Tribal Clash 2019: Changes to competition format


As Tribal Clash grows in scale and popularity it has become necessary to make some format changes. These changes will come into effect in 2019 and we firmly believe they will improve the competition not detract from it. As you will learn below Tribal Clash will become both more inclusive and safer while at the same time becoming more challenging and exciting. This article is intended to explain the changes, the reasons behind them, what they mean to you, and why you shouldn’t fear them!

First of all it is important to explain where Tribal Clash is going. Tribal Clash is evolving into a world series. In 2019 we launch new events in Australia and USA and by 2020 there will be several events dispersed around the globe on some of the world’s most iconic beaches. Eventually there will be a global series final for the best teams from each of the regional events. This global final will be an exclusive event for a small number of the world’s strongest teams. It will be set in an top secret exotic location, and athletes will be tested across an extraordinary range of previously unimagined events. The aim is to discover the World’s Strongest Team and in order to do that effectively we need to set the rest of the competition up just right. 

Traditionally teams have taken part in six separate events across the weekend. Four on Saturday and then another two on Sunday. The highest placing twenty four teams progressed to a semi final during which half were eliminated. The remaining 12 teams made it through to the final.

The new format will see all teams taking part in four events after which one third of the field will be eliminated. Events five through nine will see more teams cut until the field has been whittled down to just twelve teams for the final. Events one, two, three and four will be programmed along traditional Tribal Clash lines and will be challenging but inclusive. Events five through ten will become increasingly harder and heavier, with fewer or no scaling options. For many teams the measure of success will be just how far they manage to progress through the competition. Those teams are cut after four events will be leaving the competition at the right stage for them. More on that later….

We are implementing these format changes for one very simple reason – to improve the athlete experience. We plan to do this in three ways:-

1) Making the competition more competitive

2) Making the competition safer

3) Allowing a greater number of teams to take part

MAKING THE COMPETITION MORE COMPETITIVE: Tribal Clash was conceived as a concept to offer competitive athletes the very best possible experience. In other words we set out to design and curate the ultimate good time for people who love to compete. If you are a competitive athlete then you will know that the kind of events that simply present a fun challenge without winners or losers like Tough Mudder for example have limited appeal to you. Yes it can be fun to do an obstacle race every now and then but that’s all that experience will ever be – fun. True competitors like to try to win, and they aren’t afraid of loosing either. If there in nothing to loose then there isn’t much to gain. It’s the The agony and exctasy of competition that we are all addicted to and keeps us coming back time and again. True competitors either win or they learn, and if they don’t win then they are inspired to train harder and come back better. Tribal Clash is like crack for athletes. And in order for us to make our crack even better we need to make the competition even more competitive.

MAKING THE COMPETITION SAFER: Another really important way we can improve the competition is to make it safer. We want as few injuries and casualties as possible. If our aim is to give you the best possible athletic experience and you end up injuring yourself or worse then we have utterly failed in that aim. The best way that we can ensure athlete safety is to make sure that we programme events that are appropriate to the strength and fitness levels of the athletes competing. As Tribal Clash has increased in popularity over the last six years we have observed an interesting phenomenon. The standard at the top of the field gets better and better with each edition of the competition. We are aware of more and more teams are making Tribal Clash their specific focus (Endurance athletes would refer to it as their ‘A Race’) and training year round for the competition. This is great and is an affirmation of the direction in which the competition is going. BUT in parallel with this we have also noticed a gradual increase in the number of athletes taking part who DON’T meet the published minimum standards. In other words the spread between the best performing teams and the worst performing teams is getting bigger and bigger. As a result it is getting more and more difficult for us to program events that properly challenge the stronger teams whilst at the same time keeping them achievable and safe for the weaker teams. We want to welcome all teams from all backgrounds to Tribal Clash, so this is a big dilemma to solve.

At Tribal Clash UK 2018 for example, we had published in advance that there would be a requirement for all athletes to complete an open water swim. The swim, whilst longer than listed in our published minimum athlete standards, was as safe as a swim can be: the athletes swam with incoming tide, in flat calm water, surrounded by lifeguards and with paramedics at the exit point. Despite the advance announcement, and our published minimum standard, a significant number of athletes started Event 1 who could not swim at all and many others who we would class as weak swimmers. As a result, we had several extractions from the water and one extremely serious incident which resulted in the athlete (a non-swimmer) being taken to hospital. Only because we take safety seriously, because we had put in appropriate safety measures, and because our paramedics got to the athlete quickly, the incident had a good outcome. After lengthy discussions here at Tribal HQ, deliberating whether we should not program open water swimming at all, we came to the conclusion that it would be a shame to water down (excuse the pun!) the programming for the majority of the teams but that we absolutely must ensure all athletes can compete safely and effectively. In other words, in order to keep challenging ALL athletes in a way that is appropriate to their level we need a format that eliminates teams before they get to an event that they are unable to take part in safely.

