Temple of Konark has a stone relief on the west wing of the structure clearly showing the game of Tug of War in progress.[9]

Tug of war, at Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan
Women in a tug of war, at the annual Pushkar Fair, Rajasthan, India

Tug of war stories about heroic champions from Scandinavia and Germany circulate Western Europe where Viking warriors pull on animal skins over open pits of fire in tests of strength and endurance, in preparation for battle and plunder.

1500 and 1600 – tug of war is popularised during tournaments in French châteaux gardens and later in Great Britain

1800 – tug of war begins a new tradition among seafaring men who were required to tug on lines to adjust sails while ships were under way and even in battle.[10]

The Mohave people occasionally used tug-of-war matches as means of settling disputes.[11]

As a sport

1904 tug of war
Tug of war competition in 1904 Summer Olympics

There are tug of war clubs in many countries, and both men and women participate.

The sport was part of the Olympic Games from 1900 until 1920, but has not been included since. The sport is part of the World Games. The Tug of War International Federation (TWIF), organises World Championships for nation teams biannually, for both indoor and outdoor contests, and a similar competition for club teams.

In England the sport was formally governed by the AAA until 1984, but is now catered for by the Tug of War Association (formed in 1958), and the Tug of War Federation of Great Britain (formed in 1984). In Scotland, the Scottish Tug of War Association was formed in 1980. The sport also features in Highland Games there.

Between 1976 and 1988 Tug of War was a regular event during the television series Battle of the Network Stars. Teams of celebrities representing each major network competed in different sporting events culminating into the final event, the Tug of War. Lou Ferrigno's epic tug-o'-war performance in May 1979 is considered the greatest feat in 'Battle' history.

National organizations

Harvard tug of war team 1888
Harvard Tug of War team, 1888

The sport is played almost in every country in the world. However, a small selection of countries have set up a national body to govern the sport. Most of these national bodies are associated then with the International governing body call TWIF which stands for The Tug of War International Federation. As of 2008 there are 53 countries associated with TWIF, among which are Scotland, Ireland, England, India, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy,[12] South Africa and the United States.

Gozutenno tsunahiki
Tug of war as a religious ritual in Japan, drawn in the 18th century. It is still seen in Osaka every January.

Regional variations

Burma (Myanmar)

In Myanmar (Burma), the tug of war, called lun hswe (လွန်ဆွဲ; pronounced [lʊ̀ɴ sʰwɛ́]) has both cultural and historical origins. It features as an important ritual in phongyibyan, the ceremonial cremation of high-ranking Buddhist monks, whereby the funerary pyres are tugged between opposite sides. The tug of war is also used as a traditional rainmaking custom, called mo khaw (မိုးခေါ်; pronounced [mó kʰɔ̀]), to encourage rain. The tradition originated during the rain of King Shinmahti in the Bagan era.[13] The Rakhine people also hold tug of war ceremonies called yatha hswe pwe (ရထားဆွဲပွဲ) during the Burmese month of Tabodwe.[14]


In Indonesia, Tarik Tambang is a popular sport held in many events, such as the Indonesian Independence Day celebration, school events, and scout events. The rope used is called dadung, made from fibers of lar between two jousters. Two cinder blocks are placed a distance apart and the two jousters stand upon the blocks with a rope stretched between them. The objective for each jouster is to either a) cause their opponent to fall off their block, or b) to take their opponent's end of the rope from them.[15]


Naha Tug of War
Naha's annual Otsunahiki (giant tug-of-war) has its roots in a centuries-old local custom. It is the biggest among Japan's traditional tugs of war.

