Beer Pong is a game that entails throwing a ping pong ball across a table to land it in an opponent’s cup filled with beer. But who invented the beer pong?
This game is commonly played at college parties and has made its way to our television screens through shows like Jersey Shore and The Real World. Beer pong is often argued who invented the game because several claims stand behind it.
So, Who Invented The Beer Pong?
Since we still don’t know who invented the Beer Pong, we decided to give credit to the one that started playing the game as we know it today:
Delta Upsilon fraternity members at Bucknell College
Delta Upsilon fraternity members at Bucknell College are the ones who invented the beer pong. During the 1970s, members of Delta Upsilon at Bucknell developed “Throw Pong,” a game that is quite comparable to beer pong. This game was taken back to Lehigh University by fraternity brothers who had visited Bucknell and formed the form of beer pong now played.
One of these claims is about Dartmouth College students who organized “Beerswim” in 1966, which involves players drinking beer while swimming. Another claim was from Dartmouth, who thought up Beirut – another ping-pong-based drinking game played on land, hence why people believe that Dartmouth students invented Beer Pong. It wasn’t until the 70’s when two Dartmouth students who wanted to play but didn’t want to swim got the idea of using one’s room as the playing field. They began to play by throwing a ping pong ball across their dorm rooms and landing it in their cup of beer on the other side.
Another claim comes from Bucknell University also thought up some form of Beer Pong sixteen years before its establishment at Dartmouth, but they played on land just like Beirut.
The most recent one who claims who invented Beer Pong is Bruce Bayard, who was inspired while attending Brown University in 1969. He had just bought his first ping-pong table, which led him to develop this type of game with some friends who were already familiar with the game of Beirut, who were more than thrilled to play with the new rules.
The first mention of this game was found in a January 1971 publication of “Sports Illustrated,” which explained more about the game that involved beer and ping pong.
There you have it, who invented Beer Pong is still disputed, but we know who popularized it with students who attended college in America.
Types Of Beer Pong Games Today
There are typically four types of beer pong games today:
1. Traditional Beer Pong (Also called Straight Pong)
2. Around The World (Also called All Around, Pick-up pong)
3. Battle Ships (also known as Team Wars)
4. Beirut (also known as British Rules or Ring of Fire)
6. Sharks and Minnows
7. Flip Cup
8. Pyramid (Also known as Death Cup)
9. Waterfall or Progressive Beer Pong
Traditional Beer Pong is the most common type of beer played today, also known as Straight Pong because each team shoots from one end of the table to make their cups on the other side. The only level cup lines are those at either end of the table, making this game very easy for beginners. The game starts with two players on each team, usually in rotation, so everyone gets a chance to throw. When playing with less than four people per team, typically, you will need to designate someone who will sit out every time it is their turn. The game is usually played until one team wins by either having the other team unable to make a shot or when both teams reach 16 cups.
Traditionally, Beer pong is the most common game that is played today. It involves two teams of two players, each with 10 cups on both sides arranged in a pyramid formation.
Each team stands at opposing ends of the table and tries to make their opponents fail by making them miss the shot or getting the ball into an unreachable cup.
The objective of this game for one team is to finish off all X number of cups on their side before their opponents.
Around The World is more challenging than traditional beer pong because it has additional steps involved in the game, but it will surely enhance your speed and accuracy when mastered. This game can be played with 4-16 players.
One player should be designated as the “caller.” The first player should start by throwing the ball at the 2nd cup in the pyramid, called ‘level 1.’ If he makes it, either directly or with an assist from another player, he will move on to the next cup without drinking. He can use any number of cups to bounce off before attempting level 2.
He will continue until he misses. At this point, the team must drink the level they have reached.
If a bounce-off was used to complete level 2, then that partner throws for level 3.
The team keeps throwing until they miss or complete all 10 levels. Then it becomes their opponents’ turn to play. Their opponents must drink at every level they have achieved.
If the levels are finished in order without missing, then the last person to make a cup gets to throw for ‘redemption’ at one cup of their choice on the other team’s side (usually either cup 1 or 2). If that player makes it, they get another chance at redemption but must pick a different cup. As many times as they make this shot, they can try to hit that same cup again. This goes back and forth until someone misses. The hole gets filled, and legal shots start from where that player misses.
BATTLESHIPS is played amongst partners, each scoring points by sinking opposing (cups). Each team places a cup on opposite sides of their end zone, and the first team to sink all their opponent’s cups wins. This game can also be played with 4-16 players.
BEIRUT originated from the British Navy and used this type of beer pong to play during World War II. Beirut was probably derived from “boule à Neuf,” which means nine-ball(s).
In Beirut, two teams compete against each other with two balls each (See Diagram 3). Each unit has 9 cups arranged into three lines, each consisting of three cups with one cup placed at opposing ends.
Each player is allowed two tosses per turn instead of just one, like in Traditional Beer Pong. A team can sink a ball into any of the opponent’s three lines of cups. If a player sinks a ball on either side of his own, he gets another turn to shoot at one of the opponent teams’ lines. He continues shooting until he misses.
When all the cups are cleared from one end zone, that team scores 1 point for each in their opponent’s end zone and then removes them before play restarts. The first team to score 9 points wins.
The game ends when all players have gone once or when both teams reach 10 points.
BUZZ is an exciting version where every time someone makes a shot. They drink accordingly. One drinks if it’s made by themselves or their partner but two drinks for anyone else’s shot. If one team sinks, they can go 1-up on their opponents (remove 1 cup from the endzone). If that end zone is cleared before the other side, you can go 2 up. Three cups or even four lids usually do these. This game can be played with 4-16 players.
LONG ISLAND Iced Tea should only be played after everyone has had a few drinks! You start with all of your cups filled with beer and then play this game. One person shoots first, and if they make it, then everyone else drinks, but if they miss them, no one drinks. Then whoever makes it goes again until they miss, at which point the next person shoots until missing. This continues until someone makes it, and then this person is done, and everyone else goes again. If one of the two people makes it, they get their choice of either chugging or passing off to their opponent. You can set a time limit on how long you play this game.
MOSCOW MULES (which also comes in Moscow Buckets) is like Beirut, except each side has six cups arranged in three lines of two instead of 3 lines of three. Also, only 3 cups are used per line instead of 4, as in Beirut. Furthermore, when clearing your end zone, all you have to do is clear one line at a time instead of removing all 3 at once if that’s easier for your team. This game can also be played in six different variations (see below for more info).
INFERNO is like Beirut, except each side has nine cups arranged into three rows. Also, you’re allowed 6 shots per turn instead of 2. Furthermore, clearing your end zone requires all 6 cups to be removed at once instead of clearing one line at a time, like in Beirut. This game can also be played with 4-16 players.
BEHEMOTH (which initially comes from the Ancient Greeks who used giant drinking vessels called scaphoid) is exactly like traditional beer pong, except it’s played on a ping-pong table with two balls and takes place over. An entire table, sometimes even outdoors! Typically, this game is played by 2 teams or doubles.
MEGA-BREAKOUT (also known as POWDER PUFF) is like Beirut, except each side has five cups arranged in two lines of three cups and one cup placed at opposing ends. Furthermore, you’re allowed four shots per turn instead of just two! This game can be played with 4-16 players.
If you are interested to find out who invented the rest of the popular games, check other articles at our Who Invented page.