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Tug-of-war

Tug-of-war
Middle 20 century female competition
Photo from the web resource Heritage Images

Русская версия


Tug-of-war is a contest in which teams pull of opposite ends of a rope; the team dragged across a central line loses. Strictly speaking, "Tug-of-war" is not a SINGLE combat because it is usually a team contest. Nonetheless, this sport (or game), in which women are widely involved, presumes physical combative contest. Besides, one-on-one competitions exist as well.

In fact, tug-of-war is the only strength test sport which women really practiced at least since late of the 19th century, while their participation in boxing and wrestling until late of the 20th century couldn’t be considered as serious.

The game of Tug of War is very old pastime. The contest of pulling on the rope originates from ancient ceremonies and rituals. Evidence is found in countries like Egypt, India, Myanmar, and New Guinea... The origin of the game in India has strong archaeological roots going back at least to the 12th Century AD in the area what is today the State of Orissa on the east coast. The famous Sun Temple of Konark has a stone relief on the west wing of the structure clearly showing the game of Tug of War in progress. The origins of tug of war are uncertain, but it is beyond dispute that this once royal sport was practiced in ancient Egypt and China, where it was held in legend that the Sun and Moon played Tug of War over the light and darkness.

Tug-of-War was born as a competitive team sport in England, Scotland, Sweden and many other countries with a sea-faring tradition. For that is where the game (or rather sport) of Tug-of-War comes from. It originated in the great days of sail when teams of men were required to tug on lines to adjust sails while ships were underway or even in combat. The first land competitions are thought to have been held in India after British Army officers observed seamen at this sport during their free time at sea. The officers thought it would be a good way to keep their own men fit during a long sea voyage from England to India. They enjoyed it so much that they continued the competitions on reaching their destination.

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, waitresses in J. Lyons & Co. in London* were illustrious by their outstanding athletic activities unusual for those times. Tug-of-war was the highlight of the athletic programme. They were called 'Nippies' for their quick, niplike motions involved with making and serving tea in a crowded restaurant. In order to justify their names, Lyons' waitresses actively participated in sports. During so-called 'sports day' they competed in tug of war, hurdles and other sports. A lot of pictures and video clips remain with these unusual girls. Nippies wore a distinctive maidlike uniform with a matching hat. Competing, they impressed crowds of spectators by their sports skirts and jumpers, striped knee socks and headbands.

Two teams of eight, whose total mass must not exceed a maximum weight determined for the class, align themselves at the end of a rope (approximately 10 centimeters in circumference). The rope is marked with a "centre line" and two markings four meters either side of the centre line. The teams start with the rope's centre line directly above a line marked on the ground, and once the contest (the "pull") has commenced, attempt to pull the other team such that the marking on the rope closest to their opponent crosses the centre line, or the opponents commit a foul (such as a team member sitting or falling down).

The sport is played almost in every country in the world. However, a small selection of countries has set up a national body to govern the sport. Most of these national bodies are associated then with the International governing body call TWIF which stands for the "Tug of War International Federation". As of 2008 there are 53 countries associated with TWIF, among which are the pioneers of the sport - Scotland, Ireland, England, India, Switzerland and Belgium. Recently, Russia joined the federation.

The sport was part of the Olympic Games until 1920, but has not been included since. The sport is contested in the World Games. TWIF organizes World Championships for nation teams biannually, for both indoor and outdoor contests, and a similar competition for club teams.

This is truly democratic, cheerful and competitive sport - no sophisticated equipment - just a rope. Nowadays, women participate in this game probably more than men do. Besides, the game is equally popular among children of both sexes.

So called "4+4 mixed pulling", where teams consist of 4 men and 4 women became very popular. Besides team competitions, one on one contests are also popular, especially among female bodybuilders and armwrestlers.

