Ropeless Tug-of-War


Get your team up out of their seats at your next meeting with Rope Less Tug of War! This activity puts a new spin on a classic competition. Short on preparation time or funds? This activity requires no advance preparation or major equipment. It is easy to facilitate and engages each of your participants. All you need is a wide-open space and the strength of your participants!

Equipment Required: Tape or rope to place on the ground/floor.

Space Required: Medium to large empty space. Indoors or Outdoors.

Group Size: 20 to 60 people

Total Time: 20 Minutes

  • 5 minutes to brief the activity.
  • 5-10 minutes to complete the challenge.
  • 5 minutes to debrief the challenge.


  1. Use tape or an office object to set the goal lines for the teams to cross.
  2. Position the group in a single file line (standing shoulder to shoulder).
  3. Ask each person to count themselves off starting at the front….”1,2,1,2,1,2” …until each participant has been labeled 1 or 2. Remind the group to remember their assigned number before they start counting.
  4. Brief the team on the activity. You can give the teams a minute to strategize or you can kick the activity off right away. To begin have the group return to the same single file line they began in. Next ask all the “1” team members to turn around and face the opposite direction.
  5. Ask everyone to interlock arms.
  6. On the count of three, signal the teams to begin “tugging”.
  7. The team that successfully pulls each of the opposing team members over their line first wins!
  8. Announce the winner and debrief the activity.
  9. To take this activity to the next level, you can partner it with traditional tug of war. Time your group to see which activity moves faster and take note of the winners. One team may do very well with rope less tug of war, but struggle with traditional tug of war and vice versa.
  10. Debrief the activity.

Learning Outcomes

  • Communication
  • Creative Thinking
  • Team Bonding
  • Team Cohesion

Suggested Review Questions

  • What was most challenging about the activity?
  • What did you enjoy most about this activity?
  • How well did you work as a team? How could you have improved?
  • Did communication play an important role in this activity? If so, how?
  • What is one thing that you can take away from this activity?


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