Agile Ice breaker #5: giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

giant rock, paper, scissors
giant rock, paper, scissors

I’m going to present you a classic Ice breaker that we’ve seen in many agile conferences: the giant Rock, Paper, Scissors. It’s a rather a nice Ice Breaker and that really helps to set the good atmosphere in a room.

Facilitators always make these Ice Breakers at the beginning of the session (workshop or meetup) in order to create an atmosphere often much more relaxed after this one.`

Discover all of our: Ice Breaker / Energizer

Sometimes I create a new Ice Breaker and test it but this one is a classic agile conference. Don’t hesitate to try it.

The giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

The classic rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Before launching the Ice Breaker it’s not bad to present  the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors; I still find some people today who don’t know the rules of this game.

The participants will be able to define 3 different forms with their hand: the rock (hand tightened), the paper (the flat hand) and the scissors (by spreading 2 fingers). Look at the image below to understand how to easily represent these 3 forms.


Rock, Paper, Scissors

As represented by the arrows on the drawing above, here are the simple rules to understand:

  • the paper surrounds and stifles the rock
  • the scissors cut the paper
  • the rock breaks the scissors

When two people in front make a Rock, Paper, Scissors fight, the winner will be the one who responds favorably to the rules above.



1 / Robert makes “rock” and Yannick makes “paper” => the paper surrounds and stifles the rock so Yannick wins the game.

2 / Robert does “rock” and Yannick does “rock” => we are in a case of equality.

3 / Robert makes “rock” and Yannick makes “scissors” => the rock breaks the scissors so Robert wins the game.

The rules are relatively simple to understand as you can see.


And the giant Rock, Paper, Scissors?

There are slightly different versions but in the one I purpose, we will ask participants to walk in the room each individually.

At the animator’s “Go”, people will move on and off as soon as they meet someone. The two people will then do the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors.

There will then be 3 possible outcomes:

  • the loser will go behind the winner
  • the winner will be the leader (consisting of himself and the loser)
  • in case of a tie, both people will leave

Here is the result in image below: groups of two and a few people still alone:


shifumi géant
giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

Each line will advance and when two lineheads will meet (the two people in front) then they will fight each other in Rock, Paper, Scissors. While the lines advance, those in the line will shout out the name of the one at the top of the line.

Then when the lines meet, we redo aRock, Paper, Scissors with the same possible outcomes as those explained above. So there are fewer and fewer teams over time.


shifumi géant
giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

After a while, there will be only two lines left to do the final together. All the members of a line will have to shout the name of the chief of the line.

Shifumi géant
giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

The winning team of this giant Rock, Paper, Scissors will be the last remaining line.

Conclusion giant Rock, Paper, Scissors

This ice breaker is very nice and gives a lot of energy to the participants. I hope you will enjoy it and don’t hesitate to purpose me your Ice Breaker if you want to share it with the many readers of this blog.

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About Judicaël Paquet 235 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My Engagements in France and Switzerland: - Crafting Agile Transformation Strategies - Tailored Agile Training Programs - Raising Awareness and Coaching for Managers - Assessing Agile Maturity and Situational Analysis - Agile Coaching for Teams, Organizations, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and Agile Coaches Areas of Expertise: Scrum, Kanban, Management 3.0, Scalability, Lean Startup, Agile Methodology.

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