Topsy Tug of War

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Group Size


  • An 8'-20' Rope
  • 1 Milk crates for each participant (or you can use a cinderblocks or just tape down 8x10 sheet of paper to the ground).

Set Up


This tug of war is not so much a contest of strength as it is a contest of cleverness. Divide the group into two teams. Each team places their milk crates roughly 2' from the center line and two feet from other team members. The larger the group, the longer rope you need. The rope is positioned in their hands so that each person has some additional slack. The object is to get members of the other team to become unbalanced and fall off their crate. This can be done by pulling or letting the rope slip through your hands when they pull. [warning: no one should wrap the rope around their hands or wrists - this increases the risk of injury]. All participants must have contact with the rope until they fall off their crate. You cannot just let go. Each team has to work together to catch the other team off balance. The last team on their crates wins, and then give teams time to work out a strategy and try it again.


  • What strategies worked?
  • How did you communicate?
  • What was challenging?
  • How can we apply this to other work we do as a team?


This is similar to Rope Jousting.