Sefton Tug of War Rules

The Tug of War will be held on grass (not boards), and ordinary footwear must be worn. This means no studs, spikes, or similar boots. We’d recommend normal work boots, trainers, or gumboots/wellingtons. Crampons or other additions to footwear are not allowed.

The rope is braided and smooth to avoid injury – you may wear gloves if you wish.

Each team must consist of a maximum up to 8 people. The Trophy Pull has a total weight limit of 800kg (equivalent to 100kg each). The Mixed Pull has no weight limit but at least four of the team members must be female. You may register up to ten people in your team, but only eight will be pulling at any one time.

The Year7&8 Primary School Pull has no weight limit. Up to 10 students pulling at once. Students should all attend the school they pull for.

Except for the above conditions, we will be adhering to standard Tug of War rues, whereby the team that pulls the rope a total of four metres from the centre line will win the pull. The referee’s decision on illegal pulling (looping the rope, lying down and other underhand tactics) will be final.

The routine for each pull will be as follows:

• The teams will line up next to the rope, which is market with a centre mark in red and two finish marks in black, four metres either side of the centre mark.

• On the call “Anchors Ready” the anchor for each team goes to their end of the rope. The end of the rope goes over their left shoulder, diagonally across their back, and the end is held in their right hand, with a metre or so hanging loose and pointing forwards. Left and right can be swapped over if preferred. Anchors may wish to wear a heavy padded jacket for this purpose.

• On the call “Teams Ready” the remaining seven members of each team take their positions between their anchors and the finish mark on their side of the rope, and hold on to the rope with their hands.

Apart from the half-turn around the anchor, the rope must run in a straight line at all times and no looping is allowed.

• On the call “Take the strain” both teams will take up the strain in the rope and lean backwards into position. The referee will then ensure that the centre mark of the rope is positioned directly above the centre mark on the ground and may call for the teams to adjust their position accordingly.

• The referee will ask “Are you ready?” and will wait for confirmation from the caption of each team.

• Within five seconds of the confirmation that both teams are ready, the referee will call“Pull”, loudly.

A team loses when their black finish mark is directly above the centre mark on the ground. During the pull, all team members must be standing. However, if you fall or slip and touch the grass with something other than your feet, you may immediately attempt to get up again. The referee will only call a foul if team members deliberately stay on the ground.


Gates open at 9am

First pull at 10am

Pool rounds from 10am to 12p

Knockout phase starts at 1pm

Finals at 2pm

The mixed pull will be played throughout at the same times, with the final just after the Trophy Pull final.

The event is fully licensed with a beer tent and good food will be available throughout (not just a sausage sizzle!)