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Tire Tug-O-War

“Tire Tug-O-War” has long been a favorite activity of my elementary P.E. students and it can be used for Pre-K students all the way to adults.  The setup and the concepts are fairly easy and straightforward and will provide your students with exciting ways to build muscular strength and endurance!

The Tire

I have used a pretty wide variety of tires over the years and almost all of them have worked well.  The only types of TIRE TUG TIRESbicycle tires that probably will not work are “fat bike” tires or “10 speed-type” tires.  Childrens’ bike sized tires work best but adult bike tires will suffice.  Once you have your tires you will need to create handles using pipe insulation.  This can be found at any home improvement store or hardware store.  I have found that it is best to use one piece of 18″ padding on each side of the tire, meaning that you will need to purchase about 3 feet of insulation per tire.  I can’t remember what size insulation I use but it’s really not that important since you will be spreading it open anyway.   After placing padding on both the inner and outer side of the tire, you will need to wrap it with electrical or duct tape.  I believe electrical tape works better.  You will probably need to re-wrap the tire every year or two as it becomes worn.

Set Up

To set up Tire Tug-O-War, join two gym mats together using velcro.  The harder and heavier that mats are, the matter.  Turning the mats upside down seems to help keep them together better.  At the end of each mat place a small cone with a scrimmage vest sticking out of the cone.  Place the tire in the center of the mat.  I have up to 60 students at a time so I usually set up 3-4 stations.  The matches usually last about 30 seconds so students move through the waiting lines rather quickly.

The Action

To start the game, students rest on their hip with their legs and feet facing sideways in opposite directions from each other (updated since video was shot).  Students look at each other and say “1,2,3, go” and begin pulling.  Students attempt pull their opponent in their direction and then reach the scrimmage vest that is behind them.  The first student to have the vest in one hand AND the tire in the other is the winner.  This is a very important point because sometimes while removing one hand from the tire to reach for the vest, the other student is able to “steal” the tire from them and race to their scrimmage to pull off the win.  We call this the “great equalizer” and it is one way an otherwise overmatched student can overcome the odds and win.

Basic Rules:

  • No “hooking” elbow inside tire
  • No using knee to hold tire in place
  • No jerking action
  • Must remain on hip or bottom
  • Must have tire AND scrimmage vest in hands to win

By the nature of the activity, many of these things will happen during the course of the match.  As long as the player attempts to correct the issue immediately, they are not disqualified.

The Lesson

Rather than share the PDF lesson that I have used in the past for this activity, I have created a Google Document that will allow you to make a copy for yourself to add your own standards, goals, and objectives.  This way, you can make your own and edit it easily from any device.  You can access the Google Document by clicking the blue button below.

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I am currently in search of five hard-working, fitness-minded, P.E. teachers that would like to supplement (or even replace) their teacher income, as I have, by leveraging their teaching skills to help others reach their health and fitness goals.  Work is done mostly online.   Full training and my personal guidance will be provided.  Please fill out the form only if you are coachable, willing to work, and get satisfaction from helping others.

  • Motivated PE Teachers Wanted

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