In Japan, the tug of war (綱引き/Tsunahiki in Japanese) is a staple of school sports festivals. The tug-of-war is also a traditional way to pray for a plentiful harvest throughout Japan and is a popular ritual around the country. The Kariwano Tug-of-war in Daisen, Akita, is said to be more than 500 years old, and is also a national folklore cultural asset.[16] The Underwater Tug-of-War Festival in Mihama, Fukui is 380 years old, and takes place every January.[17] The Sendai Great Tug of War in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima is known as Kenka-zuna or "brawl tug".[18] Around 3,000 men pull a huge rope which is 365 metres (1,198 ft) long. The event is said to have been started by feudal warlord Yoshihiro Shimadzu, with the aim of boosting the morale of his soldiers before the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Nanba Hachiman Jinja's tug-of-war, which started in the Edo period, is Osaka's folklore cultural asset.[19] The Naha Tug-of-war in Okinawa is also famous.


Juldarigi (Korean줄다리기, also chuldarigi) is a traditional Korean sport similar to tug of war. It has a ritual and divinatory significance to many agricultural communities in the country and is performed at festivals and community gatherings. The sport uses two huge rice-straw ropes, connected by a central peg, which is pulled by teams representing the East and West sides of the village (the competition is often rigged in favor of the Western team). A number of religious and traditional rituals are performed before and after the actual competition.

Several areas of Korea have their own distinct variations of juldarigi, and similar tug-of-war games with connections to agriculture are found in rural communities across Southeast Asia.


The Peruvian children's series Nubeluz featured its own version of tug-of-war (called La Fuerza Glufica), where each team battled 3-on-3 on platforms suspended over a pool of water. The object was simply to pull the other team into the pool.


In Poland, a version of tug of war is played using a dragon boat, where teams of 6 or 8 attempt to row towards each other.[20]

Basque Country

In the Basque Country, this sport is considered a popular rural sport, with many associations and clubs. In Basque, it is called Sokatira.

United States

In the USA - A form of Tug of War using 8 handles is used in competition at camps, schools, churches, and other events. The rope is called an OCT-O PULL and provides two way, four way and 8 way competition for 8 to 16 participants at one time.[21]

  • Each Fourth of July, two California towns separated by an ocean channel Stinson Beach, California and Bolinas, California gather to compete in an annual tug-of-war.[22][23]
  • The towns of Leclaire, Iowa, and Port Byron, Illinois, compete in a tug of war across the Mississippi River every year in August since 1987 during Tug Fest.[24]
  • A special edition of the Superstars television series, called "The Superteams", features a tug-of-war, usually as the final event.
  • The Battle of the Network Stars featured a tug-of-war as one of its many events.
  • A game of tug-of-war, on tilted platforms, was used on the US, UK and Australian versions of the Gladiators television series, although the game was played with two sole opposing participants.

Miami University

GW Puddle Pull 031
2004 Greek Week Puddle Pull at Miami University

Puddle Pull is a biannual tug of war contest held at Miami University. The current event is a timed, seated variation of tug of war in which Fraternities & Sororities compete. In addition to the seated participants, each team has a caller who coordinates the movements of the team.

Although the university did host an unrelated freshman vs. sophomores tug of war event in the 1910s and 1920s, the first record of modern Puddle Pull is its appearance as a tug of war event in the school's newspaper, The Miami Student, in May 1949.[25] This fraternity event was created by Frank Dodd of the Miami Chapter of Delta Upsilon. Originally, the event was held as a standing tug of war over the Tallawanda stream near the Oxford waterworks bridge in which the losers were pulled into the water.[26] This first event was later seen as a driving force for creating interfraternity competitive activities (Greek Week) at Miami University.[27] As a part of moving to a seated event, a new rule was created in 1966 to prohibit locks and created the event that is seen today with the exception of a large pit that was still being dug in between the two teams.[28][29] The event is held in a level grass field and uses a 2-inch diameter rope that is at least 50 feet long is used for the event. Footholes or "pits" are dug for each participant at 20-inch intervals. The pits are dug with a flat front and an angled back. Women began to compete sporadically starting in the 1960s and would become regular participants as sorority teams in the mid-1980s.

