By Raffles Press
Raffles has assembled. Team Raffles Games (TRG) season has officially begun, featuring face-offs between each house as they vie for the title of House Champion 2019. In this article, Raffles Press brings you the highlights of TRG Week 1 (Part 2), from 1st–2nd August 2019.
One Earth: Save My World, One Puzzle at a Time
By Kelly Leong (20S07C)
Photo courtesy of Bayley-Waddle’s Instagram Page
Set in 2140, the world is a mess of plastic pollution and melted ice. It’s up to the teams from the various houses to find a time machine, turn back time, and convince people to take better care of their environment.
Aligning closely to their CCA’s theme, One Earth presented an escape room, featuring a collection of activities to complete in a mere 20 minutes: riddle-solving, finding puzzle pieces to decode a message in morse code, sorting out various types of plastic and guessing a song played in reverse. In teams of four, participants entered the room, which was pitch black aside from the torch provided, and only upon completing the first stage would the room then be lighted. From then on, participants could partake in any of the remaining three activities in a bid to escape the room.
Some participants would move on to scour the room for puzzles pieces, hidden in odd nooks and crannies, while others moved onto the task of sorting out recyclables from the non-recyclables. The room soon turned into one full of confused questions (more so than at tutorials!) and the occasional triumphant shout when a puzzle piece was found. Team effort was quintessential as time ticked on—after all, the faster you escaped, the more points you scored for your house, with the maximum being 200 points for escaping within half the allotted time. It took wit and quick thinking, putting together everyone’s “big brains” to find the time machine, and even then, not all groups managed to complete the tasks.
In the end, it was BW that emerged victorious, HH in second place, and BB in third.
Shooting: Giving Your Best Shot
By Clara Shen (20A01A)
Photo courtesy of Students’ Council
The welcoming environment of the shooting range warmly greeted the participants, who were excited to try their hand at a new, unfamiliar sport. The games were divided into a few rounds, the first being a practice round. The participants were given time to practice under the instruction and guidance of the CCA members, after which they would attempt to shoot as accurately as possible at the balloon that was attached to a card.
The second round took on a different twist. It went by the name of a “Fun Card Round”, which cleverly incorporated the house colours in an interactive scoring system. Competitors had to try to aim for the bullseye of the card, which would award them ten points. This was followed by hitting one’s own house colour for five points, another house colour for two points and the black outer ring for one point.
After collating the results from the previous rounds, the CCA members announced the five best shooters from each house. These participants were selected to represent their houses in the final round of the games, which adopted the style of an elimination round, with five parts in total. Players had to each shoot five shots in the span of 300 seconds in the first round, and two shots each for the subsequent four rounds.
In the first round of the finals, MT led the pack with 33 points, while MR followed closely behind with 30 points. Unfortunately, BB was the first to be eliminated, followed by HH. Very quickly, the competition narrowed down to the top three houses, and tensions ran high as MR started to catch up with MT in the fourth round. The other participants started clapping noisily during the turns of competing players as a form of distraction, which seemed to work. Ultimately, MT emerged as the winner of the final round. Following hotly behind MT’s wheels were MR and BW.
Subsequently, the overall rankings were announced. MT and MR came in first and second respectively. HH came in third, five points behind MR, and was followed by BW and BB. Regardless of the results, the participants had all undoubtedly given their best shots and were able to try out a new sport from this opportunity.
Water Polo: A Splashin’ Good Time
By Rachel Leong (20A01A), Mah Xiao Yu (20A01B), and Megan Soh (20A01B)
The temperature was high and the sun was bright, but hopes were higher and smiles were brighter on the afternoon of the water polo TRG. Though the heat was sweltering, the players gathered around the Year 1–4 swimming pool enthusiastically, prepared to give their all and swim for victory. Loud pop music blasted through the area, hyping up both the spectators and players for what was sure to be an exciting game.
The games were modified for the benefit of the players, who were mostly inexperienced. Each game lasted four minutes instead of the usual eight, and the courts were much smaller than the 25- or 30- metre pools used for official games. From the beginning, the players’ throws and catches were performed with amazing accuracy and it hardly took them long to get used to playing in the water. Amidst speedy swimming, missed balls bouncing off goalposts, and impassioned cheers from both the players and spectators—including the water polo CCA members acting as referees, coaches and cheerleaders—the first games ended. Soon, the players settled into a steady rhythm. Even as the sun beat down on them mercilessly and the fiery competition intensified, their stamina and determination remained invincible.
Everyone emerged from the afternoon of sweat, splashes and sunshine with smiles on their faces; it had clearly been a great way to cool off from the stress of school life. And while victory ultimately went to MR, with MT coming in second and BB in third, all the participants did swimmingly, and it was clear to see that they had a splashing good time!
CLDCS: Rekindling the Spirit of Learning Mandarin
By Claire Tan (20S07A)
CLDCS had their TRG held in two air-conditioned classrooms, a welcome respite from the scorching weather outside. In fact, the participants, all housed in one room for the first game, seemed more pumped up than usual. Animated chatter filled the room as they gathered in their houses, and some even went up to CLDCS members and jokingly asked for hints. Unfortunately, these attempts failed, and the participants were left without any clues for the first game: charades.
With topics such as 歌名 (famous songs), 成语 (idioms), 动作 (actions), 品牌 (brands), and 名人 (famous people), teams of three from each house battled it out to correctly guess as many words as they could. The BB team dabbed furiously when their sputtering attempts to guess idioms were successful, eliciting several sighs, while the MT team brought back nostalgic memories when they hummed songs such as 那些年 and 小幸运.
