Beer pong is a game popular among college students and adults at social events like tailgates. The game’s goal is simple; get the ball into all the cups before the other team. But can we call beer pong a sport?
Beer pong should be considered a sport because it has rules, holds international tournaments, and requires physical skills and strategy. But, on the other hand, it can be argued that Beer pong is not a sport because it limits who can play to people old enough to drink, and the game involves alcohol which is dangerous and sometimes deadly.
There are many reasons you can argue for or against beer pong being a sport. This article details ten reasons beer pong is a sport and ten reasons why it is not.
10 Reasons Beer Pong Is a Sport
Beer pong is popular for a reason; it’s great fun and an excellent opportunity to meet new people without the shyness of first introductions. But can you really say that beer pong is a sport? Let’s explore the reasons.
1. You Need Equipment To Play Beer Pong
First, you need some equipment to play beer pong, just like you do for most sports. You need one or two ping pong balls, a table, and an even number of cups.
Players usually play beer pong with twenty cups, ten for each side, but you can play with as many or as few cups as you want for each team.
2. Beer Pong Is Competitive
Next, beer pong is a competition, as are all sports. With beer pong, you have two teams competing against each other to be the first team to get a ball in every cup opposite them. The first team to accomplish that wins the competition.
3. Beer Pong Has Rules To Follow
Beer pong also has rules players must follow, just like all sports. The rules can vary, and everyone has different rules they implement when playing with friends and family. There are also penalties for players who cheat or do not follow the rules, like adding cups back or having to throw a ball with the non-dominant arm.
4. Beer Pong Has Its Own World Series
Just like other sports have championships and playoffs, a World Series of Beer Pong has occurred every year in Las Vegas since 2006. There is the main world series competition, plus more mini-tournaments during the event like a coed, gender singles, and an international team match.
5. Beer Pong Has Satellite Tournaments
The World Series of Beer Pong also holds smaller local tournaments for amateurs to test their skills, similar to local sports leagues. And, if the players in these tournaments are good enough, they can earn free entry to the next world series.
6. Playing Beer Pong Involves Strategy
Beer pong also requires some strategy. Sometimes during a game, you can rearrange the cups to make getting the ball in easier. And, there are times when you can make certain shots and, in turn, eliminate two cups just by making one, like with “island” shots or bounces.
7. Teamwork Is Helpful in Beer Pong
Teamwork is also helpful when you play in teams of two, just like in other sports. You and your partner need to work together to get all the cups eliminated, and sometimes you need to decide who will shoot first or which person will drink more.
8. Beer Pong Requires Physical Skills
There are also skills needed to succeed in beer pong, as there are with all sports. Your precision and ability to sink the ball in some of the more challenging cups are essential. And, the more you play or practice, the better you will get at beer pong.
9. Beer Pong Resembles Ping Pong
Table tennis, also called ping pong, is another sport that requires a table and ping pong balls to play. Even though they are both small games, they use the same equipment and the same number of players, so if table tennis is a sport, so should beer pong.
10. You Can Purchase Beer Pong Gear and Equipment
Finally, you can purchase a beer pong set, similar to how you can buy a football, soccer goals, baseball gloves, and plenty of other sporting equipment for other sports. These types of kits have everything you need to get started.
10 Reasons Beer Pong Is Not a Sport
On the other hand, there are ten reasons why beer pong should not be considered a sport, which we detail in this section.
1. Beer Pong Has No Set Rules
First, beer pong has no set rules. While there are many rules that most people follow for beer pong, such as playing until all the cups are empty and requiring players to keep their elbows behind the table when they shoot, there are no official beer pong rules that apply for every game.
But sports like football and baseball have rules that players follow universally.
2. Beer Pong Has No Established Professional Leagues
Beer pong has tournaments, but there are no massive professional leagues, like in baseball, hockey, soccer, football, and basketball. These sports allow players to play professionally as their job and earn an income just from playing, but beer pong does not really have this option.
3. Most Beer Pong Games Are Casual
Furthermore, most players don’t play beer pong in many organized settings. Often, people play beer pong at parties, at home, or while tailgating in a parking lot. However, sports usually have organized competitions with referees and a field or arena where they play.
4. You Can Play Beer Pong at Home
Another reason beer pong might not be an actual sport is that you can play it at home or anywhere else. Most sports need a field or court with a specific setup like bases, goals, and field lines. But beer pong requires a table, and it does not have to have any particular features, so you can literally play with any table.
5. Beer Pong Requires Alcohol
Beer pong, as the name suggests, requires beer to play. However, no sport forces players to drink to play and win. Professional sports teams ban their players from taking substances, including beer, keeping them safe and keeping the game fair.
6. Not Everyone Can Participate in Beer Pong
And, since beer is required to play, not everyone can participate in a game of beer pong. In the United States, you must be over 21 to drink, so kids, teens, and young adults cannot play. But sports do not limit who can and cannot play, and most sports allow kids to play at a young age.
7. Beer Pong Can Be Dangerous
One of the biggest reasons beer pong is not a sport is the danger it poses. Alcohol consumption during the game is not regulated, and people can end up drinking too much, which risks their health and safety. And players can play and drink for multiple games in a row, leading them to drink a lot of beer in a short time.
8. Deaths Have Occurred in Beer Pong
Furthermore, deaths have even occurred due to the game, which is uncommon in sports, especially those played casually.
9. Beer Pong Is Unsanitary
Also, the game is somewhat unsanitary. Players share cups between them when drinking. Players often refuse to drink the twenty or so cups between games, but the players change, and they have to drink out of the cups that other people have already sipped.
Also, the balls are touched by all the players and sometimes end up on the floor before they go into the beer that people then drink.
10. Beer Pong Is Not Legal Everywhere
People can typically play sports anywhere their sports are allocated, but beer pong is restricted. Some authorities ban it outright; for instance, beer pong has been prohibited in several colleges.
There are many arguments for and against beer pong being a sport. Many of the reasons for it being a sport are its similarities with other sports, and many of the reasons against it are because of the dangers it poses.