Tug of War | Greece

Name in Original Language


Area Where Played



Dielkystinda / tug of war is a version of a universal game pattern in which two teams of players pull holding opposite ends of a rope in order to force the opposite team to move towards their side.The game is attested among others in Greek antiquity, ancient Egypt and China. The word διελκυστίνδα (dielkystinda) derives from the verb έλκειν (elkein, to pull), and refers to the players’ pulling at opposite ends of a rope. The game was included in the modern Olympic Games from 1920 to 1926. In modern Greece the game seems to have been re-introduced through the emergence of gymnastics curricula in the 19th century; it is also known as σχοινί (schoini = rope) or τραβηχτό (travichto = pulling).

Detailed Description

This game is widespread all over the world and originates in Antiquity. Itrequires physical strength and particular esprit de corps. This is why it was played by boys or men and was often connected to military activities. In the modern period, the game is being played also by girls and women.


The protocols of the game are set by the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF). Two teams of 8 players pull at the opposite ends of a 33 to 36 metres long rope trying to force the opposite team to move in their direction. The team that pulls the rope at least four metres to its side is the winner.