Puddle Pull

Puddle Pull is a sport the Miami Chapter of Delta Upsilon began hosting in 1949. The event was founded by Miami DU alumnus Frank Dodd ’49. Puddle Pull has been and still is, one of the most popular events of Greek Week. It is the last event of the week and always has a great turnout. In the past, Puddle Pull took place in the area behind the north quad residence halls across the street from Yager Stadium. Nowadays we hold Puddle Pull right at Millett. Many people may watch and ask, “Why is it called Puddle Pull, I don’t see any puddle?” Originally, there was a pool of mud/water in the middle of the rope, and a losing team could get pulled into it. But due to safety reasons, there has not been a “puddle” for some time.

The event is currently only held for members of the Greek community during Greek Week and for our annual Spring Puddle Pull philanthropy, but all are welcome to attend and watch the exciting event. Puddle Pull is an important event for our Chapter that we take great pride in. 

The Art of Puddle Pull

Puddle Pull is a variation of tug-of-war. Fraternities and sororities choose their biggest and strongest 10 brothers or sisters for the Greek Week event. Puddle Pull not only demands strength, but also strategy from the caller, who commands the team during the 2-minute pull. If a team is lucky enough to make it to the finals, they must endure a grueling 3-minute pull.

We begin preparing for the event up to three weeks in advance with late-night practices and scrimmages against active brothers who are not on the A-team. There are three basic moves that every team must know. They are locking down, preparing to hit, and hitting.

The basic lockdown form in Puddle Pull is having your legs extended, back arched, head up, and hands close to your body. If each of the 10 men on the rope does this correctly, you are like a rock, and will not give up rope. This is also the way the team should be after the last basic move which is hitting against the opponent.

Another basic move involves preparing to hit against your opponent. This is done by moving your body quickly so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle. There are many ways of getting into this position. When your legs are at an angle like this, you are ready for the next move which will greatly help the team take rope.

The last, and most exciting, base move is firing, or hitting against the opponent to take rope. This is done after sucking up so that you are able to take the most rope possible.

When the team is called to hit, each man on the rope fires back with all of their energy and extends their legs to take rope onto their side. After being in the air for a few seconds, the team settles back down into their starting lockdown position.

We hope you now know a little more about Puddle Pull! It is an event that has become a Miami tradition and will continue to be a tradition for many years to come. Delta Upsilon takes great pride in this event, and enjoys sharing it with the larger community.

Check out our YouTube Channel for more videos of Puddle Pull.


Roster Rules

  • All contestants must be active members of the fraternity / sorority they represent based on the roster filed with the Cliff Office. 
  • Greek Week: A team will consist of twelve people; ten of which are participants, and two of which are alternates.  Each team will have a caller who is not considered one of the twelve members. 
  • Spring: A team will consist of ten people; ten of which are participants, and two of which are alternates.  Each team will have a caller who is not considered one of the ten members. 
  • The designated alternates will be the only people that may be interchanged at any time.  These alternates can be interchanged between pulls at the caller’s discretion.  If, by chance, three team members are injured and are unable to pull, the team will replace them with two alternates and pull with fewer people.


  • Any clothing is permissible for pulling; however, no participant may carry or have attached any instrument to facilitate digging in.
  • Tape, gloves, and other protective devices will be permitted in the interest of safety
  • No cleats, of any sort, may be worn by any participant.

Playing Rules

  • All pulls will be for two minutes except for the final pull, which will be three minutes in duration.
  • No team may get into position until told to do so.  Each team will have one minute to situate themselves after they enter the pulling areas
  • There will be a minimum 5-minute rest for any team going into the finals.
  • In the result of a tie, both teams involved will have a minimum break of 5 minutes. No other teams will pull during the 5-minute break. After the break, the two teams will compete for 1 minute.
  • In the result of the rope breaking, the match will be stopped and moved to the end of the round.  A minimum of break of 5 minutes will be given.
  • If in the course of a pull a portion of the rope becomes wet, the entire rope must be made wet for the next pull
  • If either side becomes wet or muddy due to a previous pull, a five minute dig will be permitted before the commencement of the next pull
  • The rope must be on the same side of all members of a team at all times during the pull
  • The team that has the flag on the rope on their side of the marker at the final whistle is the winner.
  • The following applies to the taking of the flag:
    • When the flag is grabbed by the first puller of the team, the pull is over.  The team who grabs the flag is the winner.
    • The puller grabbing the flag must be seated with their feet in the pits.
  • Callers are strictly forbidden from touching any member of their team or the other team during a pull.  Violations of this rule will result in disqualification.
  • No non-participants shall be allowed inside the fenced area.  Participants are defined as the teams, callers, diggers, officials, and people designated by the event organizers.  Failure to abide by this policy will result in disqualification.


  • A disqualifying lock is an attempt, exceeding thirty seconds, to stop the motion of the rope to gain an advantage over the other team.
  • Every person on the team must move and hit every thirty seconds from the beginning of the pull.  Failure to do so will result in a disqualification.
  • At 25 seconds, a team will be signaled “5 to hit” by the Timing Official.
  • If the team has not moved and hit within the 30 seconds the team will be given a verbal “Warning”.  From this point, the team has an additional 15 seconds to move and hit or they will be disqualified.  Only one warning will be given per match.
  • If both teams are locked, the team that locked first will be responsible for breaking the lock, or face disqualification.  If both teams lock at the same time, both teams will be disqualified if neither breaks the lock after 30 seconds and do not have a warning remaining.
  • A team may hit at the start of the match; however, they must move and hit once again within the first 30 seconds of the match.


  • There are four judges for each match. A Starter, whose job is to begin each match and monitor the overall time.  A Rope Judge, who, in conjunction with the starter, shall ensure a fair and impartial start and shall determine the winner of the match. A Timing Official for each team will monitor locks and communicate with the callers.
  • All judging will be done by the host of the opposite gender.  Delta Upsilon will judge the sorority matches.  The host sorority will judge the fraternity matches.
  • A Starter and a Rope Judge will be provided for a fair and impartial decision of the winner of each pull.  These judges will also be responsible for:
    • a fair and impartial start to each pull
    • checking equipment for each team
    • checking for any physical aid given by callers
  • Two Timing Officials will be responsible for observing and timing locks.  They will warn the callers when there are 5 seconds left before the disqualification occurs, see Locks section.  They will also have the authority to disqualify any team they determine to be in violation.
  • Teams should receive verbal warnings from the Starter at the following intervals, including a countdown of the final 5 seconds.
Normal Match Final Match
1 minute 1 min 30 sec
30 seconds 1 minute
15 seconds 30 seconds
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 15 seconds
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  • The starter has the responsibility for starting each pull and, like the other judges, will have the authority to control fair and impartial starts. 
  • Any team in violation of a premature start will be given one warning after stopping the pull.  If the team is guilty of a second premature start, that team will be disqualified. 
  • The Puddle Pull Chairman of Delta Upsilon shall mediate any disputes over the rules.  If the Puddle Pull Chairman is part of the dispute, the decision shall go to the presidents of Delta Upsilon and the host sorority.


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