All heave for the World Tug of War Championships!

This is serious...

The mere mention of tug of war brings back memories of school sports days and summer fetes, but for those taking part in the World Tug of War Championships, it is all far more serious than that. Organised by the sport’s international governing body, the Tug of War International Federation, the annual contest sees teams from across the globe battle it out for the gold medal in this display of sheer brute force.

The History...

Folklore surrounding the history of tug and war as a sport suggest it goes all the way back to ancient Egyptian and Chinese times, when - often known as ‘hook pulling’, it was a royal pastime and considered to be played even by the sun and the moon, or the good and the bad, as their way of wrestling over sunlight and darkness. There has also been evidence found of the sport’s early existence in countries including India, Myanmar and New Guinea - in India going as far back as the twelfth century.

An Olympic Sport...

Fast forward quite a while and tug of war even featured as an Olympic sport between 1900 and 1920. Though it no longer features at an Olympic level, it does still crop up in the World Games and has done since 1981 – not forgetting the World Championships themselves too. The World Games feature sports which are well known but not quite Olympic disciplines.

Since The End Of The Nineteenth-Century...

Tug of war has been carried out as an organised sport, though initially as part of athletics. In the wake of its removal as an Olympic sport, it began to flourish at a national level, with contests and championships being held and national federations being formed. The Tug of War International Federation was founded in 1964 with its thirty-four member nations but, while the first European Championships took place the same year, the first World Championships wasn't until 1975.