TUG-OF-WAR, a contest between two teams composed of one or more persons, each team striving to pull the other in its own direction by means of a rope held by the hands alone. Some rules allow the " anchor-men," who hold the ends of the rope, to fasten it to their persons. A ribbon or handkerchief is tied round the middle of the rope, and others at a distance, usually, of one yard on each side of it. That team loses which allows itself to be pulled more than one yard from its original position. The British army teams are usually composed of ten men each, but the number varies in different parts of the world. The rules of the modern Olympic Games recognize teams of five. When a tug-of-war takes place out of doors the men, or at least the " anchors," are allowed to dig holes in the ground for their feet; when indoors cleats are bolted to the floor as braces.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)