The Highland Games – Tug O’ War

I can get a bit bitter about Tug of War games (me? bitter?).  There’s so much time spent with people kicking trenches in the dirt, and then there’s so much time spent with them just leaning back and trying to wait out the clock.

Also, they have to stand around and look cool in their jackets for a bit.

Also, they have to stand around and look cool in their jackets for a bit.

Where I like Tug of War is when it starts getting real.  When everyone’s pulling and straining and trying desperately to drag that other team across the line.  You can see the effort on everyone’s face and the crowd is yelling and cheering and you’re waiting with anticipation to see what’s going to happen and who is going to win!

DIG IN!

DIG IN!

We watched 4 Tug of War matches.  There were 2 in between some of the strong man competitions (probably to give the strong men a break from, you know, being strong).

The women's team showing off their leaning skills

The women’s team showing off their leaning skills

I’ll admit that I was bored during the start.  They say “go” and then everyone just leans back and gets familiar with the ropes and the tension.  People walk up and down the line of tuggers, offering water.  Judges watch the opposing team, waiting for a moment of weakness to exploit.

TURN!

TURN!

When that moment comes then everyone turns and starts trying to move forward.  That’s when the excitement happens.  …Unless they decide that it’s going nowhere and they turn back around.    But sometimes it’s a frantic pull to try to get an advantage over the other side before the 8 minutes is up.

So close!

So close!

Of course, the last match was the most exciting Tug of War I’d ever seen!  They turned only a few minutes into the match and then they were so evenly matched that we didn’t know what was going to happen.

HG2014023

So, yes, the sport can take some time to get on it’s feet; but then it’ll pull the rug right out from under you and leave you saying “what a match”!

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