Movements such as rope climbs, or heavy atlas stone lifts, are another example. Attempting these for the first time in a competition, without having trained with them or having the necessary base level of fitness, is an injury waiting to happen. We want to offer as many teams as possible the opportunity to experience the thrill that is competing at Tribal Clash, at a level that is safe. With the changes that we are introducing, we may, for example, exclude the heaviest stones from the first four events. Or, if rope climbs are programmed, not everyone in the team has to complete one. Through the elimination rounds, scaling options will disappear as the competition becomes about test of finding the most capable teams without any weaknesses.

ALLOWING A GREATER NUMBER OF TEAMS TO TAKE PART: Importantly the proposed format changes allow MORE teams to take part in the competition. Previously – from an organisational stand point – the maximum number of teams we could cope with at any event was 160, The ideal number being around 120. Now we will be accepting registrations from up to 216 teams per event. Thus allowing an additional 56-96 teams to get involved. Why is this a good thing? Well quite simply, more teams equals a more competitive field. If the ultimate aim is to discover the world’s strongest team then we need to cast the net as widely as possible. The more teams are involved the more meaningful your results.

If you are a true competitor then these changes will excite you and inspire you to train even harder. If you are a first time Tribal Clasher then these changes will now make the competition more accessible to you and you can relax knowing that you won’t be asked to do anything beyond the level that is appropriate to you and your team. If your team does get eliminated after four events then you will know where you stand and can come back with renewed vigour the following year. And don’t think for a second that you won’t want to stay around and watch what happens to the other teams on Sunday. This will be one show you want to stick around for. Be prepared to inspired. Tribal Clash is constantly evolving. Although it is a fun weekend on the beach with an epic party at the end, it is ultimately a competition, a test of fitness and capability for any brave teams who are prepared to put themselves on the line. Just getting to the start line of Event 1 with a team of 6 athletes prepared to suffer through at least 4 events, is an achievement in itself. 


Event 1 individual times are available here

Run Swim Run Scores

The event is timed from the start of the first run, until the finish where time was logged. This is an Excel file – on some smartphones it won’t display, so please check on a desktop before contacting us!

Please direct any queries to


Event 5: The Sandbag Shift
Score: Reps
Time cap: 12 minutes

This event is a repeat from Portugal 2018. Behind the baseline the team has a tractor tyre, inside the tyre are 5 sandbags. On the lane there are two head high up & over beams. On Go the team starts to move the objects to the other end of the lane. All objects and athletes must go over the beams. The athletes can be assisted over the beam. At the other end of the line, the tyre must be on the floor first and sand bags on top. The team scores one point per each object accompanied by an athlete over the base line. Once all objects and athletes are behind the baseline, the team can start transporting them to the other end of the lane.

Heat 1 starts at 9.00am

Event 6: The Red Paddle Race
Score: Tyre STOH reps
Time cap: 12 minutes

Athletes start chest to floor behind the baseline. On Go they must complete 50 tyre STOH as a buy-in, 3 athletes working at a time. They then proceed to the board, carry it to the water and paddle a lap around a buoy. When the board is back in its starting position with paddles on top, they proceed to the tractor tyre and complete as many shoulder-to-overhead reps in time remaining, three athletes working at a time. All athletes in overhead lock-out at the same time.

Heat 1 starts at 12.30pm.

After Event 6, top 48 teams advance into the first eliminator event, this will be revealed tomorrow.


Saturday 7th July Events: 

Event 1: Run-Swim-Run
Score: Time to complete
Time cap: none

All athletes start behind the run start line on the beach. On GO they run across the beach, over the dunes and towards the rivermouth where they get in the water and swim apprx 600m down the river, with the tide, to the Coronation Boatyard in Bantham village where they exit the river on the slipway. They then proceed through the village, around the golf course and over the cliffs back to the beach, a total of approximately 3km of mixed terrain. The run finishes on the beach in front of staging area 2.