Hope College

The Hope College Pull is an annual tug-of-war contest held across the Black River in Holland, Michigan on the fourth Saturday after Labor Day. Competitors are 40 members of the freshman and sophomore classes.[30]

Formal rules

The Dutch team at the 2006 World Championships

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 (4.3 in) in circumference. The rope is marked with a "centre line" and two markings 4 metres (13 ft) to 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.[31]

Lowering one's elbow below the knee during a pull, known as "locking", is a foul, as is touching the ground for extended periods of time. The rope must go under the arms; actions such as pulling the rope over the shoulders may be considered a foul. These rules apply in highly organized competitions such as the World Championships. However, in small or informal entertainment competitions, the rules are often arbitrarily interpreted and followed.[31]

A contest may feature a moat in a neutral zone, usually of mud or softened ground, which eliminates players who cross the zone or fall into it.


Highland games tug of war 2
Tug of war at the Highland Games in Stirling

Aside from the raw muscle power needed for tug of 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. To achieve this, a person called a "driver" is used to harmonize the team's joint traction power. He moves up and down next to his team pulling on the rope, giving orders to them when to pull and when to rest (called "hanging"). If he spots the opponents trying to pull his team away, he gives a "hang" command, each member will dig into the grass with his/her boots and movement of the rope is limited. When the opponents are played out, he shouts "pull" and rhythmically waves his hat or handkerchief for his team to pull together. Slowly but surely, the other team is forced into surrender by a runaway pull. Another factor that affects the game that is little known are the players' weights. The heavier someone is, the more static friction their feet have to the ground, and if there isn't enough friction and they weigh too little, even if he/she is pulling extremely hard, the force won't go into the rope. Their feet will simply slide along the ground if their opponent(s) have better static friction with the ground. In general, as long as one team has enough static friction and can pull hard enough to overcome the static friction of their opponent(s), that team can easily win the match.

Injury risks

In addition to injuries from falling and from back strains (some of which may be serious), catastrophic injuries may occur and permanent damage to the body, such as finger, hand, or even arm amputations. Amputations or avulsions may result from two causes: looping or wrapping the rope around a hand or wrist, and impact from elastic recoil if the rope breaks. Amateur organizers of tugs of war may underestimate the forces generated, or overestimate the breaking strength of common ropes, and may thus be unaware of the possible consequences if a rope snaps under extreme tension. The broken ends of a rope made with a somewhat elastic polymer such as common nylon can reach high speeds, and can easily sever fingers. For this reason, specially engineered tug of war ropes exist that can safely withstand the forces generated.[32]

Notable incidents

Date Location Rope snapped # deaths # severely Injured # overall injured # total participants Death cause / injury details Rope details Other information
13 June 1978[33] Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ☑ 0 6 200 ~2,300 6 fingers and thumbs amputated 2000 foot rope rated for 13,000 lbs Middle school Guinness Book of Records attempt
4 June 1995[34] Westernohe, Germany ☑ 2 5 29 650 Crushed and hit ground hard "Thumb-thick" nylon Scouts attempt Guinness Book of Records entry
25 October 1997[35][36][37][38] Taipei, Taiwan ☑ 0 2 42 1500 Arms severed below shoulder 5-centimetre (2.0 in) nylon, max. strength 26,000 kilograms (57,000 lb) Official event, with foreign dignitaries
4 February 2013[39] El Monte, California ☑ 0 2 2 ~40[40] 9 fingers amputated[40] Unknown Lunchtime high school activity


