Tug of War Information
Royal Air Force Tug of War
Tug of War has a long history in the armed forces, and has been an integral part of the Athletics field events within the Armed Forces. Tug of War continues to grow within the RAF bring raw power, tenacity, team work and technique to hone the Warrior Spirit required in today’s Armed Forces. In its simplest form, all you have to do is, with a team of 8 athletes, pull your opponents the required 4 metres, competed over the best of 3 pulls with only 90 seconds to recover between pulls.
The Competition for the Warrior Spirit
As part of the Armed Forces Sports Board and RAF Athletics Association, RAF Tug of War competes in Mens, Womens and Mixed categories at different weight categories - 560kg, 600kg, 640kg, 680kg, 720kg, and catch-weight. A Tug of War team consists of 8 pullers plus a coach and a trainer. The coach is the only person in the arena (apart from the judge) who may address remarks to the team during a pull. All pulls are conducted under the control of a ToWA judge. The heavier team however does not necessarily mean the strongest as key to a successful pull is technique and tenacity. Training and skills development throughout the year is critical; this is not a static sport – aerobic fitness and stamina are as important as muscle strength and power. The coaches choose their 8 pullers based on collective weight of the class, juggling their athletes’ power to weight ratios to produce a strong and drilled team on the day.
Training “It’s a killer”
The RAF ToW squad members require dedication and commitment to ensure they build both strength and techniques in order to be able to compete with the traditionally better drilled and more experienced Army teams. Civilian teams can train up to 6 days a week and maintain the same squad for years. The nature of the RAF’s operational and posting tempo means that we continue to build our core strengths and fitness off the rope in our own time so that we maximize the time we spend on the rope.
Don’t Worry be Happy
It is, like any sport, hard work and requires dedication. There is however much to achieve as pay back for that effort work - teamwork, personal fitness and a sense of achievement and pride. The RAF competes across the UK at Inter-Service Championships, Military Leagues, civilian competitions including Royal Shows and the Royal Highland Gathering at Braemar in Scotland. There aren’t many sports in which can represent the Royal Air Force, and compete against the Navy and Army, in a beautiful natural arena in front of 20,000 people (normally Americans - ask anyone who’s been). Overseas tours include Belgium, Sweden and to the World Games.!
If you think that Tug of war has something to offer you, or you’ve got something to offer the most traditional of sports, then get hold of us through the Tug of War contacts page.