Puddle Pull Rules

Roster Rules

All people must be members of the fraternity or sorority they are representing.

For Greek Week Puddle Pull

Rosters will consist of up 13 people; 10 of which will compete, 2 may be alternates and a Caller.

For Spring Puddle Pull

Rosters will consist of up 11 people; 8 of which will compete, 2 may be alternates and a Caller. Excluding the Caller, any member who has not previously participated in Greek Week Puddle Pull may participate in this event.

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 people are injured and are unable to pull, the team will replace them with two alternates and pull with one less person.


– 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 of puddle pull.

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 15-minute rest for any team going into the finals.

– In the result of a tie, both teams involved will have a minimum break of five minutes. No other teams will pull during the 5-minute break. After the break, the two teams will pull 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 that grabs the flag is the winner. The person 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 immediate disqualification

– No non-participants shall be allowed inside the fenced area.  Participants are defined as the teams, callers, diggers, and officials.  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.

– At twenty-five seconds, a team will be signaled “5 to hit”.  

– If the team has not moved and hit within the thirty 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 thirty seconds.

– 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 disqualification.

– A team may hit at the start of the match; however, they must move and hit once again within the first thirty 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 timer for each team will monitor locks.

– All judging will be done by the host of the opposite sex.  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 timers will be responsible for observing and timing locks.  They will warn the callers when there are 5 seconds left before the disqualification occurs.  They will also have the authority to disqualify any team they determine to be in violation.

– Teams shall receive verbal warnings from the starter at the 1:30 mark of a final match as well as with 1 minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds, and 10 seconds remaining in the match. The head timer will count out the last 5 seconds of the match. 

– 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 immediately 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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"There is no investment you can make that will pay you so well as the effort to scatter brotherhood and goodwill throughout Delta Upsilon."
Brother Ray K. Zarvell Bradley ’68.