Asia welcomes the serious sport of rock-paper-scissors

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Douglas Walker has been in town this week and he has been pleading with people to take him seriously. As chairman of the World Rock Paper Scissors Society, it is sometimes a tough gig.

Walker has been drumming up support for the Rock Paper Scissors World Championship ( - to be held in Toronto on November 14 - and he has certainly found himself an audience.

Hong Kong's sprawling Sha Tin New Town Plaza has agreed to host the World RPS Championship Asia League on October 18 and they are expecting around 500 competitors. And the Mathematics Education Promotion Association (MEPA) has thrown its weight behind the event, too, saying the game stimulates the mind.

Walker said he uses the game to solve even the most casual of decisions - from who in his family walks the dog, to what pizza they will order. Since being formed in 2002, his organisation has gone global - taking its events around the world and finding along the way that almost every country has its own version of a game that is thought to have originated in 19th century Japan.

Lee Rammage won the world title in 2004 and speaking at a press conference held to publicise the Hong Kong event he said the best advice he could give to would-be competitors was to "observe'' your opponents and to look for patterns to emerge. But not, apparently, when you are playing kids.

"They generally don't have any idea what they are going to throw next,'' he told the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, the MEPA's vice-president, Dr Cheng Lee-ming, said his research had shown that men threw rock 37 per cent of the time - because they are more agressive, while the fairer sex opted for scissors 37 per cent of the time. And that's down, he said, to a woman's more devious nature.

The basics:

Rock breaks scissors (rock wins).
Scissors cut paper (scissors win).
Paper covers rock (paper wins).


Rock Paper Scissors World Championship
November 14
Steam Whistle Brewery
Toronto, Canada