As a fan of the beer pong-related arts, I, naturally, have strong opinions on the rules.
Yesterday, for July 4th, my house hosted an epic game of beer pong. (Yes, we’re all in our late 20s. No, we shouldn’t know better.) It involved 450 cups, 3-D formations, three teams and 30 people. It lasted 4 hours. My roommate Josh broke his toe in the process. (You can see a photo of it at the end of this post.)
Anyway, with beer pong in the air, I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about my least favorite beer pong rules.
1 | Elbows allowed over the table
We’ve always played where you have to keep your elbow behind the table when you shoot. I hate when people don’t play with this rule and lean so far across the table that they’re practically placing the ball in the other team’s cups. Where’s the sport in that? Where’s the fun?
2 | Final shooters shooting ad nauseam
I’ve never liked this rule, where, after the final cup is made, both players on the other team get to keep shooting at their remaining cups until they miss. That is so stupid to me. Why should the team that struggled get such a gigantic reward? I much prefer calling the team that shoots second the home team and letting them get a last at-bat, if you will. Beyond that, letting people shoot forever is pointless.
3 | Blowing
I hate when a ball is swirling in a cup when people get to blow the ball out. Just take your lumps and hit your own shots.
4 | Waving your hands over the cups
It feels very bush league to me to wave your hands over the cups to try to distract the other team when they’re shooting. This is beer pong, not Baseketball. Unfortunately.
5 | Constant re-racks
I like the re-rack at six cups and then again at three. Re-racking at eight, at four… I’ve even seen at two and one. It’s too much. Let’s try to keep the game somewhat challenging.
6 | The water cup
Don’t force people to “clean” the balls in the water cup. There have actually been studies that show it’s the most germ infested cup of all. Just accept that the balls are hitting the nasty-ass floor of the bar, garage, basement or backyard you’re in, put it out of your mind and play.
7 | Bouncing
I like bouncing the ball in (it can be swatted away, but if you sneak it in, it counts for two cups). But I get that it’s a lame, antisocial rule because it forces people to stay vigilant on the table and not have fun, talk to their friends or move. And drinking games are supposed to be social, right?
8 | Back of the table
I don’t like when shooting the ball over the back of the table is a penalty. To me, there’s no basis for this rule… it just makes the game last longer and hurts your shooting ability. Not a fan.
9 | Shoot without drinking
I think it should be an official rule that you have to finish drinking before you shoot. It’s the single best way to police the game. And it helps immediately punish people, which is always fun.
10 | No naked rule
We have a very good rule: If your team gets shut out, 10 cups to nothing, you both have to run around the block naked. If you want to see people desperate to hit a cup, implement this rule. It makes people crazy.
11 | Drinking the leftover cups
I know that waving this rule can help conserve beer, but I really like punishing the losing team by making them drink all the cups they didn’t hit. It’s fantastic insult to injury. Plus, it makes people drink. And isn’t that, ultimately, what a drinking game is all about?