Rock Paper Scissors Tug-O-War

Focus Skills: Components of Fitness

Rock Paper Scissors Tug-O-War is an exciting Health & Fitness game that can help your students explore two of the skill-related components of fitness: speed and reaction time! I help my students better understand the skill-related components of fitness by using my Fitness Component Concept Cards.

I’ve also used this game during my initial unit of the school year as a fun way to introduce conflict resolution systems. Learn more about that in this blog post.


quickrulesicon Quick Rules

The teacher divides the class into two teams. Each team stands in a line on opposing sides of the playing area.

On the teacher’s signal, the first player from each team races towards the other team. When the two players meet, they play a single round of rock paper scissors.

The player who wins the round immediately begins to sprint towards the opposing team. As they do so, the next player in line for the team that did not win the rock paper scissors round sprints out to meet them (the player who lost the rock paper scissors round makes their way to the back of their team’s line).

Play continues until a player successfully makes it all of the way to the opposing team’s line.

Once the class feels comfortable with the rules, I’ll usually set up multiple games with smaller teams (2-3) to increase individual participation.

buildicon Builds

Build One: Rock Paper Scissors Faceoffs

The teacher sets up the playing area that is divided in half by a center line. Where each half meets, the teacher makes a line of polyspots about a foot away from the center line. In between the lines, the teacher places a bunch of beanbags. At the back of each zone, the teacher establishes an endzone area.

Each team waits in their endzone until the teacher’s signal. On the signal, players race to a polyspot that is in their half of the playing area.

When players get to a spot, they shake hands with the player from the opposing team that is standing opposite of them and then play a round of Rock Paper Scissors. Once a player has won the round, the two players high five and the victorious player picks up a beanbag from the center line. The two players then have to make their way back to their endzone (and the victorious player leaves the beanbag there).

Before being able to go back to a spot, each player has to perform five jumping jacks.

Play continues until there are no beanbags left in the center of the playing area.

Build Two: Rock Paper Scissors Battle Spots

Each team now forms a line in their playing zone. The teacher then creates a single line of 5 polyspots that is aligned with each team’s line.

On the teacher’s signal, the first player of each teams sprints to the middle spot. Players shake hands and then play a single round of Rock Paper Scissors.

The player who wins the round gets to move to the next spot that is closest to the other team’s line. The player who does not win makes their way to the back of their team’s line, and the next player in line goes to meet the player who won.

Teams go back and forth like this until a player successfully makes their way past the final spot.

Build Three: Rock Paper Scissors Tug-O-War

Teams are now ready to play the full version of the game that is described in the Quick Rules above!

tacticalicon Grade Level Outcomes

Identifies the components of skill-related fitness (S3.M7.6)

Differentiates between aerobic and anaerobic capacity and between muscular strength and endurance. (S3.M10.6)

Exhibits personal responsibility by using appropriate etiquette, demonstrating respect for facilities, and exhibiting safe behaviours. (S4.M1.6)

questionsicon Discussion Questions

How do you prevent the opposing team from gaining a lot of ground after they’ve won a round of Rock Paper Scissors?

How do you gain a lot of ground once you’ve won a round of Rock Paper Scissors?

What about this game tests your ability to always demonstrate appropriate etiquette?

Which components of fitness are mostly targeted in this game?

safetyicon Safety Information

Students should be instructed to gradually decrease their speed when meeting opponents to avoid any crashes.


equipmenticon Equipment Requirements




Fitness Component Concept Cards