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  2. ^ The bas-relief of the Churning of the Sea of Milk shows Vishnu in the centre, his turtle avatar Kurma below, asuras and devas to left and right, and apsaras and Indra above.
  3. ^ Tang dynasty Feng Yan: Notes of Feng, volume 6
  4. ^ διελκυστίνδα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  5. ^ διέλκω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  6. ^ ἕλκω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^ Pollux, 9.112
  8. ^ Jaime Marie Layne, The Enculturative Function of Toys and Games in Ancient Greece and Rome, ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publishing, 2011
  9. ^ Tug of War Federation of India: History
  10. ^ Equity Gaming: History of Tug of War
  11. ^ http://www.figest.it/
  12. ^ "Tug of War for Rain". The Myanmar Times. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  13. ^ ကံထွန်း (2017-08-02). "ရခိုင်ရိုးရာ ရထားဆွဲပွဲ ပျော်ပျော်ရွှင်ရွှင်တူဆင်နွှဲ". Myanmar Ministry of Information.
  14. ^ Mary Hirt, Irene Ramos (2008), "Rope Jousting", Maximum Middle School Physical Education, p. 144, ISBN 978-0-7360-5779-0
  15. ^ Kariwano Ootsunahiki NHK
  16. ^ Underwater Tug-of-War Festival in Mihama Fukui Shimbun, 2013/01/20
  17. ^ SENDAI GREAT TUG-of WAR (Sendai Otsunahiki / 川内大綱引き) Kagoshima Internationalization Council.
  18. ^ Tsunahiki Shinji(Shinto ritual) Nanba Hachiman Jinja, 2015/01/18
  19. ^ Lynch, Molly. "Dragon boat tug of war is Poland's newest sports craze". Mashable. Retrieved 2017-08-15.
  20. ^ http://www.recreation-specialists.com
  21. ^ Uniquely West Marin: Fourth of July Tug of War | Point Reyes Weekend
  22. ^ /http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_4013474 Archived 2009-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Home". Tugfest. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  24. ^ "Delta Chis Win Tug-O-War As Large Crowd Watches". The Miami Student. 074 (55). May 24, 1949. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "Fraternity Tug-O-War Teams Begin Practice For Struggle". The Miami Student. 074 (56). May 20, 1949. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  26. ^ "Greek Week Has Brief, Busy Past". The Miami Student. 088 (44). April 20, 1965. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Greeks Set Theme Of 'Athenian Antics'". The Miami Student. 088 (42). April 13, 1965. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  28. ^ "Greek Week Scheduled". The Journal News. April 29, 1971. p. 62. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Farrand, Allison (October 4, 2016). "Victory in Hope College annual 'Pull' goes to sophomore class". MLive Media Group. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  30. ^ a b "TWIF Rules". 2017 TWIF Rules Manual. Tug of War International Federation. 2017. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  31. ^ 2015
  32. ^ "Tug-of-War Ends in Multiple Injuries". Gadsden Times. 14 June 1978. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  33. ^ 2 Boy Scouts Die When Tug-Of-War Rope Snaps
  34. ^ Two Men Lose Arms in tug-of-war, The Nation, October 27, 1997 (available at Google.news).
  35. ^ Tug-of-war: accident leaves arms hanging and mayor apologetic (China Times Tue, Oct 28, 1997 edition (available at Chinainformed.com).
  36. ^ Taiwanese doctors reattach arms ripped off in tug-of-war, Boca Raton News, October 27, 1997, Page 7A, (available as new
  37. ^ Disarmed - Disarmanent at Snopes.com.
  38. ^ "Teens recovering after losing fingers during tug-of-war match". Associated Press. February 5, 2013. Archived from the original on February 7, 2013.
  39. ^ a b http://www.yelmonline.com/sports/article_f7ec0326-c131-5925-a332-5242a0483b63.html


  • Henning Eichberg, "Pull and tug: Towards a philosophy of the playing 'You'", in: Bodily Democracy: Towards a Philosophy of Sport for All, London: Routledge 2010, pp. 180–199.

External links

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen (born November 21, 1985) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Mission, British Columbia, Jepsen performed several lead roles in her high school's musical productions and pursued musical theatre at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. After completing her studies, she relocated to Vancouver and later competed on the fifth season of Canadian Idol in 2007, placing third. In 2008, Jepsen released her folk-influenced debut studio album Tug of War in Canada.

