THE WORLD RPS SOCIETY – OFFICIAL ABRIDGED RULES OF PLAY
1.0 The Game is played where the players substitute the three elements of Rock, Paper and Scissors with representative hand signals.
2.0 These hand signals are delivered simultaneously by the players.
3.0 The Outcome of play is determined by the following:
• Rock wins against Scissors
• Scissors wins against Paper
• Paper wins against Rock
The Hand Signals
In order to ensure fair play, players must strive to make their hand signals as representative and as uniform as possible. The following techniques for representing the throws have been developed and approved by the World RPS Society for all levels of recreational and professional play. Collectively they are known as the Internationally Recognized Throwing System (IRTS) and as long as they are utilized they will ensure unambiguous deliver every time.
Internationally Recognized Rock:
represented by a closed fist with the thumb resting at least at the same height as the topmost finger of the hand. The thumb must not be concealed by the fingers. Note: To accommodate different throwing styles, it is considered legal for the first knuckle of the thumb to point downward.
Internationally Recognized Paper:
Is also delivered in the same manner as rock with the exception that all fingers including the thumb are fully extended and horizontal with the points of the fingers facing the opposing player. The palm up paper or “Feed the Pony” style although not seen very often is tolerated in professional level play since it shares the 90 degree wrist turn with the palm down approach. Use of the “vertical paper” (sometimes referred to as “the handshake”) is strictly forbidden in Tournament play due to its close resemblance to ‘scissors’ if is thrown without care.
Internationally Recognized Scissors:
Is delivered in the same manner as rock with the exception that the index and middle fingers are fully extended toward the opposing player. It is considered good form to angle the topmost finger upwards and the lower finger downwards in order to create a roughly 30–45 degree angle between the two digits and thus mimic a pair of scissors. Note: The use of Horizontal Scissors is strictly forbidden in Tournament play due to its close resemblance to ‘paper’ if is thrown without care.
Although every referee will have their own particular style of play and their general level of tolerance for player behavior, it is important that when it comes down to infractions that refs each follow a set of standardized penalties for player infractions.
Primes not synched
Both players must prime in unison so they deliver their throws at the same time. A large percentage of player issues arise when one player throws before the other has finished their final approach. As soon as a referee sees that the players are not in-synch with the primes, he/she should wave off play immediately. This needs to be done decisively and quickly before any of the players have released their throw. There is no penalty issued and it is simply considered a “do-over”. If it becomes obvious that a player is doing it deliberately then the ref can award a loss of game to the offending player.
Illegal Throw Played
For a competitor to use any throw outside of the trinity (even as an attempted joke during game play) demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the game. As such, if any player is caught throwing anything other than Rock, Paper or Scissors during competition that player will be immediately disqualified from the entire tournament.
A stalemate occurs when two players deliver the same throw. It is simply considered a tie and replayed. If the referee noticed that the players are hooked in “mirror play” (ie successive stalemates) then at the ref’s discretion, he or she may call for a short time out between the players.
Improper hand position
An improper hand position is generally an infraction such as a vertical paper or horizontal scissors. (Note: see section “The Hand Signals” for more details) If it is clear that a player is delivering their throw using an improper hand position due to inexperience, a warning will be issued. If a player keeps repeating this mistake that player risks disqualification at the discretion of the referee.
Player contact (non-malicious)
RPS is a non-contact sport, therefore players should refrain from any contact. If a player contact infraction simply occurs out of nerves or inexperience, a ‘Do-over” will be played. If the referee deems the contact to be malicious, then the a loss will be issued to the offending player.
The difference between an improper hand position and an indecisive throw is, for instance, a paper that is delivered with the fingers spread out or limp. A warning will be issued on the first infraction, but should a player continue to deliver indecisive throws after being told to stop then a loss can be issued.
Obnoxious or Drunken Behavior
A ref has the right to disqualify a player that shows a complete disrespect for the game in general or the match at hand. Obviously, many players try to intimidate their opponent’s verbally and this part of the game, but there does come a point where it crosses the line. Generally, a referee will not disqualify anyone until the player has had a chance to self-correct their behavior and/or attitude.
Player does not agree with ref
All referee decisions are final. There are no appeals.