One, two, three ... shoot!
By JUDY SHERARD
Does rock beat scissors, or paper beat rock?
The options were limited, but the competition intense.
Approximately a dozen youngsters participated in the rock, paper, scissors competition Wednesday afternoon at Hays Public Library.
The rules were simple.
In the game also known as roshambo, rock beats scissors; scissors beat paper; paper beats rock.
"Participants are guaranteed five rounds," said Scott Rader, assistant youth services librarian. "That means you will play five different people."
There were three bouts in each round, a contender earned a point for each bout won.
The points were totaled, and the top contenders went to a single elimination and championship round.
To begin, two groups competed at a time.
"Rock, paper, scissors, shoot" signaled go time.
There were cheers as bouts ended, and the participants kept an eye on their scores. However, none of them admitted to a strategy.
"I'm just competitive," said Lucy Lin, 12, a seventh-grader at Hays Middle School.
Her friends, Chaylee Lix and Alex Gonzales, weren't competing but came along as Lucy's support group.
Stephen Windholz, 15, a Hays High sophomore, hadn't played the game much but decided to give it a try.
Keegan Buford, also a Hays High sophomore, knew the game but was playing it spontaneously.
It was "just a lot of luck," Kaleigh Ashbaugh, 11, said of winning three bouts out of five in the championship round.
However, she does play rock, paper, scissors for fun sometimes with her brother.
Her prize -- what else -- a rock, paper and scissors, along with some Lifesavers gummy bears.
The youth services department rock, paper, scissors competitions started a few years ago because the kids wanted to do it, Rader said.
Approximately 25 competed in the last one during a lock-in last summer.
"At an after-school activity, we don't ever know how many people are going to show up. So we did a round robin (tournament) so they were guaranteed a certain number of rounds," he said.
Though the average number attending is approximately 20, it sometimes depends on the scheduled activity.
"Pizza usually draws quite a few," he said.
The after-school activities at the library for students in middle and high school give youngsters and teens a place to go after school.
"We try to do some fun stuff and mix in some crafts," Rader said. "With our Iron Chefs, our cooking program, we give them a little light skill. We taught them how to use chopsticks and how to tie ties ... a little bit of fun and education."