ISSB Group Obstacle Task Procedure

The Progressive Group Task will commence soon after the Group Planning Exercise is over. The group will be taken before the first obstacle and the G.T.O. will explain the nature of the task to the candidates. The start line and the finish line will be indicated. The candidates will not be allowed to touch the various structures. The candidates will be provided with one or two bellies (wooden poles ranging from 8 to 10 feet in length) and a couple of rope lengths (about 30 feet each) as their helping materials. Besides using these helping materials as aids to negotiate the obstacles, the candidates should also carry the same with them to the finish line. In addition they will also be required to carry a load with them from the start line to the finish line. Thus the men, materials (helping aids) and the load have to cross the obstacles and reach the finish line. Generally the load is a five gallon paint or oil drum filled with sand. It is fairly heavy and has to be handled gently with care

Group Obstacle Race (Snake Race)

This is a commission or race between different groups of candidates who are being tested at the Board on the same day. Instead of a flat race, here we have an obstacle race. It is to be seen which group reaches the finish line first. The load carried, here is known as a snake. It is actually a rolled up tent and the candidates will be asked to regard it as a wounded leader. There is no fixed time limit provided for this exercise and it is to be completed in time

The rules of the game will then be explained to the candidates. Afterwards, they will be taken to the remaining three obstacles of the Progressive Group Task and the start line, finish line, structural settings, etc. of the same will be shown to them. The candidates will be given ample opportunities to clear their doubts before the commencement of the task. Once the exercise starts, they are not to ask the G.T.O. about any doubts or queries but should resolve it amongst themselves. After the briefings are over, they will be taken back to the start line of the first obstacle and the exercise will commence when the G.T.O. gives the order.


Like in any other games or sport, there are a few rules which are required to be observed strictly when the candidates carry out the obstacle tasks. The G.T.O. will explain these rules to the candidates before the commencement of each exercise. Some of the important rules are:

  1. Out of Bounds Rule This rule has already been mentioned in this chapter. The entire ground area and any other structure painted red between the start-line and the finishing are out of bounds to the candidates, and for their helping materials and load. There is a penalty provided for any person or any object touching the out of bounds area. If any of the men or material load touches the out of bounds area, that person or object which violated the rule should immediately go back to the start line of that obstacle. For example if No. 5’s right foot touches the ground while proceeding from one structure to another in the second obstacle of the Progressive Group Task, then, No. 5 should go back to the start line of the second obstacle. However, there is no bar to his coming back to his former position in the second obstacle once more. The only thing insisted upon is that he should go back to the start line and come up again. The same is the case with the helping materials and the load. If any of them touches the out of bounds area , the infringed object should go back to the start line and has to be brought up afresh.
  2. The Four Feet Rule the candidates are not allowed to jump either in length or height any distance exceeding four feet. Such distances should be crossed by the candidates only with the help of the helping materials, i.e.. the bally or the rope. For example, a distance of 7 feet may be crossed only by using either the bally or the rope as a bridge or support. This rule does not apply to the materials or the load and they can be thrown over a distance exceeding four feet.
  3. The Group Rule Each obstacle should be crossed by the entire group with its materials and load, before the next obstacle is attempted by any one in the group. For instance, let us assume that a group consists of eight candidates having the numbers I to 8. In the Progressive Group Task, which has four obstacles, each- single obstacle should he crossed by the entire group with all of its equipment, before the next obstacle is attempted by any one of them. in case Nos. 3 and 4 crossed the first obstacle before the rest and the remainder are still at it, then Nos. 3 and 4 cannot proceed straightaway to the second obstacle. They will have to wait for the other six candidates, the load and the materials to come across the first obstacle. Only when that is. Completed, the group as a whole can proceed to the second obstacle. The same principal applied for other obstacles as well.
  4. The Time Rule The entire Progressive Group Task as such should be completed in 40 minutes. There is no separate time limit laid down for each of the four obstacles which are included in this exercise. In other words, all the four of them should be crossed within the total time limit of 40 minutes.