Tug-of-war: a thought on the failure to warn

Gruesome life-changing injuries from tug-of-war matches (e.g., Colorado, Oct. 12; North Carolina, 2003; Taiwan, 1997; Tennessee, 1995) are rare, but not unheard of. Safety measures on tug-of-war ropes are possible. Do everyday ropes, used for a variety of purposes other than tug-of-war, need warning labels? Do previous injuries put the Colorado school district on notice: i.e., does a single publicized injury now make every school district effectively strictly liable if future injuries occur? What happens when tug-warriors disregard safety rules because the obvious risk of wrapping rope around a body part is not clearly spelled out? (Keep in mind in the Stella Liebeck McDonald’s coffee case, the plaintiffs complained that the coffee-cup warning that the beverage was hot wasn’t clear enough about the risk of injury.)


  • See, this is what happens when kids don’t learn anything in school.

    Physics, people, physics!

  • This article on ropes got my interest because my son is enrolled in a youth seamanship program on a tall ship with about 200 ropes on it, many of which are under load. The insurance premiums are 10K per month.

  • Colorado school districts should be immune from bodily injury claims from students under the state’s governmental immunity act.

  • I am a witness to the Oct 12 accident in CO. First off, I will tell you that both boys’ doctors are fully hopeful and sure that they will have a full recovery. Secondly, neither families have presented or suggested possible lawsuits. And finally, you cannot blaim the school for a freak accident over an innocent childs game.