Tugs is an annual spring competition hosted by IFC that is similar to tug-of-war. With an over-half-a-century history, NIU’s version of tugs differs from traditional tug-of-war competitions in that each individual team member participating stands in a 2′ x 2′ pit called a “trench.” The trenches allow each tugger on the team to obtain leverage and coordinate strategic moves.
Tugs is open to any group of at least nine men, however teams must be able to field enough team members to compete in both a first and second rope.
The team average weight limit may not exceed 195 lbs for the first rope and 190 lbs for the second rope.
The goal of the first two ropes (or rounds) is to take the entire length of rope (100 feet) within 20 minutes (aka “taking the knot”). Should no team have done this within the 20 minute time limit, the team with the most amount of rope is awarded the “advantage.” To win the match, a team must either win by taking two knots or by one knot and one advantage. If neither of these happens, the match proceeds to a third and final rope, which has no time limit and must be decided by taking the knot.