today we had some program with whole school. It involved costumes on specific themes and also contests. One of the contests was tug of war.
Our school is fairly small compared to ones in USA, we have only 360 people. Some were not there of course so we can speak about three teams each with 100 people. There were even very small kids (10 years old) so the force was not so great, but then again.. 100 people on each side we could excert force of about 500 kilograms I would guess. At first I though the rope would snap immediately, but it was climbing rope and after I searched at home, the rope would probably survive force ten time great.. uff, we are lucky that they chose such rope!
So it did not snap.. in the first match we lost but we did not hear that it ended and thought the second team was just growing weaker so we pushed harder. At the point they were not holding it tightly at the end (it was long rope). The rope accelerated a lot and it burned their hands.. the same thing happened to us for the second time. I have little white one finger, but it is ok. When I came home I decided to search something about tug of war..
When two large teams pull the rope, it stores tremendous amount of energy. When one team just let the rope hang not very tightly the other team will burn their skin off their hands. And they are actually very lucky!
Why? Well the rope can snap, and this does very bad things because this energy is released at the same time.
Let me give you some examples how dangerous tug of war may be with lot of people:
In 1997 in Taipei there was some celebration of 52nd anniversary. Of course they had to take over 1,600 people into that game. So many people excerted force of 80,000 kilograms while the 5 centimeter nylon rope was able to withstand only 26,000 kilograms! Guess what! The rope snapped!
When snapped, the energy was released in what is called: sheer rebounding force. It tore off whole arm of two closest man. Seriously.
In 1995, first time one man wrapped the rope around his hand, it tore his hand off again. In the same year, 650 people participated in match with nylon rope. Again but worse this time, as the rope whipped back, it instantly killed 9 year old kid..
Just for you to know when someone decides to create huge tug of war match, stop him!