March 16, 2009 | Matt Decker

Referee Roland Eldridge, the “official official” of Rock, Paper, Scissors, said the talent level of this year’s competition is better than last year's.

Play Rock, Paper, Scissors; have fun; win lots of money. 

That is the premise behind the second-annual Rock, Paper, Scissors competition at Calvin. Preliminary rounds have just finished up, and the grand finale of the contest will be held in the Fine Arts Center on April 1. The finals will feature 16 student participants, two winners from each dorm and another two qualifiers from the special shows held at halftime of basketball games during Homecoming week.

Multitudes turn out

"Overall we’ve had more people come to the dorms … ,” said sophomore media production major Josh Schroyer, who is a producer for the tournament. “We’ve had between 28 and 32 students for most of the dorms. Thirty-two has been the max, and we’ve had that for three or four of the dorms.”

The finals, televised on Calvin Video Network (CVN), will be hosted by sophomores Nick Vera and Joe Sonheim. There will be a $300 prize and five free pizzas from Papa John’s for the first place finisher.

Special guests

"We are mixing it up a bit. We are hoping to have some special guests, and that is yet to be disclosed. It will be a great show,” said sophomore Rachel Kuyvenhoven, a media production major who produces the tournament with Schroyer and sophomore Kristin Crawford.

Referee Roland Eldridge, the “official official” of Rock, Paper, Scissors, stated that the talent level of this year’s competition has increased from last year.

"There is more energy. That is always a big thing, especially with spectator sports like Rock, Paper, Scissors,” said Eldridge. “When the crowd is into it, the fans are into it, and viewers will be into it when it airs.”

RPS: Sponsored by ...

Due in part to the popularity of last year’s event, the producers were able to land sponsors for this year’s event, including Papa John’s, GR Clearance Audio, Uccello’s, D & W Fresh Market, Knights for Life, and Brann’s Steakhouse and Grill.

"It is great advertising for them and great prizes for us, so it turned out really good,” said Kuyvenhoven.

"We worked with the development office and we send out a media package with a letter to them, and a fact sheet, with a little DVD of the episode’s from last year,” said Schroyer. “We mailed them out and then a few days later followed up with a phone call to get into conversation with them and eventually were able to work out deals with the companies for either gift certificates or prizes or money.”

Back in the day

Three years ago, the idea of a campus-wide Rock, Paper, Scissors competition was just occurring to the past managers of the CVN. “They originally wanted to do an arm wrestling competition through the dorms, but over time it evolved into Rock, Paper, Scissors because more people would be able to play,” said Schroyer. “And then last year we started it up and spent most of the whole first semester planning it out and then spent second semester implementing it to the campus.”

Over the past few years, according to Eldridge, students have worked to improve their game, as evidenced by a collective increase in skill this year: “There are definitely some good contestants,” he said. “(The tournament) is raising awareness across campus, across Grand Rapids, and across the world. Because it is an up-and-coming sport, similar to lacrosse or something like that.”

"Rock, Paper, Scissors is gaining huge popularity,” said Kuyvenhoven, “I see people playing it in the dining hall just for fun. Rock, Paper, Scissors is a great sport, and I think it is really catching on.”      

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