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Knotting Relay Race

Teams of five drawn up in line. Nos. 1, 2, and 3 of each team have each a piece of rope. On the word "Go" No. 1 ties a bowline on his rope and passes it to No. 2; who joins it to his own rope with a reef and passes it to No. 3; who joins the ropes with a sheetbend and passes it to No. 4; who ties a sheepshank and passes it to No. 5; who ties a clove-hitch round a pillar.

When No. 5 has tied his clove-hitch he shouts "Right." The Umpire notes the order in which the teams finish. After a player shouts "Right" nothing further may be done to the rope. The team which finishes first with all the knots correctly tied wins.


Blindfold Knotting Relay Race

After the players have become proficient in the preceding game they should compete blindfolded.


"Man Overboard"

This and the knotting games following it are examples of how interesting a simple Scouting practice, such as the tying of a knot, can be made by the aid of a game or contest.

A chalk line is drawn on the floor near one end of the clubroom. This represents the edge of the deck of a ship. It is imagined that there is a wreck at the other end of the clubroom, and a "brave sailor" jumps overboard with the end of a coil of rope and attempts to swim to the wreck.

The "Captain" (Scouter) notices, however, that the coil of rope is not going to be long enough, so he calls to a "deck hand" (the competing Scout) for more rope.

The "deck hand" has to pick up another coil and join it to the end of the rope which is attached to "the brave sailor" before it is pulled overboard. He may not, of course, step over the edge of the deck to do so, and the "brave sailor" must move forward steadily all the time.

A sheetbend is the best knot, and the Scouts who succeed score one point for their Patrols.

NOTE. - It is a good plan for the "Captain" to tie a piece of white tape on the first coil of rope at a certain distance from the end, and when the tape crosses the edge of the deck he then calls for more rope. This ensures that every competitor will have an equal chance.


"Man Overboard" (second version)

This is the same as the preceding game excepting that on the words "More rope" the "deck hand" fixes the rope attached to the "brave sailor" to an article or pillar on the deck by means of a clove-hitch preparatory to his tying the sheetbend.

Roping the Donkey. - Seven players from each competing Patrol are drawn tip in Indian file each player holding a short piece of rope. In front of each team is a player from another Patrol who is the "donkey" for that team.

On the word "Go" No. 1 hands his rope to No. 2 who ties the two ropes together with a reef knot. The rope is handed back to each player in turn who attaches his rope with a reef knot.

When this has been done No. 7, carrying the rope, gives chase to the "donkey," who hops on one leg in his efforts to delay capture, which is indicated by "tagging." No. 7 then ties the rope by a sheetbend to the "donkey's" neckerchief and leads him to No. 1, who ties him to a form or table leg with a clove-hitch.

Once the "donkey" has been captured by No. 7 he does not struggle. The Patrol to finish first, with all knots correctly tied, wins.


Shank Tug

Two Scouts compete against each other. A sound piece of rope is required. The players have a tug-of-war and at the same time each endeavors to tie a sheepshank at his own end of the rope. The first to succeed wins.

NOTE. - It will only be possible to tie the knot in somewhat after the following manner.  Pull with the left hand. With the right hand pick up a bight of the rope in the slack behind the left hand. This is brought forward and held just in front of the left hand on the rope which is under strain. The left hand then quickly turns a second bight over the first, and one end of the knot is made. The player then slips his left hand over the three strands of the knot and turns his back to his opponent. It will not now be found difficult to finish off the other end of the knot. This is not easy to describe, but an experienced "knotter" should have no difficulty in following the movements.


Knot Pairs

Two players from each Patrol compete, each player holding a length of rope in the right (or left) hand. The other hand is placed behind the back and may not be used.

On the word "Go" each pair of players tie the required knot using one hand only each.

The first pair to finish, with the knot correctly tied, score a point to their Patrol and another lot of pairs come forward to tie another (or the same) knot on the word "Go."






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Last modified: October 15, 2016.