Leadership Inspirations Activities

Multiway Tug Of War

Four teams will need strategy and strength to win this game of tug of war


45+ minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Energizer, Mixer


4 Way Power Pull (Store Bought Or Homemade)



Fun, physically demanding, competitive team activity. Several teams pull against each other, requiring communication and tactics as well as strength to outmaneuver and win.


  • You will need either a 4 way Power Pull with 20 or 40 loops OR you can make your own with sturdy ropes and carabiners – see diagram.


  • You will need either a 4 way Power Pull with 20 or 40 loops OR you can make your own with sturdy ropes and carabiners.
  • Designate and mark a ‘finish line’ for each team. This will be the line that they need to pull the center ring/knot over to win.
  • Safety: Encourage safety! If anyone has any physical limitations or heart/lung conditions they should not participate in this activity.


  • Lay out the ropes, etc. as shown in diagram above.
  • Participants should prepare appropriately by taking off watches and hand jewelry.
  • Divide into groups and make sure the groups appear to be of similar strength.
  • Brief group on normal tug-of-war safety rules:
    • No wrapping or tying rope around anyone or anything – only hold with hands
    • Watch out for rope burn on hands – let go if rope is moving through hands
    • Watch out for rope burn on body – let go if you lose footing
  • First command from the Tug-of-War master (facilitator) is “take the strain”. This is only to take up the slack, that’s all. The Tug-of-War master makes sure the center ring is stable and centered.
  • The second command is “Go!!”
  • Then, teams attempt to pull the center ring or knot over their finish line. Teams can swivel to cooperate / compete with other teams, then switch directions, etc.
  • Conduct several rounds. Continue until one team earns 3 victories and the Tug-of-War title.
  • Allow teams plenty of time to physically recover and debrief/plan after each round.


  • Play with more ropes to add more teams to the activity.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?

Inclusion and Involvement

  • What does it mean to be inclusive or exclusive?
  • What did we do as a group that was inclusive? That was exclusive/not inclusive?
  • Why is inclusion and involvement important for our group?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?