Skip to main content

One of the foundational premises of the activity night called Fun on the Field is “It is OK to play”. In fact, it is downright healthy.  And here is a little data for all you scientists to support my assertion.

Socio-emotional areas:

  • Expressing more confidence (Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Developing conflict-resolution skills (Gray, 2011)
  • Cultivating social skills such as flexibil­ity, empathy, and the ability to be aware of one’s self (Burdette &Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)

Cognitive areas:

  • Increasing problem-solving capabili­ties (Kleiber & Barnett-Morris, 1993; Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Deepening critical-thinking skills (Hurwitz, 2002)
  • Increasing curiosity (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007)

Health areas:

  • Improving gross motor skills (Hurwitz, 2002; Burdette & Whitaker, 2005)
  • Improving mental health (Taylor, Kuo & Sullivan, 2001; Taylor & Kuo, 2009)

Research also shows that play results in reduction of psycho­logical maladies such as:

  • Anxiety (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005)
  • Depression (Burdette &Whitaker, 2005; Gray 2011)
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD) (Louv, 2005)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Louv, 2005)

So, as you can see, the experts agree.  Taking time to play is critical and important and we are going to give you ample opportunity to do so.  Here is just one of the many things you can look forward to if you join us for Fun on the Field.

Rock Paper Scissors

After several undefeated years, team John lost to team Chuck in the 2014 Rock, Paper, Scissors challenge. I am pleased to announce that the title was regained in 2015!

And who knew there was more to making a choice from the three options? Well, there have been studies done and conclusions made.  It turns out that the best strategy is to choose your weapon at random. Over the long run, that makes it equally likely that you will win, tie, or lose. This is known as the mixed strategy Nash equilibrium in which every player chooses the three actions with equal probability in each round.

Today, Zhijian Wang at Zhejiang University in China and a couple of pals say that there is more to Rock-Paper-Scissors than anyone imagined. Their work shows that the strategy of real players looks random on average but actually consists of predictable patterns that a wily opponent could exploit to gain a vital edge.

Zhijian and co say that players who win tend to stick with the same action while those who lose switch to the next action in a clockwise direction (where R → P → S is clockwise). This is known in game theory as a conditional response. So now you know the secret. But I know the secret too, and you know that I know the secret and I know that you know that I know the secret, so how will that affect your choice?

Whether your preference is to relax and watch or to participate, come join us up on the field.  It is guaranteed to be an outstanding evening of FUN that will help improve your health. Bring some play clothes. Bandannas and tank balls provided. I will be expecting you.

Just be sure to look both ways before you step off the curb.


John Batchelder