Besides well-organized competitions, tug-of-war is widely popular on picnics, vacations, holiday parties, and family entertainment. Main rules of the classic Tag-of-War

- During the pull, team members may not cross the side line.
- Spectators and coaches may not cross the side lines.
- Team members must remain on their feet. Allowances will be made for knees touching or competitors falling down, provided they immediately return to their feet.
- Spikes or cleats are not allowed. Synthetic turf shoes may be worn.
- Gloves cannot be worn.
- There will be no substitution of competitors once the event begins.
- Team captains will flip a coin before each match to determine sides.
- There will be a maximum of five (5) minute rests between successive pulls for any team.
- Women teams may weigh-in in proper sized non-transparent shorts and shirts only.

Renovation - January 2011


*) J. Lyons & Co. was a large-scale British restaurant, tea shops, food manufacturing, and hotel conglomerate. It was founded in 1887 as a spin-off from the Salmon & Gluckstein tobacco business. Joseph Nathaniel Lyons (b. 1847) was appointed to run the company and it was named after him. J. Lyons & Co. was the pioneer in the introduction of computers to business, and the company manufactured and sold a range of LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) computers in the period 1947 to 1963. To the public, J. Lyons & Co. were best known for their chain of tea shops which began in 1894 and finally closed in 1981, and for the Lyons Corner Houses in the West End of London.
J. Lyons & Co brand of tea, and its tea shops and cafes in the UK were famous by its special 'Nippy' waitresses. Beginning in the late 19th century, a J. Lyons waitress was called a "Gladys". As of 1926, however, the term "Nippy" came into use, inspired by the quick, niplike motions involved with making and serving tea in a crowded restaurant setting.
By the way, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher worked at J. Lyons & Co for a relatively brief period in the late 1940s

Rope
Historical photos

Tug-of-war
Beach Tug-of-War in 1955
Hulton Archive//Getty Images


Tug-of-war
Martha Farra against 16 girls. 1900s
Martha Farra, the German (Austrian) strong woman, considered the strongest lady in the worlds, visiting USA is able to play tug-of-war with sixteen girlies. The photographer states: "She has no trouble in holding them in check"
Orrin J.Heller Collection


Tug-of-war
1920s Beach tug of war - Ladies
Photo from the Nancy Schindler's album Flickr


Tug-of-war
May 1921. A look at the tug of war competition between two teams of waitresses from the 'J. Lyons' tea rooms in London at their annual sports day.
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


Tug-of-war
WWI. Nurses compete against hospital aids at the Fox Hill Hospital for the wounded
The hospital aides defeated the nurses
Corbis


Tug-of-war
Ladies Tug of War
Crofthead Gala Day. 1913
Bobbins&Threads


Tug-of-war
Team of beauties against Man's Teeth
Original caption: Andre Rewerdy, the world's strongest man at his weight, 115 ponds, out-pulls a bevy of beauties, of the Earl Carroll's "Vanities," on the roof of the Earl Carroll Building. They are left to right: the Misses Jewel La Kotta, Nina Sorel, Ethel dale, Cleone Stamm, Vivian Carmody, Gladys Philbin and Irma Philbin. Circa 1930.
Corbis


Tug-of-war
Girls from Regent Palace pull with a will. 1930.
Regent Palace Hotel


Tug-of-war
Poster from the resource Zazzle. Circa 1940s


Tug-of-war
Women's contest. Circa 1950s
Photo Fashioneurotic Blogspot


Tug-of-war
A view from ground level of a ladies' tug-of-war team competing at Ashendon village fete in Buckinghamshire in 1971
English Heritage


Tug-of-war
3-female police team lost to a 3-male team in New York Police Department contest
Coney Island beach, 2009
Gothamist


Tug-of-war
Canavans, winners of the ladies 5-a-side
Ireland National outdoor championships. Ballyhooly, 2009. Irish Tug-of-war


Tug-of-war
Girls under the age of six beat the boys of the same age
in a tug of war competition at the First Annual Kids Fest
in Chardon Square on August 12th, 2010
Photo by Chris Langer

Chris Langer blog


Tug-of-war
Family tug-of-war. December 1997
Photo by Ariel Skelley
Corbis

Rope
Videoclips

Tug-of-war
Campground competition between girls and women


Tug-of-war
USA Independent campground female competitions


Tug-of-war
European championship 2005; category 560kg


Set the curson on the picture below
hold there...

