Stick Pull Challenge

Submitted By: Chuck Kipp
Date: September 7, 2007
Duration: >30 minutes

Background:
Start the game off with the following:

In the summer of 1843, the champion stick-puller of Hancock County, Illinois, was Joseph Smith, Jr., our latter-day Prophet. On June 30 of that year, Joseph met with several thousand citizens of Nauvoo at a large outdoor gathering to tell them of his
recent escape from those who were trying to return him to Missouri to face false charges. During his opening remarks, the Prophet described how he passed the time while held captive. He was feeling elated. He had beaten his enemies both legally and physically. He said, ?I meet you with a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God ? I am well?I am hearty. I hardly know how to express my feelings. I feel as strong as a giant. I pulled sticks with the men coming along, and I pulled up with one hand the strongest man that could be found. Then two men tried, but they could not pull me up. ??
(Documentary History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 466.)

Joseph Smith, a little over six feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds, was thirty-eight years old at the time. (This article was printed in the New Era, December 1971, pages 44 & 45) One of my students commented that it must have been nice for Joseph to be able to ?beat? the men that were persecuting him. We also discussed that Joseph kept his spirit and his body in top shape.

Needed:
*1 or 2 STURDY sticks ? I used the metal bars from a horseshoe game, covered in masking tape
*Scriptures
*Chalkboard or whiteboard to keep score on

How to Stick Pull:
Participants sit with knees bent, feet touching on bottom, hands on a stick, one person holding the middle of the stick, one on the outside, they then try to pull the other person off balance. Do not alternate hands on the stick, as this will cause them to go sideways.

If by chance, both participants go sideways and are both still holding on to the stick, a rematch is done.

I tell all the kids at the beginning that this is a game of strength, leverage, and endurance. They will do better if they slide their rear ends as close to their heels as possible. This helps them maximize their center of gravity.

How to Play the Game:
*Remind your students the day before that they should wear shoes and the girls should wear pants.

*Setup chairs in a large circle.

*Try to ensure that everyone has at least one chance to participate in one stick pull that day.

*Ask if anyone doesn?t want to stick pull. Those students could help keep score or give the SM clues. Generally, all my students wanted to take a turn.

*2-4 teams can play, depending on the number of students.

*If possible, carefully distribute the girls evenly throughout the teams. (I have no discriminations against women, however, I am somewhat ?old school?. I told my class that the girls could challenge any boy, but no boy could challenge a girl. That seemed fair to me and would make my mother smile.)

*A scripture mastery clue is read. As team members find the scripture, they must place their hands in the air. The first team to hold all their hands in the air is the ?challenging team?.

*One of the members of the challenging team chooses a member of the other team to stick pull with. The two participants come to the center and get set up in their best ?stick pull position?.

*Before they start pulling, make sure the pole is centered over the line where their feet are touching

*The teacher says ?Go? and the pull begins.

*A student wins by pulling the other person off balance or by pulling the stick from their opponent?s hands.

*For the next pull, go to the next person on the team that has not had an opportunity to pull.

*At the end of the game, I had fun stick pulling with anyone who wanted to challenge me.

Scoring:
*The team that finds the scripture mastery first, gets a point

*The team that wins the pull gets a point.

Larger Groups
*We challenged the freshman class and played with about 20 ? 24 kids making up 4 teams. We used two poles and had two pulls going on at the same time.

*The ?challenging teams? are the first two teams to find the scripture mastery. They must choose someone from one of the other two teams to stick pull with.