The Official Game
|The game of Paper began with an innocent toss by then physics major David Squires. Dave was becoming increasingly frustrated with his Physics 213 homework as he worked on his assignment in the Berry Physics lounge. Repeated errors and dead ends in his calculations led Dave to crumple several sheets of paper, each strewn with errant calculations, and throw them away in disgust. At some point Dave began to wonder if he could throw these wads of paper in such a way that they would land safely on the ledge inside the front window of the physics lounge. From these humble beginnings our glorious sport was born...||
Dr. Paul Wallace (right) presents the McAllister Trophy to Dr. Ron Taylor (center) after Dr. Taylor's victory in the Fall 2002 Semester Tournament. Wes Taylor, the Spring 2002 Champion, adds his congratulations.
Dave (now known as "the Pape"), conceived this new game in the Fall semester of 2001 and it did not take long for his idea to ignite the powderkeg of pent-up energy that had, until then, lay dormant in the Berry College physics lounge. Soon nearly all of Berry's physics majors and physics faculty were participating in the daily ritual of a game of "Paper", as Dave so aptly named his brainchild. With each new day and each new game the popularity of the sport grew. Soon mathematics students and professors were enthralled as well. Even the occasional Chemistry and Biology professor would be seen participating in the daily game. Visitors from other schools have even played and vowed to take the game back to their home institutions. Most recently, Paper gained considerable public recognition when the game was mentioned during Anna Morrison's 2003 valedictory speech at Berry's Spring graduation ceremony. There is no longer any doubt: Paper is here to stay.
|At its heart, Paper is a simple game. Each contestant throws a crumpled wad of notebook paper from behind a certain point in the Paper field. The goal is to make the wad land on one of two window ledges set at different heights. The wad must not hit the ground before crossing a designated line in front of the ledges. A player whose wad lands on the lower ledge will win the round unless someone else equals the feat in that round. A player whose wad lands on the upper ledge wins the game for the day unless matched by another. All ties result in playoffs between the tied participants. If no wad lands on any ledge then the player whose wad is closest to the lower ledge wins the round (unless, of course, that player's wad has been disqualified). Rounds continue until any player has won two rounds or has landed a wad on the upper ledge.||
Players participate in the throwoff to determine the order in which they will throw during all rounds of the game.
Play begins with a throwoff to determine the order in which participants will throw during the rounds (see a short video of a Paper throwoff here). The closer the player's wad is to the ledge the later in the round that player will throw. It is advantageous to throw last, because the last thrower always knows how good his or her throw must be to win the round. Once the order has been set by the throwoff that order will be kept throughout all of the game's rounds.
The player who wins the most days during a week wins the week. In the event of a tie a playoff determines the weekly winner. All weekly winners are entered into the semester tournament, with those who have won the most weeks given an advantage in the tournament. The winner of the semester tournament is declared the Semester Champion and is awarded the McAllister Trophy.
Some ground rules were established right from the start. The basic sequence of play has changed little since the first season. The use of foreign substances to alter the properties of paper wads has also been banned since the early days of the sport. However, more recent rulings by the Paper Committee have led to significant changes in the game. For example, the semester tournament was not established until the Spring Semester of 2002. The scoring of upper ledge shots is another aspect of the game that has undergone (and may continue to undergo) significant revision. The Committee hopes to improve the clarity of the rules and make the game fair and enjoyable for all participants.
Changes to the rules are usually initiated by debates that arise from game play. At times, these debates seem to occur on a daily basis and may seem to detract from the enjoyment of the game. In the end, though, these arguments lead to a clearer set of rules and a more enjoyable sport of Paper. Less frequently a full-fledged controversy will bloom, such as the now-infamous "Fractalization Controversy". This was the first major scandal to rock the sport of Paper, as Dr. Timberlake introduced the process of fractalization to soften the paper wad and give it a more controlled bounce. This process was later deemed illegal, equivalent to corking a bat in baseball. More recently controversy raged over the rule that declares a player's wad disqualified if that player touches the wad after it has been thrown but before the end of the round. Some claim that an inappropriate use of this rule against Andre Coville tainted Dr. Timberlake's victory in the Spring '03 tournament. Again, though, the controversy led to clarification and improvement of the rules.
Paper will continue to evolve over the coming semesters. It is, after all, a sport that is still in its infancy. One can hardly doubt that Dr. Timberlake has something else up his sleeve that will have to be deemed illegal by the Paper Committee.
Click the link below to receive a PDF file containing a draft of the
Official Rules of Paper. Please keep in mind that these rules are
still subject to considerable revision and refinement. Changes may
be made at any time by the Paper Committee. We will attempt to keep
this file as up-to-date as possible.
Thanks to Dr. Ron Taylor, the Official Scorer of Paper, for typesetting these rules.
Winner of the Paper Tournament at the end of each semester are awarded
the McAllister Trophy. The McAllister Trophy is named after Dr. Lawrence
McAllister, the founding father of the Berry College Physics Department.
The trophy itself appears to be a piece of some electronic device. Nobody
knows exactly what the device was or what function this particular part
played. In any case, this bit of physics hardware has been given new
life as the McAllister Trophy, the prize sought by all who step onto
the Paper court in the physics lounge.
Every semester champion of Paper has his or her name engraved (well, actually labelled) on the Trophy. Although each champion nominally possesses the Trophy until another player wins the title, it is generally agreed that the Trophy will be kept within the confines of the Berry College Science Building. The Trophy can usually be found prominently displayed in the physics lounge.
Twin views of the McAllister Trophy, the grand prize in the game of Paper. The wad of the reigning champion rests in the center.
Frank Petruzielo (right) is awarded the McAllister Trophy after his victory in the Fall 2004 Paper Tournament. Presenting the award is Dr. Paul Wallace, Director of the Physics Lounge.
|1/16-1/20||No Game||Todd Timberlake||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor|
|1/23-1/27||No Game||Matt Evans||No Game||Tom McKown||Ron Taylor*|
|1/30-2/3||No Game||Paul Wallace||No Game||Sarah Earl||Ron Taylor*|
|2/6-2/10||Todd Timberlake||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Sarah Earl||Ron Taylor|
|2/13-2/17||Daniel Murphree||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Carly Donahue||Carly Donahue|
|2/20-2/24||Susanne Gaylon||Susanne Galyon||Ron Taylor||Chuck Lane||Sarah Earl|
|2/27-3/3||Carly Donahue||Daniel Murphree||Sarah Earl||Sarah Earl||Ron Taylor|
|3/6-3/10||Ron Taylor||Chuck Lane||Chuck Lane||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor|
|3/13-3/17||Spring Break||Spring Break||Spring Break||Spring Break||Spring Break|
|3/20-3/24||Sarah Earl||Carly Donahue||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Tom McKown|
|3/27-3/31||Paul Wallace||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Carly Donahue||Sarah Earl|
|4/3-4/7||Sarah Earl||Frank Petruzielo||Ron Taylor||Paul Wallace||Ron Taylor|
|4/10-4/14||Ron Taylor||Ron Taylor||Frank Petruzielo||Frank Petruzielo||Carly Donahue (x2)|
|4/17-4/21||Ron Taylor||Alex Baitcher||Ron Taylor||Matt Evans||Courtney Griffin|
|Player||Daily Victories||Upper Ledge Victories||Weekly Victories|