Rope Pulling one-to-one

Rope

Tug-of-war
Postcard by artist Donadini, Jr.
A pair of Bathing Beauties having a Tug of War with men
Eyedeal Postcards and Figurines


Tug-of-war
Malaysian women in tug-of-war. September 9, 2007
Postcard from the Sky's photostream

Historical Videoclips (Previews)
by 'British Pathe'

Tug-of-war
'Nippies' in actions
Event 'Fighting Father Time'


Tug-of-war
'Nippies' - athletic waitresses


Tug-of-war
'Nippies' in tug of war


Tug-of-war
Girls' tug of war; during World War One, on the home front in England
Belgian refugee girls against English girls


Historic photos by Getty Images

Tug-of-war
August 1917: A women's tug of war during a Metropolitan railway worker's sportsday at Wembley.
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


Tug-of-war
15th September 1919: Contestants taking part in a tug of war during waitresses sports at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea, London.
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


Tug-of-war
15th September 1919: A contestants taking the strain in a tug of war during waitresses sports at Stamford Bridge in Chelsea, London.
Hulton Archive//Getty Images


Tug-of-war
14th June 1930: Lyon Club Annual sports meeting at Sudbury Hill. Competitors in a tug-of-war competition.
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


Tug-of-war
A women's tug of war team in action
at the Lyons Club Annual Sports event at Sudbury. 1930
Hulton Archive//Getty Images


Tug-of-war
23rd March 1934: Lyon's Tea Shop waitresses, known as nippies, having a tug of war at Chelsea Barracks, London.
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images


History. Miscellany

Tug-of-war
This illustration appeared in 'The Graphic newspaper' on 29 October 1887. It is captioned 'Children's tug of war on a homeward-bound troopship, boys versus girls'.
Bedfordshire Women's Land Army


Tug-of-war
Britain Land girls tug of war at Sharnbrook hostel, July 1945
Magazine "The Land Girl", July 1945
Bedfordshire Women's Land Army


Tug-of-war
Women's tug of war contest print by Zazzle


Tug-of-war
Girls from Rayne High School
Lafayette, Lousiana. 1969
Rayne High Wolves Class, 1969


Festival contests

Tug-of-war
The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar-ka-Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India
Photo from the web site Hotel Everest


Tug-of-war
Women's tug of war 1979
Photo by Helen Whittaker, Broadbottom Community Association


Tug-of-war
Indigenous people festival in South America. November 2009
Photo from the web site Today's Picture around the world


Tug-of-war
Festival in Al-Ulum in Malaysia, 2009
Photo from the web site Everything's is possible


Tug-of-war
Girls at Isleta Day School in a tug of war, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 1940
Photographed by Sekaer, Native American Heritage


Tug-of-war
26th Annual Phoenix House Field Day event, August 20, 2010 at Icahn Stadium, NY
Photographed by Sekaer, Flickr


Tug-of-war
Women's tug-of-war contest, May Day Festival, 1976
Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida


Official contests

Tug-of-war
560kg England National team
Tug of War Association


Tug-of-war
Dutch women's tug-of-war team competing in 2009 World Games
Uncommon Sportsman


Tug-of-war
Taiwan women's tug-of-war team competing in 2009 World Games
Photo by Ho Aili, Straits Times


Tug-of-war
Greek Week Tug-of-War in May 2010, Drexel University, Philadelphia
Drexel Daily


Tug-of-war
World Championships 2000 Blackpool, England
Canada-England, 560kg Tug-of-War Album


Girls of tug-of-war

Tug-of-war

Tug-of-war

Tug-of-war

Tug-of-war


Kids' contests

Kids rope pulling

Kids rope pulling


Videoclips



Women Tug of War: Martock against Truro. England



Women Tug of War: World Indoor Championships, 2014. Ladies 500kg, Final



Women Tug of War: One on one



Women Tug of War: Indian women Vs Foreign women



Hindu Festival Onam, 2011. Tug of war: Men Vs Women



World sport Games, 2009. Women Tug of War (Indoor)


Women Tug of War: European Championships, 2011


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