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Tug of war

  (Redirected from Tug-of-war)

Tug of war (also known as war of tug, tug o' war, tug war, rope war, rope pulling, tugging war or Afrikaans: toutrek) is a sport that directly puts 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.JPG
Ireland 600 kg team in the European Championships 2009
Highest governing body Tug of War International Federation
Nicknames TOW
First played Ancient
Characteristics
Contact Non-contact
Team members Eight (or more)
Mixed gender mix 4+4 and separate
Type Team sport, outdoor/indoor
Equipment Rope and boots
Presence
Olympic Part of the Summer Olympic programme from 1900 to 1920
World Games 1981 – present

Contents

TerminologyEdit

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]

OriginEdit

 
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 ancient Egypt, Greece, India and China, where it was held in legend that the Sun and Moon played tug of war over the light and darkness.[citation needed]

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]

 
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.[when?]

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.[when?][11]

As a sportEdit

 
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 organizationsEdit

 
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.

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

Regional variationsEdit

IndonesiaEdit

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.[13]

JapanEdit

 
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 a national folklore cultural asset.[14] The Underwater Tug-of-War Festival in Mihama, Fukui is 380 years old, and takes place in every January.[15] The Sendai Great Tug of War in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima is known as Kenka-zuna or "brawl tug".[16] 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.[17] The Naha Tug-of-war in Okinawa is also famous.

KoreaEdit

Juldarigi (Hangul줄다리기, 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 are pulled by teams representing the East and West sides of the village (the competition is often rigged in favour 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.

PeruEdit

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 in an effort to pull the other team into the pool.

PolandEdit

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. [18]

SpainEdit

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

United StatesEdit

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.[19]

Miami UniversityEdit

 
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 freshmen vs. sophomores tug of war event in the 1910's and 1920's, the first record of modern Puddle Pull is its appearances as a tug of war event in school's newspaper, The Miami Student, in May 1949.[22] 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.[23] This first event was later seen as a driving force for creating interfraternity competative actviites (Greek Week) at Miami University.[24] 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.[25][26] 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 1960's and would become regular participants as sorority teams in the mid-1980's.

Hope CollegeEdit

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 both the Freshman and Sophomore Class. The freshman team is coached by juniors while the sophomore team is coached by seniors.[27]

Formal rulesEdit

 
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.[28]

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.[28]

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.

TacticsEdit

 
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 risksEdit

In addition to injuries from falling and from back strains (some of which may be serious), catastrophic injuries may occur, 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.[29]

Notable incidentsEdit

Date Location Rope snapped # deaths # severely Injured # overall injured # total participants Death cause / injury details Rope details Other information
13 June 1978[30] Harrisburg, Pennsylvania  Y 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[31] Westernohe, Germany  Y 2 5 29 650 Crushed and hit ground hard "Thumb-thick" nylon Scouts attempt Guinness Book of Records entry
25 October 1997[32][33][34][35] Taipei, Taiwan  Y 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[36] El Monte California  Y 0 2 2 ~40[37] 9 fingers amputated[37] Unknown Lunchtime high school activity

NotesEdit

  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[dead link]
  10. ^ Equity Gaming: History of Tug of War
  11. ^ http://www.figest.it/
  12. ^ Mary Hirt, Irene Ramos (2008), "Rope Jousting", Maximum Middle School Physical Education, p. 144, ISBN 978-0-7360-5779-0 
  13. ^ Kariwano Ootsunahiki NHK
  14. ^ Underwater Tug-of-War Festival in Mihama Fukui Shimbun, 2013/01/20
  15. ^ SENDAI GREAT TUG-of WAR (Sendai Otsunahiki / 川内大綱引き) Kagoshima Internationalization Council.
  16. ^ Tsunahiki shinji(shinto ritual) Nanba Hachiman Jinja, 2015/01/18
  17. ^ Lynch, Molly. "Dragon boat tug of war is Poland's newest sports craze". Mashable. Retrieved 2017-08-15. 
  18. ^ http://www.recreation-specialists.com
  19. ^ Uniquely West Marin: Fourth of July Tug of War | Point Reyes Weekend
  20. ^ /http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_4013474
  21. ^ "Delta Chis Win Tug-O-War As Large Crowd Watches". The Miami Student. 074 (55). May 24, 1949. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Fraternity Tug-O-War Teams Begin Practice For Struggle". The Miami Student. 074 (56). May 20, 1949. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Greek Week Has Brief, Busy Past". The Miami Student. 088 (44). April 20, 1965. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Greeks Set Theme Of 'Athenian Antics'". The Miami Student. 088 (42). April 13, 1965. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  25. ^ "Greek Week Scheduled". The Journal News. April 29, 1971. p. 62. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  26. ^ Farrand, Allison (October 4, 2016). "Victory in Hope College annual 'Pull' goes to sophomore class". MLive Media Group. Retrieved August 1, 2018. 
  27. ^ a b "TWIF Rules". 2017 TWIF Rules Manual. Tug of War International Federation. 2017. Retrieved 2018-04-08. 
  28. ^ 2015
  29. ^ "Tug-of-War Ends in Muliple Injuries". Gadsden Times. 14 June 1978. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  30. ^ 2 Boy Scouts Die When Tug-Of-War Rope Snaps
  31. ^ Two Men Lose Arms in tug-of-war, The Nation, October 27, 1997 (available at Google.news).
  32. ^ Tug-of-war: accident leaves arms hanging and mayor apologetic (China Times Tue, Oct 28, 1997 edition (available at Chinainformed.com).
  33. ^ Taiwanese doctors reattach arms ripped off in tug-of-war, Boca Raton News, October 27, 1997, Page 7A, (available as new
  34. ^ Disarmed - Disarmanent at Snopes.com.
  35. ^ "Teens recovering after losing fingers during tug-of-war match". Associated Press. February 5, 2013. Archived from the original on February 7, 2013. 
  36. ^ a b http://www.yelmonline.com/sports/article_f7ec0326-c131-5925-a332-5242a0483b63.html

BibliographyEdit

  • 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 linksEdit