Forget the Coin Toss: These Illinois High School Teams Played Rock, Paper, Scissors Before Game

by Thad Mitchell
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A couple of Illinois high school football teams may have started a new tradition, foregoing a coin toss for a Rock, Paper, Scissors match.

No, that is not a misprint — two teams played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine the game’s first possession.

“LOVE IT! Who needs a stinking coin!!” the tweet proclaims “Elmwood-Brimfield wins pre-game Rock Paper Scissors at Lewistown.”

As you can see in the social media post, it appears the teams are also playing best of three Rock, Paper, Scissor games. The player on the right that wins appears very happy with the victory. No one really knows why the opening possession was determined this way but how fun.

Maybe the referee forgot to bring a quarter along with him. Perhaps he’s just tired of traditional coin flips. Maybe there is some kind of backstory between the two teams that also led to this faceoff.

Since the dawn of time, or the 1880s in actuality, a traditional coin toss has determined who will receive the football first. The loser of the coin flip gets to choose the endzone that his team will defend after kickoff. The process is a rather simple one, I know because I participated in several coin tosses, ending up on both the winning and losing side of a quarter.

Coin Toss Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

In a coin toss, a captain, or captains, is chosen from each of the two competing teams. These captains march to the center of the football field where they will first shake hands and then greet the game’s officials. A coin, typically a quarter, is then presented to both teams. The official will instruct the captain of the visiting team to “call it” as the quarter is flipped in the air.

The winner of the coin toss gets to pick if his team will receive or decline into the second half. The loser of the coin flip decides the endzone they would most like to defend. The captains then return to their teams and prepare for the opening kickoff.

A coin toss is fair, impartial and gives competing teams an equal chance at the desired outcome. A coin toss is also stale, boring and ancient having been around for centuries. Perhaps teams should have to compete in the child’s game to receive the opening kickoff. The XFL used to make players race for the ball to get dibs on the opening possession.

It is highly unlikely that a coin toss is going to be permanently replaced by Rock, Paper, Scissors. But maybe keep an open mind about the idea in the future. It could add a little excitement to the game.

Outsider.com