Jepsen's breakthrough came in 2012, when her single "Call Me Maybe" was boosted to significant mainstream popularity; the song became the best-selling single of that year, reaching number one in eighteen countries worldwide. As a result, she was signed to a joint worldwide record deal with Schoolboy Records and Interscope Records. Jepsen's second studio album Kiss was released later that year. The record marked a greater shift into mainstream pop music and saw fair commercial success, reaching the top ten in Canada and the United States. In 2013, Jepsen made her Broadway stage debut as the titular character in Cinderella. In 2015, Jepsen released her third studio album Emotion. It is noted for its influence from 1980s music as well as blending dance-pop and synth-pop with indie sensibilities. While less commercially successful than Kiss, it saw the success of its lead single "I Really Like You" and received critical acclaim. In 2016, Jepsen performed in the television special Grease: Live, and lent her voice to the animated film Ballerina. Jepsen’s fourth studio album, Dedicated, was released on May 17, 2019.

Jepsen has received multiple accolades, including three Juno Awards, a Billboard Music Award, and an Allan Slaight Award, in addition to various nominations for Grammy Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Polaris Music Prize and People's Choice Awards. As of May 2015, Jepsen has sold over 20 million records worldwide.

Double planet

In astronomy, a double planet (also binary planet) is a binary system where both objects are of planetary mass. The term is not recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and is therefore not an official classification. At its 2006 General Assembly, the International Astronomical Union considered a proposal that Pluto and Charon be reclassified as a double planet, but the proposal was abandoned in favor of the current definition of planet. In promotional materials advertising the SMART-1 mission and pre-dating the IAU planet definition, the European Space Agency once referred to the Earth–Moon system as a double planet.Some binary asteroids with components of roughly equal mass are sometimes informally referred to as double minor planets. These include binary asteroids 69230 Hermes and 90 Antiope and binary Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) 79360 Sila–Nunam and 1998 WW31.

List of Olympic medalists in tug of war

This is the complete list of Olympic medalists in tug of war from 1900 to 1920.

List of Olympic venues in discontinued events

For the Summer Olympics, there have been fourteen Olympic sports that have been discontinued from the program as of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. For the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, golf and rugby union were reinstated as Olympic sports (though the latter was as rugby sevens). As of 2011, there have been eight baseball, two basque pelota, one cricket, one croquet, two golf, one jeu de paume, two lacrosse, five polo, one racquets, five rugby union (fifteen-a-side), four softball, five tug of war, and one water motorsports venues used for the Summer Olympics.

Baseball and softball, now governed by a single international federation and thus treated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as two disciplines of a single sport, will be part of the 2020 Summer Olympics program in Tokyo. The sports are not included in Paris' plan for the 2024 Games, but are part of Los Angeles' plan for the 2028 Games.

Pakistan Tug of War Federation

The Pakistan Tug of War Federation is the national governing body to develop and promote the sport of Tug of War in the Pakistan. The federation is based in Lahore.

The Federation is the member organization of the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF).

Pipes of Peace

Pipes of Peace is the fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, released in 1983. As the follow-up to the popular Tug of War, the album came close to matching the commercial success of its predecessor in Britain but peaked only at number 15 on America's Billboard 200 albums chart. While Pipes of Peace was the source of international hit singles such as "Say Say Say" (recorded with Michael Jackson) and the title track, the critical response to the album was less favourable than that afforded to Tug of War.

Ralph Rose

Ralph Waldo Rose (March 17, 1885 – October 16, 1913) was an American track and field athlete. He was born in Healdsburg, California.

South African Tug of War Federation

The South African Tug of War Federation (SATF) also known as the South African Tug-of-War Federation is the national governing body for the development and promotion of the sport of Tug of War (Afrikaans: Toutrek) in the Republic of South Africa. SATF is based in Claremont, Cape Town.

The Federation is a member of the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF). SATF is also an affiliate of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), which, alongside Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) supervises all organised sport in South Africa.

Men's and Women's teams from South Africa participate in the Tug of War International Federation World Outdoor Championships. In 2017, South Africa won gold in the women's junior 480 kg competition, and the under-23 women's team finished sixth in the 500 kg category. The junior men's team won silver in the 560 kg competition, behind Switzerland and bronze in the under-23 men's category. 300 South African teams contest for honours at the Youth Championships annually. 77 teams participated at the 2017 SATF Prestige Competition. In the World Games, the women's team won bronze medals in the Indoor 540 kg competition at both the 2013 and 2017 editions.

