Stick Pull ­ How to play?

Stick Pull Preparation

  1. The stick can be a spruce or pine tree. The stick is approximately 25 centimeters (12 inches) long, with a center diameter of 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) and from the center the stick tapers to each end with a diameter of 1.0 centimeter. The stick is rounded very smoothly with sandpaper and at the center of the stick a line is marked around the diameter of the stick.
  2. Stick
  3. On the floor place 4 pieces of Bristol board or cardboard where the participants will be playing the stick pull. If you use paper it will tear easily and not last. This is used to prevent the lard or Crisco oil from getting on the floor, which makes the surface slippery. Tape the Bristol board down on the floor.
  4. Stick-Pull play field
  5. On a table place paper towels, Crisco oil and beside the table have a garbage can so used paper towel can go into the garbage.
  6. Game equipment
  7. Beside the playing area place some chairs or benches so students can watch.
  8. Audience benches
  9. As well have a clipboard with the schedule of games so you can announce who is playing and who wins.
  10. The stick has to be greased with Crisco oil or lard to create a very slippery surface. Try to grease the stick so it is even throughout.
  11. Greasing the stick 1 Greasing the stick 2Greasing the stick C
  12. Students will stand with feet shoulder width apart and the right foot of one participant will touch the right foot of the other participant.
  13. Opponents stand-up position
  14. Students then extend their right arms to their waist and open their hands. The arms must be fully extended and straight. Students can place their left hand on their waist for balance or out to their side.
  15. Taking the right position
  16. After the students have assumed the proper position and the stick has been greased, the teacher (or assistant) can bring the stick into position by holding the stick at the ends.
  17. Checking the position Bringing the stick in position(front)
  18. Students must keep their hands open so the teacher can place the stick into position. When the stick is into position students are asked to “Grip” the stick with their hands at the same distance from the center mark of the stick. If the positioning is incorrect, the students are asked to un-grip, clean their hands, the stick is re-greased and the setup begins again.
  19. Bringing the stick in position(side)
  20. On the teacher’s signal, “Ready, Pull”, the students begin to try and pull the stick out of each other’s hand. Students cannot jerk or twist the stick or bend the arm during the stick pull. Students are not allowed to lean forward or to the side, I often remind students during the competition to keep their head up and shoulders straight. The range of motion during the pulling of the stick should be straight back. If these infractions are broken during a game, the student is warned and if it happens again they lose that particular game.
  21. Game start AGame start B
  22. There are two ways to win the game, a student must be able to pull the stick back beyond his/her waist (or hip) and hold the stick in this position for a 2 second count or he/she can pull the stick out of the other student’s hand.

The Stick Pull Team

The Stick Pull is an individual event, all players participate in the event whether they are on the same team or not. In my Physical Education classes I will draw names out of a hat, with both a male and female division, and the seeding of players is determined by the draw. The winner is determined by a best two out of three match.

View the movie clip A.

Let’s Play!

To start the match, players play “paper, rocks, scissors”, although a coin can be used, to determine left hand or right hand. This method is used prior to the first game and if necessary after the second game to determine hand selection of the final game of the match. Players will then proceed to the playing area and the teacher (or assistant) will grease the stick. At the playing area the players will assume the ready position and open their hands at their waist, upon which the teacher will place the stick and ask the players to grip. The teacher will then say, “Ready-Pull”, at which time the players will proceed to try and pull the stick out of the other’s hand or to hold the stick back beyond his/her waist (or hip). To win the match the player must win two games out of three.

View the movie clip B.

Lesson Planning

When you read through the lesson plans, please realize that you can create and change these plans to be suit your class development levels. As well it is very important and necessary to incorporate both stretching and strength exercise progressions in your lesson plans to foster a safe learning environment. I encourage you to construct your own unique lesson plans and modifications that make for a positive learning experience for your students. However, if you do incorporate the Dene Games into your classroom please share your experiences, in the Bannock and Tea Room, education is an opportunity to explore, let’s explore our Dene Games journey together.

Click here to see lesson plans.