Tug-of-War Ropes

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Shop for long-lasting tug-of-war ropes at Gopher Sport!

Tug-of-war pits two or four teams against one another, with each team trying to pull the other team across the line. It 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.
  • 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" dia up to 2" dia.
  • 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.