Beer Pong: More Than Just a Game

Chris McGuirkContributor IOctober 10, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Fans play beer pong in the parking lot as they tailgate prior to the Stanford Cardinal playing against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For years and years college students from around the United States have engaged in many activities and games involving alcohol. Drinking games, as they are often called, combine the fun, spirit and competitiveness of a game with the ever enticing draw of booze.

While hundreds of different drinking games are played at college parties ever year, only a handful are well-known.

That said, one game possesses just enough excitement and competition to break free of the “drinking game” label and creep into the realm of sports.

That game is beer pong.

For those of you not familiar with beer pong, the premise is to throw a ping pong ball across the beer pong table into a cup. There are two teams, one on each side, and generally two players per team.

Each team has 10 plastic cups in front them in the shape of a triangle. Cups are filled with a few ounces of beer, however, water is often used as a less fun alternative. Players take turns throwing the ping pong ball at their opponent’s cups until all 10 cups have been removed from play.

But what is it about this drinking game that sets it apart from the others?

Beer pong requires skill, teamwork and the ability to stand after a plentiful amount of beer. But what’s the draw to this seemingly ordinary drinking game?


When you break it down, beer pong is a game of accuracy and consistency and shares a similar appeal as golf, archery, riflery and even tennis. Beer pong is one of the only drinking games where a good player can win consistently. Not because of luck, but because of skill.

So what’s next for this increasingly popular drinking game? The world?

Well kind of.

The World Series of Beer Pong (WSOBP) is an annual tournament where teams from across the world compete for a cash prize.

It was first held in 2006 and has been growing in popularity ever since. You might ask yourself: How much prize money is in a beer pong tournament? One hundred dollars? One thousand dollars?

Try $65,000.

And with the WSOBP just a few months away, January 1, 2012, players around the world are already training for this monumental event.

It’s only a matter of time before beer pong is broadcast on ESPN or another live TV network. I don’t know about you, but if poker is considered a sport and gets hours of weekly TV time, why not beer pong?