The knot challenges start easy to help you build confidence, the game rules make the game exciting to play, and we provide variations on the rules so that novices can compete against experts.
- Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper
- 4 Ropes: 2 blue and 2 orange
- 4 Rings: 2 blue and 2 orange
- Deck of 40 Challenge Cards
- 30-Second Time
Knots Categorized by Function
We have chosen the Knot So Fast challenges from six major categories. To identify which category a knot belongs to, look on the challenge page for the icon.
Stopper knots are usually used to stop a rope from slipping through a hole. They are also used to prevent the strands at the end of a rope from fraying, to weight a rope or to provide a handhold.
They are usually tied at the end of a rope, although some can be tied in the middle.
Binding knots are used to keep a rope from slipping or releasing its hold too easily, such as when tying up parcels. Avoid using a binding knot to join two lengths of rope or to tie a rope to an object, since the knot is likely to come undone under strain.
A bend is used to join two lengths of rope together, lengthening the principal rope. For most bends, the ropes need to be of equal thickness to tie a secure knot.
A few bends are suitable for joining ropes of two different thicknesses. A good bend can be easily untied, even after being put under considerable strain.
A hitch is used to tie a rope to an object, often a pole or a ring. Some hitches are designed to be tied quickly and hold tight, particularly those used by sailors, while others can be untied with a brief tug on one end.
Looped knots create a loop that may be tied to another object or line. A loop may be dropped loosely over an object to fix a rope in place, tied around a person's waist or wrist, or threaded through a ring or an eye of a hook.
Loops can also be linked together to join two ropes that are substantially different in thickness. Some loops are fixed in place, while others are designed to slip and change size.
Knots can be attractive and decorative in addition to being useful. Decorative knots often exhibit symmetric patterns which make them visually appealing.
Notes About Knots:
Knots may be the earliest tools invented by humans-virtually all knots were invented using reasoning and craftsmanship to create new tools.
They were used to help make clothes and to hunt using spears and arrows; early sailors had to be masters at knot tying in order to survive.
The Knot So Fast challenges fall into ve major categories. Read about each category to get ideas on how you can use your knots.
(2 or 4 players)
Object of the Game
The first team to pull the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper all the way to its team's side WINS!
Divide into two teams-the Blue Team and the Orange Team. Give each member of the Blue Team a BLUE rope and an ORANGE ring. Give each member of the Orange Team an ORANGE rope and a BLUE ring.
Place the deck of challenges within easy reach of all players. The first few times you play Knot So Fast, we recommend playing the challenges in numerical order (from Beginner to Expert).
Once you're familiar with the game, you may want to shuffle the deck and play the challenges in random order, or choose a small group of cards and play only those until you master them.
Place the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper between the two teams and set the Tug-o'-War rope to the middle.
Draw the top challenge from the deck, and place it in the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper. Make sure the blue knot illustration is facing the Blue Team.
All players race to tie the knot pictured on the challenge card. Teammates can verbally help one another to solve a challenge, but they may not manipulate one another's ropes.
The first team to finish (the Calling Team) calls out "Finished!" and flips the 30-second timer. To finish, all players on a team must have completed their knots.
Once the timer has been flipped, players on the Calling Team can no longer make adjustments to their knots.
The Opposing Team now has 30 seconds to finish tying their knots.
When the 30 seconds are up, both teams check one another's knots. A team calls out "Knot So Fast!" if they think the other team has tied one or both of their knots incorrectly, and then inspects the knots for accuracy.
Score the round.
Use the Scorekeeper by pulling the Tug-o'-War rope gently towards you until you hear a click. Then, adjust the rope to the correct marking. One click per point!
Draw the top card from the deck to begin the next round.
End of the Game
Play continues until one team pulls the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper all the way to its side and wins the game!
Team Play Scoring
The Calling Team Receives:
2 points: if both of the Calling Team's knots are correct and the Opposing Team cannot complete its knots in the extra 30 seconds.
1 point: if both of the Calling Team's knots are correct and the Opposing Team is able to complete both of its knots in the extra 30 seconds.
0 points: if the Opposing Team finds that either of the Calling Team's knots are tied incorrectly.
The Opposing Team Receives:
2 points: if either of the Calling Team's knots are incorrect, regardless of whether the Opposing Team's knots are correct. (This is a penalty against the Calling Team for calling "Finished!" incorrectly).
0 points: if the Calling Team's knots are both correct.
Non-team Play (2, 3 or 4 Players)
(2, 3 or 4 players)
Object of the Game
The first player to score 8 points is the WINNER!
Place the deck of challenge cards within easy reach of all players. Place the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper so that all players can easily see the challenge card displayed.
Each player takes a rope and a ring (opposite-colored rope from the ring). The players take a seat, where they can clearly see the challenge card.
You will need a pencil and paper to keep score (not included).
Draw the top challenge from the deck and place it in the Tug-o'-War Scorekeeper.
(Note: If some players have more knot-tying experience than others, use the "Level the Playing Field" rules on page 10).
Players race to tie the knot pictured on the challenge card.
The first player to finish tying the knot (the Calling Player) calls "Finished I "and flips the 30-second timer. The other players then have 30 seconds to try to complete their knots.
When the 30 seconds are up, players should check the Calling Player's knot to make sure it is correct. A player calls out "Knot So Fast!" if he/she thinks the Calling Player has tied the knot incorrectly.
Score the round. (See page 9 for details).
A new card is drawn to begin the next round.
End of the Game
The first player to get 8 points wins the game!
Non-team Play Scoring
The Calling Player Receives:
2 points: if the Calling Player's knot is correct and Opposing Players cannot complete their knots in the extra 30 seconds.
1 point: if the Calling Player's knot is correct and at least one other player is able to complete the knot in the 30 seconds.
0 points: if an Opposing Player finds that the Calling Player's knot is tied incorrectly.
The Opposing Players Receive:
2 points: if the Calling Player's knot is incorrect, regardless of whether the Opposing Players' knots are correct. All Opposing Players will get these points. (This is a penalty against the Calling Player for calling "Finished!" incorrectly).
0 points: if the Calling Player's knot is correctly tied.