How to Make a Tug of War Rope


"Tug of War" is a fun game to play at birthday parties, family get-togethers, school field day events, or anywhere you'd like. It's important, when playing Tug of War, to have a sturdy rope that is easy to grip and won't quickly leave your hands feeling tired and sore. Any old rope will simply not do, but a length of manila rope is smooth, sturdy and can be gripped easily by all hand sizes, especially when modified for easier tugging.

Things You'll Need

  • Manila rope
  • Determine the thickness of manila rope you would like to use and purchase accordingly. Take into account the age and size of the people who will be playing the game.

  • Determine how many players will be on each team. Measure 2 feet of rope per person, plus approximately 5 feet of rope to separate the teams.

  • Start at the end of the rope and tie a tight knot every 2 feet. The number of knots will correspond to the number of people on a single team. Repeat this step at the other end of the rope. Each knot will make it easier for the teammates to grip the rope without slipping backward into another player or getting rope burn on their hands.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use whichever type of rope you see fit, but manila rope is the only type allowed by the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF) for various reasons. One of the main safety issues with Tug of War is that "synthetic fibers can stretch and snap under excessive pressure in the same way a rubber band may," according to New manila rope is less susceptible to this phenomenon.
  • Avoid looping the rope around your hands when playing. Not only is this against TWIF rules, but in combination with the tugging motion, it could break your hand very easily.

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  • Photo Credit tug-of-war image by Pavel Losevsky from
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