The second game, held in the next room, took on the form of a scavenger hunt—participants had to find as many Chinese characters as they could, and form Chinese idioms with them. However, one peek next door and you would realise things were not as simple as they seem. The pieces of paper were stuck in unimaginable places: underneath chairs, on the fans, outside the windows, on top of the whiteboard, or even behind the class decorations. In desperation, team members hurdled over tables, frantically jumping to reach the ceiling, or even fought over the same piece of paper. When it was time to assemble the words and form idioms, alliances started to form, and the word “Swap?” was repeated so many times that the room sounded like it was full of parrots.
In the end, despite multiple attempts to bargain for points, the scores were tallied fairly. MT made a huge comeback and placed first, followed by BB, BW, MR and HH. No matter the standings, everyone had a great time reconnecting with the Chinese language, and we all left appreciating it a little bit more than we had before.
Soccer: Getting a Kick Out of it
By Ruchira Ramaswamy (20S03A) and V Shivani (20S06R)
Photo courtesy of Students’ Council
The boundless energy and excitement of the Soccer TRG participants was undeniable as the matches commenced. It was evident that they were putting their heart and soul into the game from the number of times the soccer ball bounded out of the field, perilously close to striking the spectators on the stands (yikes).
The boys were initially set back by the poor turnout, especially MR, whose three-man team was forced to combine forces with HH. However, the players were unfazed as they powered through, playing consecutive matches in the hot sun. After the qualifiers, the top two houses—BW and MT—were set to battle it out for the first and second places while the other two teams, BB and MR/HH, would play for third and fourth place.
The excitement mounted in the last five minutes of the finalsas BW and MT fought tooth and nail for the winning title. For every cunning block, steal and goal-scoring attempt made by the TRG players, RI’s soccer team cheered them on with a smattering of applause or a whooping cheer of “nice one, man!”. BW demonstrated incredible teamwork and lightning-fast reflexes as their goalkeeper thwarted every attempt MT made at scoring. Still, the players of MT fought back hard to prove their worth by showing up and showing out.
MT emerged victorious, followed by BW, BB, HH, and MR (points were awarded to each house, proportional to the number of participants in the MR/HH team). MT was ecstatic, throwing their hands up in the air and exchanging congratulatory fist bumps and pats on the back. The other houses took their loss in good spirit, choosing to relish the cool, refreshing ice popsicles brought in by the House Directorates and pose for team photographs instead.
A special mention goes out to the participants of the girls’ soccer TRG—though their game was cancelled due to insufficient sign-ups, they remained undeterred. Rallying at the new stadium with high spirits, they commenced a separate, unofficial game. Excited screams echoed from their corner of the stadium as they engaged in a friendly fight. As Micaella Ilagan (20S06R) put it, “None of us are even winning, but we’re still going to play!” If this doesn’t perfectly encapsulate the light-hearted spirit and meaning of TRG, what else will?
Handball (by Softball): A Ball of a Time
By Sophia He (20S03H)
Ending off the first week of TRG on a high note was handball, held at the cages on a scorching Friday afternoon. This was not your usual tame afternoon PE module; the upbeat pop music emanating from strategically placed speakers, the rattle of the cages as players collided with it in an impressive demonstration of Newton’s first law of motion, and the sheer volume of noise generated by frustrated onlookers attracted more than one passing student to slow their footsteps in curiosity.
The game may have been organised by softball, but the participants were playing hardball from the start. Boys faced off in the green cage whilst the girls made their bid for champions in the blue cage, and both sides pulled no punches in achieving their goal. In one game, both BB’s players and their supporters made their distress well-heard when they narrowly missed a tie-breaker goal in the last 5 seconds, ending the game with a 5-5 draw with BW. In another particularly comedic moment, an MR goalkeeper snatched the ball from midair moments before it made contact with the goal, only to stare at the ball incredulously before dropping it into the goal—presumably in shock over his miracle save! After a good many well-fought games, BB emerged champions of the game, with MR trailing close behind and BW coming in third.
Tied for 4th: MT, HH
Players: Don’t Play Play Ah!
By Emily Ni (20S03C)
As any self-respecting actor knows, pronunciation and enunciation are key to good acting—and Players put that in action. They kicked off the TRG with a string of tricky tongue twisters, and students struggled to contain their giggles while simultaneously repeating the tongue twisters as many times as they could.
Up next was the tried and true icebreaker Bang. Shrieks of laughter abounded as unsuspecting victims were “shot” at, resulting in very confused “huh?”s and frantic yelling from their neighbours. At the end of the final round, all the students that remained were from HH.
“Don’t need play, HH sure win liao lah!” someone called out. Be that as it may, the game continued until the sole HHian was left standing.
Last but not least, it was time for the grand finalé. Don’t be fooled by the categorisation of Players as a Performing arts CCA—they went all out for this year’s TRG, creating an exhilarating game complete with Nerf guns, paper ball throwing, and the relentless sun. But unlike the run-of-the-mill shooting games, this TRG required students to act as a given character. And only when the stony-faced Players guarding the paper cups were satisfied with the acting would the chance to shoot a paper cup be given. This proved to be very entertaining for both bystanders and students alike, as melodramatic declarations of love (Romeo and Juliet), throaty British accents (Gandalf), and shouts of “EXPELLIARMUS!” (Harry Potter) echoed around the parade square.
Despite the scorching sun, everyone definitely had a whale of a time scuttling around the parade square, sniping paper cups. After two well-fought rounds, MR emerged overall champion, with HH not far behind.