Rock Paper Scissors Tournament

3.5 stars

We all know the Rock Paper Scissors game.  But can you base a Youth Group night on it?  The answer is No!  But you can keep kids entertained for at least 20 minutes and it works really well as an icebreaker or time filler. 

The key to it's appeal is to sell it as a "Rock Paper Scissors" tournament.   If you have a group of 32 kids, to be crowned "Rock Paper Scissors Champion", a kid would need to win five consecutive games (which is no mean feat!). 

It's not complex to run - basically have kids pair off and play a game against each other.  You may not have an even number of kids but with a bit of juggling it sorts itself out. We normally make it the best of 3 rounds, so the winner is the first to two wins.  The "winners" go to one side of the room, the "losers" to the other.  The process repeats itself - the group of winners pair off and play until there's only two kids left.  They key is to gather everyone around and build the suspense between each game.  We make the Grand Final the best of 5 to help build the tension. 

We play this game a couple of times a year and have a trophy that gets presented to the Champion.  You'll be surprised at how much passion this game can generate!

As a variation of this game, try Human Rock Paper Scissors

  • Free / Low Cost
  • No equipment needed
  • Night
  • Ice breaker
  • Team Building Teamwork
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Outdoor
  • Small area
  • Primary or Elementary School
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

Group Size
  • Medium (10-29 people)
  • Large groups (30+)

    Submit your vote:



    Love this game, and I am going to try it in my youth department tonight.
    - chad (4 Jun 2008)

    We played this at camp, but we had them join the 'posse' of whoever defeated them, so they followed their leader around when they faced new opponents. It was a lot of fun.
    - joseph (10 Jun 2008)

    This is just like a game called "Evalution"!!
    - Chris (23 Jan 2009)

    We changed it up by having the kids act out things other than Rock/Paper/Scissors. Try these ones:

    1. Superman, Lois Lane, Kryptonite
    2. Surfer, Beach Babe, Wave
    3. Gorilla, Ninja, Banana

    - Dan (1 May 2009)

    What a good idea. I do the games for our Gods all star group which is 1-5 grades. I split up the group 1-3 grade and 4-5 grade. The groups competeted against each other best out of 3. Then the winner from each group got a small prize. Then the two winners from each group competeted against each other best of 5. The winner got a bigger prize. We had 25 kids, all knew the game even the little ones moving up to our group out of kindergarden. They really liked this game. So I will keep it for another time. Thankyou
    - Misty (25 Jul 2009)

    This is a classic game and the kids love it. I have a new rendition to it that adds more physicality. Divide the whole group into 2 teams with center line taped to divide the room in half. players run to center and face off with a player on other team. Leader calls "1-2-3-shoot" and whoever wins has to chase and tag the loser before they get back to their wall (base).if tagged, player is out. Repeat until one team is gone. If outnumbered, the "extra" players still run into center and team up (but still only 1 player will shoot). If solitary player wins, he can tag any and all of the other teams players. If the player with "extra(s)" wins, then any of the onlookers or the player who won the shoot can tag the solitary player.
    - Dave (23 Feb 2011)

    We did this with a large group of 15-24 year olds and it was a hit! The only change is that if you lose your rock/paper/scissor battle you now become the "cheerleader" for the person who just beat you. The the two of you travel together taking on other winner's and eventually your team gets bigger and bigger of cheerleaders and a winner until there are ultimately 2 teams (each with 1 person that is undefeated and all their cheeleaders rooting them on) that now have to battle it out for the ultimate championship. It's very fun!
    - Stacie (25 Apr 2012)

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