Beer Pong

A sport played by college-aged students that combines two American past times: Drinking in heavy amounts, and shouting 'OOOOHHH!!!!!!' in unison.

Just The Facts

  1. Beer Pong is possibly the most popular 'sport' of all time (sampling males between the ages of 21-25)
  2. Beer was invented about 11,000 years before the other necessary requirements of the game; the cup and ball.
  3. Beirut, or more commonly known as Beer Pong, is single-handedly responsible for a herpes epidemic.

The History of Beer Pong

Beer Pong has it's roots back as far as humans have been gathering for the purpose of drunken debauchery. That's right. We here at Cracked have already covered how beer invented civilization, with the first signs being circa 9000 BC in the Neolithic age. The masses huddled behind the Walls of Jericho, also known as 'the-oldest-fucking-establishment-ever', and brewed their beer which consequently was also used as a currency.

What's a beer pong?

Shortly after (roughly 11,000 years), Wiff-Waff was invented in Britain circa 1880. Originally played on a table with a wall of books dividing it, two players or two teams would use books as paddles and a golf ball. This was the librarian's sport, so it's expected that in a poor planning of the rules of the game, it involved absolutely zero beer.

"I say, I do believe we can piss off the Scots if we smack their balls around a bit with a book or two."

The name wiff-waff referenced the sounds books make swinging in the air. Possibly because of realizing that it also was the sound of a quiet fart in the wind, it became known for other sounds it makes (ping pong) and evolved as it has into the racial epithet used by ignorant Americans since the days of World War II.

It's not like you're helping yourselves out guys.

Also as an FYI, we Americans haven't been at war with the Chinese. Ever.


For 11 years the Brits used the Scottish ball until James Gibb, Ping Pong Enthusiast, visited America. Happening across a polyeurathane (explosively flammable plastic) novelty ball, old Jimmy Gibb decided it would make the perfect ball.

If only Jimmy would have waited just a short six years he may have met Lawrence Luellen, an American inventor. Larry invented the first Dixie Paper Cup, or otherwise known as the great-grand-dad of the commonly used red plastic cups found at, around, toppled over, or rolled under a beer pong table.

Think about that for a second. They would have had a beer and discussed their unique items being that they are both inventors, inevitably leading to the realization of the greatest sport of all time. Had they done just that, you would not be reading this article. That is because we at the offices, while still being ball-blastingly awesome, would be Olympic competitors, and with that comes all of the glory, boobs, beer, and rampant debauchery that follows being Olympic Platinum Medalists1. Ping pong is an Olympic sport. Curling is an Olympic sport for godsakes. Beer pong would be, and you would be sitting at home wishing you had a website to read to make you laugh.

Pictured: Olympic Cleaning Chores.

And look at that focus.

Modern day beer pong was evolved from the 1950s and '60s game involved ping pong paddles and only two mugs of beer. To differentiate the paddle game from the non-paddle game, the term 'Beirut' was used, named so for some reason or another connected to the conflict city of the generation. However in 2004 CollegeHumor.com reports the term 'beer pong' is generally accepted amongst college aged kids who go to CollegeHumor.com on a regular enough basis to take a poll.

The only 'poll' we know of.

Rules and Variations

The premise of the game is quite simple, even to a drunk 13 year old at his older brother's party2.

Ten cups are placed in a triangle/pyramid shape on each side of the table, with each apex pointing to one another. The cups are then filled with liquid. What type of liquid will be talked about later.

Egyptians get credit for being the architects of the cup placement.

Singles and teams compete by attempting to put the ball in the opposing side's cup, resulting in the cup being taken out of play. When the cups in front of you are gone, you just lost. Pretty fucking simple right? Any number of ways can be used to determine who shoots first, but like Han Solo shows us, controversy follows anything regarding shooting first. One popular way to solve this is the 'eye-to-eye' shot, in which opposing players shoot at the same time while staring directly at each other's eyes.

You know what we're talking about. Who can creep out the other guy more. That works to win, and Basketball proved it.

However there are more complex rules of play, though all can be turned on or off at the house's leisure.

A shot bounced off the table can be deflected by the opposing team. If however, it makes it into a cup, the cup is pulled along with a second cup.

A shot may glance off a cup, bouncing the ball into the air. If a player of the opposing side catches the ball before it touches anything else, that player is awarded a free shot thrown behind the players back. We've known it as a 'reach-around' at the office's gold-encrusted beer pong table.

Our balls are golden too3!

If both members of a team both make separate cups during one round, the balls-back rule states both players are allowed to shoot again. Similarly, if the same cup is made by both players, three cups in total are taken out of play.

If a single player makes three consecutive shots in a row the player is 'on fire', and may continue to shoot until missing a shot.

Another lesser used, though still common rule is known as 'explosion'. If a ball bounces off of a number of cups before landing in one, all cups touched are taken out of play. This is commonly argued, most often by the team suffering from such a play. Let's face it, at a carnival game of the same nature, you wouldn't expect four prizes for bouncing off of three cups and getting into a fourth, would you, you greedy bastard?

Any number of other rules have been derived at various college dorms, garages, or sex-dungeons (this man's room). The basis remains the same: Have fun and drink some beer.

A lot of beer. Bring snacks.

Health Concerns

Many have argued the intelligence of throwing the same ball being passed, bounced, rolled, and covered in some strange dog's hair and shit, and then being thrown into beer which you then drink. Herpes cases skyrocketed between 2004 and 2006, right around when Beer Pong became prevalent.

We at Cracked have the perfect solution: Use water instead of beer in the cups.

Reasons besides the health aspect:

  • Everyone drinks at their own pace, with their drink of choice.
  • The cups don't have to be refilled unless an idiot spills it.
  • If said idiot spilled it, all he's cleaning up is water.
  • No need for the 'illusion of safety' ball-washing cup.
  • Eeew, you sick horse-fucker, that's disgusting.

Play responsibly readers.

1. They made a new category for us.

2. Cracked does not condone underage drinking. Except if you happen to be reading this from the past when we didn't have such laws. In that case you're a liar, get back to your high school work.

3. Okay seriously, last balls joke.

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