Tug of War (Paul McCartney album)

Tug of War is the third solo studio album by Paul McCartney, released in April 1982. It was McCartney's first album released after the dissolution of Wings in April, 1981. Overall it was his 11th album since the break up of the Beatles. It was also McCartney's first album after the murder of former songwriting partner John Lennon. The album was produced by former Beatles producer George Martin and was a number one hit in many countries. Some critics hailed it as a return to form for McCartney. Its remastered deluxe edition received a nomination for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Tug of War (Paul McCartney song)

"Tug of War" is the title track from Paul McCartney’s 1982 album Tug of War.

Tug of War (Upstairs, Downstairs)

Tug of War is the fifth episode of the fourth series of the television period drama Upstairs, Downstairs. It first aired on 12 October 1974 on ITV.

Tug of War International Federation

The Tug of War International Federation (TWIF) is the international governing body for the sport of tug of war.

Tug of war at the 1900 Summer Olympics

A tug of war tournament was held on 16 July at Catalan Cross, Boulogne Forest in Paris as part of the 1900 Summer Olympics. The only match of the tournament was played between a team from the Racing Club de France, representing France, and a mixed team consisting of three Danish athletes and three Swedish athletes. The mixed Scandinavian team won the match 2–0.

Originally, the French team were scheduled to play a team from the United States, but the latter withdrew from the competition as three of their team were taking part in the hammer throw at the same time. The Scandinavians were accepted as late entrants by the organisers, and their team was composed primarily of athletes who were competing in other events, though it also included a journalist, Edgar Aabye, to make up the numbers. The mixed team won each of the first two pulls against the French in a best-of-three contest to win the gold medal. Due to a second, unofficial, match subsequently taking place between the United States and the Scandinavians, some records have erroneously listed the United States as gold medalists.

Tug of war at the 1904 Summer Olympics

At the 1904 Summer Olympics, a tug of war tournament was contested. Six teams from three nations competing, with a total of 30 athletes involved.

Tug of war at the 1908 Summer Olympics

At the 1908 Summer Olympics, a tug of war tournament was contested.

Tug of war at the 1912 Summer Olympics

The tug of war contest at the 1912 Summer Olympics consisted of a single match, as only two teams entered the competition.

Sweden was represented by the Stockholm Police, while Great Britain's team came from the defending champion City of London Police. Austria, Bohemia, and Luxembourg had all entered teams, but failed to appear.

The withdrawals of those three teams turned what had been planned as a 10-match round-robin tournament into a single-match bout between Sweden and Great Britain. The bout consisted of a best-two-of-three contest. The competition was held on July 8, 1912. In the first pull, the Swedish team steadily pulled the British squad across the center mark. After a five-minute break, the second pull was started. In this one, neither team gained the victory through pulling the other across the line, but after a prolonged stalemate a couple of the London men succumbed to exhaustion and sat on the ground, disqualifying them and giving the Swedes the victory.

Tug of war at the 1920 Summer Olympics

The tug of war contest at the 1920 Summer Olympics was held on August 17, 1920 and on August 18, 1920. All medals were decided by using the Bergvall system.

Tug of war at the Summer Olympics

Tug of war was contested as a team event in the Summer Olympics at every Olympiad from 1900 to 1920. Originally the competition was entered by groups called clubs. A country could enter more than one club in the competition, making it possible for one country to earn multiple medals. This happened in 1904, when the United States won all three medals, and in 1908 when the podium was occupied by three British teams. Sweden was also among the top countries with two medals, one as a member of the mixed team.

During its time as an Olympic sport, it was considered to be part of the Olympic athletics programme, although the sports of tug of war and athletics are now considered distinct.


Westernohe is an Ortsgemeinde – a community belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde – in the Westerwaldkreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

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