Beer Pong: Next Olympic sport?

I bought The New York Times this last Sunday, and believe it or not, right there on the front page (a story beneath the fold, but on the front page nonetheless) about a drinking game craze called “beer pong.”

Basically, you play in teams on either end of a long table. Each team has a group of beer glasses on their side of the table in a triangle formation kind of like bowling pins. The object of the game is one team tries to bounce a ping-pong ball into one of the cups of the on the other end of the table. If the ball ends up in the cup, a member of that team drinks and the cup is taken off the table. The team that has cups left on the table wins.

Now, I was never that much of a fan of drinking games to begin with, but as far as I can tell, this seems like a new version of quarters, and an improved version at that. Anyway, drinking games themselves seem to me to be pretty eternal. But the thing I found kind of amusing is there is apparently a minor industry involved in the “sport” of beer pong.

Witness, for example, the “Bing Bong” web site, which is for a company selling (swear to God) “lightweight tournament grade beverage drinking game tables.” There’s some video on the web site showing the tables at work, but I couldn’t get it to load on my Mac.

Now, I don’t want to be a grumpy old man here, but couldn’t the kids today play their drinking game on, I dunno, a table?!

11 thoughts on “Beer Pong: Next Olympic sport?”

  1. Beer pong happens to be very popular in Ypsilanti. The fraternities sometimes compete against one another and beer pong can be found at most any weekend party. Usually people take a long piece of plywood and cover a table or pool table with it and use the board to place the cups. Also, for sanitary reasons there are rinse cups to clean the ping pong balls after they have rolled around on a dirty floor. I’ve been retired from the sport for several years now but it is good to see academia exploring the topic.

  2. Well, by “very popular in Ypsilanti,” you of course mean with a certain demographic. The middle-aged people I hang out with don’t play beer pong. I don’t say that to criticize the “kids today;” when I was in college, we played games like quarters or drinking games that involved TV reruns, things like “Hey Bob” (wherein one watches The Bob Newhart Show and drink whenever someone says “Bob”) or “Beaver” (which was like “Hey Bob,” except with the show Leave it to Beaver and involved the name “Beaver” or “Beav”) or a show having to do with The Love Boat, etc. But that was then, this is now.

    Anyway, I’m glad y’all aren’t spending a lot of money on a silly tournament-grade table, and I applaud the sanitation measures. Just don’t do something REALLY stupid– you know, don’t drink and drive, don’t drink so many shots you give yourself alcohol poisioning, etc., etc.

  3. Yeah, my students talk about it a lot. I don’t get the point of drinking games. If the loser has to drink, what about the winner? I enjoy drinking and it’s not something that I would try to avoid. The other problem with these games is that they always drink such bad beer. For example, look at the picture of the people in the bar… shots of piss-yellow beer in plastic cups. Yuck… no thanks.

  4. I never understood that about drinking games either. If I’m hanging out with my friends, the last thing I want to do is avoid drinking more. Maybe I’m just a lush, but I don’t see the point in winning a game like beer pong.

  5. Sorry you weren’t able to check out the video. It might help explain things.
    It is very competitive. More fun than watching celebrity poker challenge, I promise.


  6. I would suggest a good portable table because they are generally better made than a home do-it-yourself one and the definately cost less. My personal fav is the .Pong A Long table They are perfect for playing anywhere and are priced a lot lower than the others.

  7. I would suggest that douche at pongalong get real. His tables suck, he sucks, and he is a petty little brat. People are not as easily fooled as he thinks, and one day he will be exposed.

  8. I love beer pong as much as the next person, but to consider it as an olympic sport is pretty silly. The saying will change from “if Curling is a sport…” to “if beer pong is a sport…”

    I’d rather not see beer pong go out like that

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