Everything you’ve read about the history of beer pong is bullshit.
I’ve read countless articles about the history and origin of beer pong. It seems that every one comes back to some particular fraternity or college. Apparently, modern day beer pong was invented in almost every small liberal arts college up and down the East Coast. To think, some college kids just looking to entertain themselves when it was freezing outside decided to invent a drinking game to play inside. What a groundbreaking revelation!
According to Wikipedia, which is the definitive source for any kind of research, beer pong started at Dartmouth College sometime in the 1950s and 1960s. But at the same time, Bucknell University claims to have invented the game in the 1970s. They called it “throw pong.” What kind of stupid name is “throw pong,” anyway? These are college kids, and the best they can come up with is “throw pong?”
The whole name debate also bothers me. I’ve met maybe a handful of people my entire life who referred to the game as “beirut.” It’s called beer pong. There is no game called “beirut.” If you use a paddle, it’s called ping pong, not beer pong, not beirut. Beirut is the
capital of Lebanon and probably not the best place to spend a Friday night with a 30-pack of Keystone Light. Ping pong is played with paddles and does not include beer, unless you are drinking it on the side. Forrest Gump used to hit ping pong balls into a bedpan
during the Vietnam War. You mean to tell me Forrest Gump was playing one of the earliest forms of beer pong ever documented? I may not be a smart man, but I know what beer pong is.
Too many people try to complicate the simple game of beer pong. It’s not rocket science, guys. Beer pong is throwing a ping pong ball into a cup. If you’re at a house party, you’re probably drinking the contents of said cup afterward. If you’re playing WSOBP rules at a
bar, you probably aren’t drinking the cup because that would be illegal in some cities. Beer pong is like ramen noodles, everyone has their own way. Personally, I don’t like to follow the directions. I boil the noodles, drain the noodles, add the chicken seasoning and add some cayenne pepper and call it Buffalo Chicken Ramen Noodles. It’s delicious.
I know a guy who breaks an egg into his while it cooks. That’s good, too. Not to get sidetracked, but I’m always looking for good ramen noodle recipes, so please share your favorite. But the fact remains: There is no wrong way to play beer pong.
Sure, there is a World Series of Beer Pong which has its own set of rules, but that’s not the only way to play. In case you live under a rock, WSOBP rules basically consist of playing with 10 cups and a special rack to keep the cups in place. There are automatic re-
racks on the six-cup, three-cup, and one-cup formations. If you make both shots, you get one bring-back. When the last cup is made, the opposing team generally gets a one ball and a shoot-till-you-miss opportunity. It can get more complicated, but that’s the basics. Oh yeah, there is no elbow rule. We’ll save that discussion for another time.
While WSOBP rules are fun and all, I still have love for “house rules.” Most of us grew up playing beer pong according to specific house rules. From my experiences, I’ve found most house rules consist of playing with 6 cups or 10 cups, depending on how many people are waiting to play. Usually you get unlimited bring-backs, shoot-till-you-miss rebuttal shots, and rules dictating that you have to drink before you shoot. And no, you can’t lean across the table. If you win, you get to stay on the table. Of course, house rules vary depending on where you are playing, but those tend to be the most common.