Straight into:

Event 2: The Log
Score: Reps
Time cap: 12 minutes

Event 2 starts exactly 30 minutes after the start of Event 1.

All athletes start chest to floor behind the baseline. On Go 4 athletes proceed to the log, pick it up to Zercher grip and proceed to complete as many squats as possible within the time cap. All athletes must be below parallel at the same time. The team has to have a minimum of 4 athletes back from the run to start Event 2. Only 4 athletes on the log at one time. The team can sub athletes as many times as they like. The team has to swap 2 athletes at at time. Every time the team swaps athletes, the athletes leaving the log must run a lap around the arena before they can return back to the log. The log weighs approximately 70kg.

Event 3: Atlas Stones
Score: Points
Time cap: 13 ½ minutes (9 x 90 second intervals)

This is a repeat from Portugal 2018. All athletes behind the baseline. The athletes complete this workout in M-F pairs. On Go the first 90 second window opens and the first M-F pair proceeds to complete one Up & Over rep each. 3 points for unassisted, 1 point for assisted. Once both athletes are over the beam, they move to the stones. They pick up the first stones, 42kg (female) and 66kg (male) and complete 3 synchro lifts to shoulder. Each good synchro rep scores 1 point. Once 3 synchro lifts are complete, they proceed to the next stone; 52kg (female) and 77kg (male) and complete 2 synchro lifts to shoulder. Each good synchro rep scores 3 points. Once two reps are complete, they move to the last stone; 66kg (female) and 97kg (male) and complete 1 synchro lift. A good synchro rep scores 5 points. They can then go back to the lightest stones and continue with the reps 3-2-1 and so on. Once the 90 second interval is up, the pair rotates and tags the next M-F pair.

Event 4: The Lunge Race
Score: Rope climb reps
Tie break: Time to finish burpees at turnpoint
Time cap: 16 minutes

Athletes are prone behind the baseline. On Go they complete 6 rope climbs as a buy in, 1 per each athlete. The athletes then proceed to the balance beam, each athlete has to traverse over. Once all athletes are through, the athletes proceed to the worm, clean it to shoulder and lunge the worm 100m down the beach to the marker flag. At 50m mark the team completes 10 synchro burpees over the worm (3 athletes on one side, 3 athletes on the other side, all chest to floor and jump with two feet at the same time). After the burpees have been completed, the team lunges the worm for a further 50m metres to the turnpoint. At the turnpoint the team completes another 10 synchro burpees over the worm. After the burpees are completed, the team lunges the worm back to the arena, stopping at the 50m mark for another 10 synchro burpees. When the worm is back at its starting position the team traverses the balance beam again. The team then completes as many rope climbs as possible in time remaining. One athlete can do as many rope athletes as they want, but when the team swaps the athlete on the rope, they have change male-female-male-female-male-female.


Tribal Clash UK 2018 Event Manual can now be downloaded HERE– please read through as it contains important information about registration, parking and competition flow.

Key things to note:

  • all event parking is at beach level in Bantham. You must pre-book a parking permit if you want to park in Bantham. If you want to park in Bantham on Friday 6th, as well as on Saturday and Sunday, you need a weekend parking permit.
  • All tickets are sold separately.
  • Team check-in is at beach level, from 12 noon on Friday 6th July

Join our tribe! An opportunity to become a shareholder in Tribal Clash

Tribal Clash Portugal 2018 was off the charts. This was the best competition we have delivered to date, and you agreed: we sold out Tribal Clash Portugal 2019 – 160 team spots in total – in just 90 minutes, despite our website collapsing under the traffic. The messages we have received, about the weekend in Portugal being life changing, transformational, one of the best experiences in one’s lifetime – this is why Tribal Clash came to be. What started as an experimental beach throwdown in a remote corner of Devon in 2013 is now more than just another fitness competition among many fitness competitions.

Tribal Clash is ready, we are ready, the world is ready, for Tribal Clash 2.0. And we want you to come with us.

We are launching an equity crowdfunding campaign via Crowdcube to roll out Tribal Clash into a global event series. We are raising £180,000 in equity, which will support the launch of our next four international events. Our aim is to build Tribal Clash into a 10-15 event global series, with a worldwide final, in 3 years. We now have the team and the production capability to deliver Tribal Clash anywhere in the world, as you all witnessed in Portugal.

