/ Using climbing rope for tug of war?

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Ali - on 21 Jun 2014
This may be a stupid question but...

Have a work 'sports day' coming up - we don't have a rope for the tug of war (I know, I can't believe people don't have these lying around at home?!) so I offered my old retired climbing rope. Now I'm not too worried about the rope getting wrecked as I don't use it for climbing anymore, but will it hold the strain? likely to be a 5 on 5 game, but wondering if it may be safer to reduce the numbers...
Jack B on 21 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

A rule of thumb I have heard is the "rule of 12", that is, no more than 12 people pulling on a rope. Or 6 with x2 mechanical advantage etc.

For a tug of war, 5v5, the rope gets the same force on it as 5 people pulling on it if it were tied off on a post. So as 5 is much less than 12, I don't think there is any risk of it breaking, not by a long way.

It might stretch more than a typical tug of war rope mind...
Captain Fastrousers - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

I think a bigger issue is the diameter of the rope, and how difficult it would be to hold it. A typical tug of war rope is about 3.5 cm diameter compared to ~1 cm for a climbing rope. I can see the potential for a lot of burnt hands.
Denzil - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Captain Fastrousers:

> I think a bigger issue is the diameter of the rope, and how difficult it would be to hold it. A typical tug of war rope is about 3.5 cm diameter compared to ~1 cm for a climbing rope. I can see the potential for a lot of burnt hands.

Cut it into thirds and plait it - will be much better to grip.
Duncan Bourne - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Jack B:

I was thinking of the stretchiness too. I imagine both teams pulling, moving backwards and the white hankie marker staying put.
Maybe you could lend them tiblocs for more grip?
Trangia - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Captain Fastrousers:
> (In reply to Ali)
>
> I think a bigger issue is the diameter of the rope, and how difficult it would be to hold it. A typical tug of war rope is about 3.5 cm diameter compared to ~1 cm for a climbing rope. I can see the potential for a lot of burnt hands.

Prussik loops for each "tugger"?

Fredt on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

A relation of mine donated his retired climbing rope for the tug of war at the Queens Jubilee street party on his street in 1977.
The rope snapped, several injuries and one chap died of a heart attack.
Orgsm on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Fredt:
> A relation of mine donated his retired climbing rope for the tug of war at the Queens Jubilee street party on his street in 1977.

> The rope snapped, several injuries and one chap died of a heart attack.

And don't forget the chapess who topped backwards over the cliff and fell to death.
Post edited at 09:55
climbwhenready - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Trangia:

> Prussik loops for each "tugger"?

Knots in the rope?
Ali - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Fredt:

Eek!!!!! Though that was 1970s rope right?!

Plaiting is a good idea and may help reduce stretch and likelihood of breakage - will have to check the length though. Otherwise knots in the rope should work. People should be bringing gloves so hopefully no rope burn!
Fredt on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

It was an 11mm nylon Kermantle rope. State of the art back then.
alanpknott - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

Contact the Tug of War Association who should be able to advise you about obtaining a suitable tug of war rope for your event. Visit www.tugofwar.co.uk for info.
Turdus torquatus on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

There's a helpful roundup of injury and amputation stories on Wikipedia:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tug_of_war#1997_arm_severing_incident
Brownie on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:
ask these guys what to use - they might have a cheap cut off.

http://www.ropelocker.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=54&products_id=164

or the local scouts who might have thick laid rope that would be suitable.
Post edited at 18:19
james wardle - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

If the "Further south than i would like" is anywhere near southampton i have one you can borrow

james
Ali - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to james wardle:

Thanks for the offer but I'm in London, so a bit far away! I don't really have time to get in touch to try and borrow one as its this week, but if the general consensus is it'll be unsafe then I may just have to retract my offer! But I reckon if it's plaited/twisted so treble strand it may be ok?
Gwain - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

I'm in Dartford and have one you can borrow. I will sort it out and let you know how big it is.
Mr Lopez - on 22 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

It'll be fine. Unless you work for a scaffolding company i'd bet my house that 5 guys 'from work' cannot snap a climbing rope simply by pulling on it.

Ropes can take 2000kg upwards, so that'd be 400kg pulling power a head. And not just pulling, but having the grip strength to hold 400kgs, and the 10 people all have to be able to do so. I'd be surprised if there's 10 people in the whole world able to do it.
jkarran - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

A single strand would be strong enough but hard to grip. If you plait it I think there's a risk of fingers getting snarled up in the rope.

jk
mariechen - on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to Turdus torquatus:
Good lord, I had no idea tug of war could be so bloody dangerous!

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1995/jun/07/2-boy-scouts-die-when-tug-of-war-rope-snaps/
Post edited at 12:53
awallace on 23 Jun 2014
In reply to Ali:

It'll be fine. Just double it up and tell your tuggers to wear gardening gloves if you/they are worried.

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