Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is NOT a Sport

Gus, let's get real. I'm not about to call it RPS either. Just because something has a sweet acronym doesn't put it on the same map as NBA, NFL, WBC, NCAA, etc. I'm talking to the LARPers as well with that point.

You used the definition for sport, I'm going to hit you with the definition, which is more highly regarded in this space: a sport requires coordination, continued or sporadic moderate to high physical activity, and at least some semblance of athleticism.

Here's a nice rule of thumb, if the world's fattest man can do it, I'm gonna call it an activity, not a sport.

Sure, if you throw 250 rounds of Rock Paper Scissors (500-750 tosses), of course you're gonna be a tad achey in the wrist and hands. My wrist gets crackly after several rounds of Wii Sports Tennis, after whittling a charm from a piece of wood, after rolling coins up for an hour. That doesn't make them sports.

Picking up on your opponent's tendencies is key to any competition - which I won't deny that Rock Paper Scissors is - whether it's in poker, basketball, the court room, hockey or in a sales meeting. You've got to key in on a guy's tell to give yourself or your team an edge. No denying that that is a finely tuned and impressive skill, but an athletic ability, not a chance.

The most active you can get in Rock Paper Scissors is shaking your fist and mimicking a weak punch. Unless you're going to be over the top and winding up to toss, there's not much athleticism required here. There's a teensy weensy bit of coordination, basically confined to one hand, or rather, if you can put out two fingers, and open your hand, you can play. It's going to be pretty tough to lose your breath from the amount of activity needed to toss out a Scissors Scissors Paper combination.

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