Rope Pull: More than tug-of-war
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 17:09
Rope pull is a long-standing tradition at UTM, however no one is sure exactly how long.
“We had this discussion a couple years back, and we don’t have an actual year, but it first started appearing in the year books about 42 years ago,” said Charley Deal, UTM’s Assistant Vice Chancellor.
Every year during Homecoming week, the UTM Alumni Center hosts several activities to get students and alumni alike involved and excited for the Homecoming game on Saturday. One of the main events of the week is Rope Pull.
The Rope Pull that is known and loved today is not the same as when it first began.
“There used to be an actual pit filled with water. It was truly a tug-of-war. That changed for sanitary reasons,” Deal said.
Rope Pull could still be described as a big game of tug-of-war. This, however, isn’t a totally accurate description as Rope Pull is much more intense than simply tug-of-war. Rope Pull is perhaps one of the most intense competitions on the UTM campus.
“To those completely in the dark, it’s the grown-up version of tug-of-war or at least the hardcore version. It’s taken very seriously, and I think that’s what makes it so enjoyable. It’s seeing the unreal amount of effort and passion these guys and gals put into it,” said Kaydee Neill, a UTM senior Animal Science major.
The event is a competition with two separate divisions, sorority and fraternity. Two teams pull against each other at a time. Rope Pull is a single elimination competition where only the two teams in each division that have yet to lose will pull against each other for the championship. The championship pulls will as usual be held on Friday.
“I’m excited to see it in action and to see who will come out on top. I am imagining it to be loud and exciting,” said UTM freshman Pre-Veterinary Medicine major Allyson Payne.
Each pulling team will have ten people per team. Nine of those ten people sit down in a hole and the last person is known as the slack. The team typically gets progressively stronger as the line gets further down.
Last year’s Rope Pull champion in the sorority division was Alpha Delta Pi and in the fraternity division was Alpha Gamma Rho.
“On the fraternity side, AGR (Alpha Gamma Rho) has [dominated and] that’s what they aim for. I have been here for nine years, and they have won all but a couple of those years. On the sorority side, it’s balanced throughout,” Deal said.
The event is held in the afternoons beginning at 4 p.m. throughout the week of Homecoming at Pacer Pond.