Once the tangles were set a beach ball was placed atop each set of ropes.
The Challenge: Without human contact with the beach ball, untangle the rope knot without letting go of the ropes or dropping the ball. (With this set up, everyone should be standing next to the person from the initial circle of the set up - this would be the expectation of "untangle.")
During these Beta Testing attempts, the groups placed the beach ball back on top of the ropes right away if it fell to the ground. In "real life" team building, we decided, if the ball drops, the group would have to reset the tangle from the beginning before placing the ball back on top of the ropes. (Just a thought so far.)
We also talked about letting some of the air out of the beach balls so they didn't roll around as much (to make the activity easier), use different objects like a small cardboard box or stuffed animal and allowing for a certain number of drops (e.g., three) before resetting the tangle.
Give this a try. Help out the cause. Is the task even possible - we would love to know! (And, see a video of a successful conclusion.)
All the best,
Chris Cavert, Ed.D.