Games Database

Timber Hitch Tug


One 2m spar
Two lengths 10m laid rope, preferably no smaller than 9mm, preferably sisal.
Check out the frictional properties of the rope/spar combination before running the game using a couple of hefty leaders/helpers/venture scouts.

Game Description

Teams compete against each other in a tug of war variant that tests their knot tying abilities.

Assume 5 or 6 max per team, number off opposing team members to match for size/weight.

The first pair each tie a timber hitch about a metre from opposite ends of a short spar (min. 100mm diameter). A 5-10 m. length of laid rope should be used.

The middle of the spar is marked with tape or string.

The pair have 30 seconds to tie a saitsfactory timber hitch around the spar. If one or other can't tie the knot the other team gets a point.

Assuming both tie a knot successfully then they take the strain on the rope and a leader checks the position of the mark on the spar with a chalk mark on the floor.

The two contestants now start the pull. If one of the knots comes off the spar when the load comes on the other team get a point.

At ten second intervals add another pair of scouts (matched for size/weight) at either end of the rope. If the rope comes off one end the opposing team get a point or if they pull the mark on the spar over their team's marker. If neither team has won after a minute then each team gets a point.

The position of the markers will depend on the relative strengths of the teams.

After each bout the next pair of players has to tie the knot and the system repeats until all players have had a go at tying and there have been as many pulls as there are team members.

This can be an inter patrol competition that can carry over for several meetings.

A variation can be to substitute a different hitch, but it must be an equally secure one.