By Becky Nelson, SAU #43 Public Relations Specialist
“Just for fun and to help the students relax a little bit during stressful times around the holidays,” said Newport High School mentor and teacher, James Faulkner in reference to a recent in-school competition of the age-old game of “Rock-Paper-Scissors.” Participants in the tourney had a lot at stake, as the winner heads off to a R-P-S tournament at Derryfield School in Manchester on Sunday, January 25 at the Derryfield School Gymnasium. Dozens, if not hundreds of participants and observers are expected.
It’s kind of fun for a few minutes, even as an adult, to challenge a buddy to a simplistic game and cover their “rock” (fist) with your paper (flattened hand) to win or have your scissors (second and third fingers extended from your fist) cut their “paper” to win a round. But when their “rock” crushes your “scissors”, the tides turn and your challenge is lost. But at the high school recently, this challenge got serious when Newport High School champion, Tyler Maheu (Grade 11), earned the right to head to the statewide tourney.
“This is a tournament we hold simply to send someone to the state ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors’ tournament, and have some fun,” said Faulkner. “Last year I received something in the mail from the tournament organizers from Derryfield School. Our student council thought it would be a quick, fun and engaging project, and the winner (of the state championship) has a chance to win $500, so we ran our own high school tournament to find someone to send,” he said.
And the annual Newport challenge was established. “What we hope students get out of this is a fun distraction from school and something that anybody can participate in,” said Faulkner.
If you really pressed the issue, it can be said that strategy may play a role in the winner taking the game. Students may learn something about watching an opponent’s face for clues, honing their sensory and observation skills and fine tuning fine motor skills to “throw” or “shoot” their choice just a millisecond later than the opponent as the brain synapses fire to cover or break or cut as appropriate. You could also lobby that it’s a wonderful way to meet other students from around the state at the tournament in order to broaden their experiences and sharpen their communication skills. Both statements would be right, but it’s mostly just about the fun and the shot at the money prize.
According to Derryfield School’s website, the tournament, now in its second year, was the brainchild of a student set to graduate two years hence, and is completely run with student volunteers who garner donations, man concession booths, invite schools to participate, set up the tournament, provide referees and send invitations to schools across the state. Cheer squads for competitors are welcome. According to event mentor, Ben Dougherty, Head of the Upper School of Derryfield, “every once in a while it is important not to take yourself too seriously and just have fun. Rock, paper, scissors…shoot!”
Good luck at the finals, Tyler. May the best student win.
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