Crossroads News

Middle School Kicks Off Annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament

Students, faculty and staff vie for coveted trophy and spot on commemorative plaque.
Back in the fall of 2004—before any of the current Middle Schoolers were even born—Latin Teacher Chrissy Gianni ’96 was swept up in the competitive spirit of the World Series when she had an idea: to create an equally exciting competition at Crossroads but “make it fun and absurd.” Thus, the Middle School’s annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament was born. This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is operating virtually and offering the Crossroads community another way to connect outside the (online) classroom.
On Monday, April 26, Chrissy released two brackets that paired 60-plus participants with an opponent for the first round of the tournament. In the past, Chrissy would fill out the bracket by hand; for the virtual competition, she enlisted the help of her husband to write code that randomly generated the seeded brackets. Each round will be played over a video call. The winner of two out of three games will advance to the next round.
“I liked the idea of this tournament because students and faculty and staff would meet and cross paths with people they normally wouldn’t,” explains Chrissy. “It always started with having to find and introduce yourself to your opponent. … I hope to recreate some of this virtually.”
Eighth grader Brody Abowitz, the reigning tournament champion, is excited to participate again: “This year, if I beat [Middle School Receptionist Elva Ephriam], then I go on to face [Head of School] Bob Riddle, which is pretty exciting.”
Chrissy hasn’t yet decided if the semifinal and final championship rounds will take place virtually or be postponed until next year. But her goals for the tournament remain the same as they were in 2004.
“I hope the students take away from this that it is OK to put yourself out there and meet new people. That it’s OK to lose if you have fun. That you can win even if you aren’t ‘good’ at something,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s just meant to be fun.”