A rock, some paper, and a pair of scissors lying on a wooden surface

Rock, Paper, Scissors

  • Great fun for all abilities and age groups
  • Good for developing speed, acceleration, agility and reaction time
  • Ideal for groups of 8-16 players
  • Perfect for the parks

Rock, paper, scissors is a great opportunity to have a bit of fun with the classic game while also working on reactions, agility, acceleration and speed.


A few cones, trees, lamposts or anything else that can serve as markers.

Setting Up

Create two teams of roughly equal sizes. Space out three cones as markers at a distance of about 30 meters from each other. The central cone will be a start point and the other two will be "home" points for each team.


Each team collectively chooses either rock, paper or scissors. The teams then stand opposite each other, either side of the start point and all reveal their chosen implement on the count of three.

The winning team (rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, paper beats rock) then have to chase the losing team and catch them before they reach their "home".

Anybody who is caught (tapped on the shoulder) joins the winning team. The new teams then collectively choose new implements and play again.

If both teams pick the same implement (i.e. a draw) they perform an exercise of the group leader's choosing for 30 seconds.

Play continues until all members of a team have been caught or until time is up, in which case the team with the most members is declared the winning team.


Everybody must reveal their implements at the same time.

Group Size

The game works best if each team starts with about 4-8 players (bear in mind that team size could almost double if one team keeps catching members of the other).


No Chase

Teams don't chase each other, but rather the winning team picks a forefeit exercise for the losing team


Rather than having teams, each person is paired with another and each pair plays an individual game of rock, paper, scissors.

The winner chases the loser. If the loser is caught then the winner picks a forefeit exercise for them. If the loser is not caught then they pick a forfeit exercise for the winner.

In the case of a draw, both members of the pair perform a pre-agreed exercise together.

Real World Example

There is a group of 11 mixed-ability athletes and the session is taking place in a public park with well-maintained grass.

The athletes are split into two teams, Team A and Team B, ensuring that each team has a good mix of ability. Since there are an odd number of athletes it's necessary to create one group of six and another of five. The fastest athlete in the group is put in the smaller team of five to try and mitigate the advantage of the larger team.

Three evenly-spaced trees within the park are used as markers. The tree at one end is home for Team A and the tree at the other end is home for Team B. The tree in the middle is the start point.

The teams secretly choose their implements and then face each other. The group leader counts to three and on "three" the implements are revealed.

Team A (the team of six) reveals "rock" and Team B (the team of five) reveals "scissors".

After a brief moment of hesitation from both teams, the members of Team A chase the members of Team B and two of them are caught, with the others safely reaching the home tree. The athletes that were caught join Team A. So, Team A now has eight members and Team B only three.

Both teams return to the start point and the next round is played. This time both teams reveal "paper" so must perform ten star jumps.

In round three Team B reveal "scissors", beating Team A's "paper" and managing to gain four members in the ensuing chase. Team A now has four members and Team B seven.

In round four Team B wins again and captures all but the fastest athlete from Team A.

The next round is a draw and both teams complete 10 press ups.

The next two rounds see Team B win twice in a row but nobody is able to catch the fastest athlete.

Play ends and Team B is declared the winning team, with a special nod to the remaining member of Team A who nobody could catch.


Establish the protocol for revealing the implements before play starts. On the count of three seems to work best.


Because of the sudden turns and acceleration that the game requires, ensure a surface with good traction, especially in wet conditions.

Remember to warm up before your session and cool down afterwards. Accelerating and decelerating several times over short distance can be demanding.