October 28, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 32  

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Paper beats rock athletics

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Don't ever complain that table tennis or bowling are not true sports - this weekend, Toronto hosted the second annual World Championships in the noble sport of rock, paper, scissors.

The Web site of the World RPS Society (www.rpschamps.com) was created and is maintained by two Western graduates, brothers Douglas and Graham Walker. The site boasts information on events such as the World Championships, as well as tips on strategy and even international terms for rock, paper, scissors. Next time you have a dispute with someone, challenge them to a tournament of Shnick, Shnack, Shnuk (German term), or Ching, Chong, Chow (South American term).

"[The competition was held] last Saturday night; there were over 320 competitors," Douglas Walker said, adding competitors traveled to Toronto from the United Kingdom, Hawaii and approximately six other states in the United States. There were approximately 900 people in the audience, he explained.

"[Rock, paper, scissors] is a sport that anyone can play; all you need is one functioning hand and a clever mind," Walker explained.

Walker extended his congratulations to the bronze medalist, Patrick Merry, currently a second-year political science and history student at Western. The first place winner, Rob Krueger of the Ottawa/Toronto team Legion of the Red Fist, received a $5,000 prize.

"We used to play [rock, paper, scissors] at work to decide who did certain tasks; when someone found out about the competition online and showed it to us [I decided to participate]," Merry said, the third-best RPS player in the world, adding he never expected to win but ended up being awarded the bronze medal and $500.

"The final 16 [competitors] were put on the main stage with hundreds of fans booing and cheering; it was so intense," Merry said.

"I do consider it a real sport; it is one on one, one mind against another mind," Merry explained.

"It is something different, but a lot of stuff sounds weird at first," said Joe Ward, a third-year philosophy student, adding "sign me up."



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