Australia and California are next. Brazil, Dubai, South Africa, China, East Coast USA, Singapore are in production. Imagine Tribal Clash in the world’s most iconic beaches, and a season finale in a secret exotic location with some of the most insane programming ever imagined by a human brain, broadcast live. Ironman did this in triathlons, Spartan Race has done it in Obstacle Racing. We believe Tribal Clash can be the defining brand for functional fitness competitions worldwide.

You now have a unique chance to join our tribe and own a part of Tribal Clash. During our Crowdcube campaign, you can invest in Tribal Clash and receive shares in the company in return. You can become a shareholder in Tribal Clash with as little as £10. You will then have partial ownership of the company so you will stand to benefit if the company does well. The opposite is also true: if Tribal Clash fails, you might lose some or all of your investment. Equity crowdfunding platforms such as Crowdcube have made investing in early stage start-ups possible for ordinary people, previously this was an opportunity reserved for wealthy individuals or venture capital funds. Investing on Crowdcube is easy an takes just a couple of minutes, find out more here.

Our campaign will start by offering you, our community an opportunity to register your interest first. This may be the only time we are offering an opportunity to become a shareholder in Tribal Clash, own part of the company. Once we have reached our funding target, the investment round will close, and we will forge full steam ahead with our plan to create the world’s best competition series for amateur athletes.

On Wednesday 23rd May the link to access the equity crowdfunding campaign pre-registration page will be available here on our website, it will also be sent to the 3,500 people on our mailing list and published on our social media accounts. We hope you will join our tribe and come with us on this epic adventure to some of the world’s most iconic beaches. With your support, we can build something extraordinary; and create inspirational and transformative experiences for thousands of people around the world. Stronger together. Welcome to our tribe!


Athlete standards and minimum level

Tribal Clash is an inclusive competition because there are no qualifiers, and because you are working in a team. Being in a team with 5 other athletes means that your team mates will support you and your team’s score is the combined score of all your efforts. We program Tribal Clash events to test team work capacity; how well you perform as a team, versus the sum of the performances of 6 individual athletes. These are two different things. Tribal Clash is unique in the way the events get you to work together as a team.

Here are some basic standards that ensure that your team does not come to a dead stop in most of the events that we program. If you cannot achieve these at the time of booking, that’s cool – you have plenty of time to train, but make sure you do. Our programming is done on the assumption that athletes competing at Tribal Clash can comfortably achieve the following:

  1. Rope climbs
  2. Run 5K under 24 minutes
  3. 250m open water swim
  4. 400m swim in a swimming pool under 8 minutes
  5. Girls lift a 42kg atlas stone to shoulder, boys lift a 66kg atlas stone.



For reps

10 log worm thrusters

Worm lunge to shoreline

2 swim laps with a rescue board

log worm lunge back to the lane

AMRAP log worm thrusters in time remaining.


The team starts with chest to sand behind the baseline. On GO the team proceeds to the log worm and completes 10 log worm thrusters. All athletes must reach below parallel at the same time. The log should be transferred to opposite shoulder on each rep. The athletes do not need to lock out overhead. When all the thrusters have been completed, the team lunges the worm to the shoreline. All athletes must have knee to sand at the same time reaching full extension at the top of the lunge. No shuffling is allowed, this will result in a back lunge penalty. At the shoreline the last team member must cross the line of the barriers, the team picks up a rescue board and proceeds to swim a marked course around a buoy. All athletes must be in contact with the board at all times. After the first swim lap the board comes back to the lane on the shore.  The board must touch the sand and all athletes stood with hands in air. The team proceeds onto a second swim lap around the buoy. Once the lap has been completed and the board is back in its starting position, the team picks up the log worm again and lunges it back to the lane. The team then completes as many log worm thrusters as possible in time remaining.

Time cap: 16 minutes



For reps

The team starts with chest to sand behind the baseline. Behind the baseline they have one truck tyre and five (5) sandbags weighing 60kg. On the lane they have two up and over beams. On GO the team starts to transport the objects from one end of the lane to the other. The athletes, tyre and sandbags must go over the beams. The athletes can be assisted. Once the truck tyre has been lifted off the floor, it must not touch the ground between the two base lines. The team can have any number of athletes carrying the objects. All objects must be carried and not dragged.  Any infringement will equal a 10 second time penalty.  The judges will keep you behind the baseline for the time of any penalties incurred before the objects can be moved back down the lane. The team scores one rep per object + athlete behind the baseline. The tyre must be on the floor first and the sand bags on top for the reps to count.

Time cap: 12 minutes