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Beer Pong: 15+ Real Disadvantages & Downsides (Health Risks, Unsanitary,…)

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Beer pong is a drinking game many young adults worldwide enjoy. Though it may be a staple of college parties, it has many potential disadvantages that should make you think twice before participating in a college beer pong match. 

Playing beer pong won’t necessarily end in disaster, but the reasons I’ll be sharing will help you keep in mind some of the potential consequences of playing with alcohol. Keep reading to get a well-informed perspective on drinking games like beer pong.

These are some disadvantages and drawbacks to Beer pong: 

1. Alcohol Poisoning 

One of the primary dangers of beer pong games is the risk of alcohol poisoning. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are nearly unavoidable for beer pong. Although alternatives like root beer are available, beer and other alcoholic beverages are almost always involved.

The gist of beer pong is that players throw balls into alcohol-filled cups. Your objective is to throw your ball into one of the cups of your opponent so that they will have to drink it. In other words, your goal is to get the other team to drink as much as possible as quickly as possible! This could easily lead to alcohol poisoning if all parties involved aren’t careful.

Peer pressure and competition may also aggravate the situation. Players may binge drink or drink way beyond their limits to win or outdo other teams.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

Here are some of the symptoms of alcohol poisoning that may result after a game of beer pong: 

  • Bluish, cold, or clammy skin
  • Confusion or lack of coordination
  • Hypothermia 
  • Lack of bowel or bladder control 
  • Vomiting
  • Choking 
  • Seizures 
  • Thready pulse or breathing 

2. Inconsistent Rules 

A drawback of beer pong is that rules are inconsistent and vary from state to state or even from house to house. Thus, when you go to a party and want to join a game of beer pong, you can’t just dive right in.

Some parties will have very stringent rules and will limit specific techniques. However, some may be more lenient and will let players be. 

3. Complicated Rules 

The rules can also get pretty complicated in certain situations. Yes, the gist of shooting balls into cups is still there, but there can be a lot of regulations to remember. 

For instance, the house may have specific rules about racking, bouncing, swatting, blowing, etc. Some parties may allow rollbacks while others don’t. 

As I have said, it’s always best to ask around before getting into a beer pong match. You’ll know the rules and incite fewer arguments along the way. 

4. Expenses 

Some say beer pong is quite affordable, but–if you think about it–it’s more costly than other games like chess or cornhole, where you only have to buy equipment once.

You’ll have to supply the drinks for beer pong every time you play. This could end up costing you a lot depending on what you get, especially if you buy for many rounds. 

Moreover, you’d have to supply cups and ping pong balls. A set may last you for one party, but for next time, you’ll most likely have to buy a new one. 

5. Unsanitary 

Beer pong games can be pretty unsanitary. The ping pong balls will inevitably fall on the ground and will be handled by many people. They will also invariably end up getting dunked into liquor you will drink. Yikes! 

Although some players will have wash cups for the balls, these won’t do a good job at removing all the microscopic dirt and pathogens that cling on to the balls. 

You should also consider the blowing rule. If this rule is allowed, people will be able to blow on balls as they fall into their own cups in hopes that the ball will fly out of the cup, saving them a point. This can result in plenty of saliva landing on both the cups and the ping pong balls, which will inevitably contaminate the liquor that you may end up drinking.

6. Bacteria 

The lack of sanitation in beer pong games also connects to my sixth point, which is all the bacteria involved. Beer pong parties could promote the transmission of bacteria and diseases in more ways than one. 

Nausea, vomiting, hangovers–these are just a few things players would experience the next day. While we’d quickly attribute that to the alcohol, it may be possible that it’s being caused by a pathogen they caught from another player. 

7. Needs A Table 

Another downside of beer pong is that you can’t play it without a table. It’d be pretty hard to play beer pong on the floor or on the uneven terrain of a sandy beach. 

Beer pong tables don’t come cheap if you’re invested in the game. And if you do manage to find a good deal, they might not be durable or high-quality. 

8. Trash-talking 

Psychological defense is a type of defense commonly used in beer pong. One way to do such a defense is trash-talking. Trash-talking is making aggressive comments or insults to get under your opponent’s skin and throw them off their game. This can quickly get out of hand, though. Especially when the parties involved are all drunk!

9. Provocation 

On top of trash-talking, another way to put up a psychological defense is to be provocative or use sexuality to distract opponents. Moreover, when one is intoxicated, they’re likely to get more “loose” or lewd. 

Although not all beer pong games may allow this (again, it depends on the specific rules of the house), it helps explain why beer pong games aren’t a family-friendly event! 

10. Hangovers

A night of drinking almost always ends up in a hangover the next day. Depending on your tolerance, it may be bearable, or it’ll make you rethink your life decisions and swear not to drink again. If it’s terrible, you may miss a day of work or school. 

11. Sticky Fingers 

This may seem nitpicky, but beer pong games can lead to gross, sticky fingers. You’d have to dip your fingers in liquid to fish out the balls. All sorts of things, dirt, fur, bacteria, etc., can cling to your fingers. 

12. Mess 

If you’re hosting a beer pong party, the cleanup of the aftermath is nobody’s picnic. You’ll be lucky if you have help, but even then, it won’t be easy! 

Trash will be everywhere, and your stuff will be in disarray. Moreover, if the party had gotten out of hand, you may discover some severe or even permanent damage in your home. 

13. Lack of Control 

Alcohol always comes with the adage of “drink in moderation,” and for good reason! Excess alcohol most often leads to inebriation and lack of control. You’ll drink more than you’re supposed to, do things you wouldn’t normally do, and perhaps even lose control of yourself. 

14. Increased Risks of Diseases

Constant and excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to be correlated with an increased risk of diseases. If you’re a frequent player of beer pong parties, it may be time to cut the lifestyle. 

However, if you want to keep drinking, be prepared for these possible risks

  • Substance abuse
  • Diabetes
  • Impotence
  • Cancer
  • Brain problems
  • Heart problems
  • Liver failure

15. Weight Gain

Excessive drinking has been shown to be correlated to weight gain or obesity. There’s even a popular term for it: beer belly. Although Harvard Medical School says beer does not necessarily lead to a beer belly (contrary to what the name suggests), it can contribute to it. The calories from beer can help build up this pouch. 

16. Wild Nights

Lastly, another drawback of beer pong games is that they often result in wild nights. Young adults can let loose and forget to drink responsibly. 

Besides the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, accidents often happen when binge drinking. Beer pong parties could result in guests driving home while drunk, which could harm not just the driver but also innocent people on the road.

Final Thoughts

Beer pong can be a fun game that may be enjoyed in moderation. However, this game can be a slippery slope that can result in many negative consequences for all parties involved. You should exercise an abundance of caution when playing beer pong in order to protect the safety and well-being of all players.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.