2 Be or Knot 2 Be

Type: Problem Solving/Thinking/Brain

Group Size: 8-10 people

Equipment: A series of 4 independent rope rings held together by a fifth rope ring. Tubular webbing, climbing ropes, shoe laces and even belts can also be used in place of ropes. Ropes should be 7-15 feet long.


  1. 3 to 8 ropes depending on the difficulty you choose to have. (3 ropes aren’t enough, five ropes seem to be right, 7 to 8 ropes can be very challenging).
  2. Have 4 independent rope rings held together by a fifth rope ring.
  3. Have the whole group decide which rope loop is holding together all the other rope loops by viewing and not touching.
  4. Time the group. Once you get it the first time, have the ropes rearranged, try and beat your time record of the next one.

Story Line:

  • Your rescue team has been called for a mountain climbing rescue. The equipment has been flown in to assist your efforts, but your climbing ropes have been badly knotted. Since time is limited, you must determine, as a group, which single knot to untie, so that all the remaining ropes are unconnected.


  • If you happen to have 5 ropes and 10 participants, you can ask groups of 2 to analyze a single rope. Their objective is not to determine which rope is the right one, only whether or not the one rope they are reviewing is the correct rope. Comments and opinions from each individual are very much valued. Finally, come to a consensus.


  • Encourage everyone to participate.
  • Try not and let this game be the first game that you do, especially if its morning and not everyone is awake. Possibly break up in to teams and make it competitive by seeing who can figure it out first.
  • You can also put a time limit on it to make it more interesting.
  • The ropes can be shorter to make it not as hard.