Beer Pong and Gen Y: A match made in heaven

By Teresa “Da Clutch” Bounce

Go to any young adult party and you’re sure to find a make-shift table with beer cups in triangular formations and plenty of ping-pong balls.

Beer pong, king of drinking games, is believed to have originated with Dartmouth College students who had added beer to the game of ping-pong; they would use the paddles to swat the balls into cups full of beer. Soon, students found that the game was just as enjoyable and challenging when the balls were thrown into the cups, rather than bounced with a paddle.

The rules are simple: get the ball into the cup in order to make the other team drink. While there are official rules that reign during the World Series of Beer Pong, the details vary from house to house. These include bounce rules, distractions, reset-rules; anything that could possibly come up during a game.

Beer pong was definitely a sport made by men. Just look at WSOBP rule V. F. 1. “A player may not place a hand/foot/leg/penis/whatever on the table in order to gain additional reach and/or leverage.”

But drinking games such as beer pong have only defined the most recent generation. Can you imagine past celebrities playing drinking games? The Rat Pack battling it out around a beer pong table?  Our parents may have created the game, but we were certainly the ones to popularize it.

Drinking games really speak to our generation’s love of excess and competition. There seems to be a stronger air of competition in our lives, from school, to the work place, even amongst friends. And while I try to live a low-key existence, I still crave the biggest, and best there is, even if I don’t necessarily need it to survive.

One of the most interesting aspects of beer pong, and most drinking games in general, is that males dominate the games. This could be due to the “fraternity effect” explored by the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, which found males are more prone to drink heavily in the presence of other males. Girls, on the other hand, don’t feel this pressure unless they’re around the opposite sex.

I’ll attest that these statistics are pretty accurate, as I’ve been to plenty of parties where the guys will get sloshed in order to impress their friends. And even I, a light-weight female, have felt the social pressure to imbibe and play drinking games that I normally wouldn’t play if it were just me and the gals.

So ladies, in order to impress the guys during beer pong, either be an awesome player or make awesome shots.

And if you can’t do those well… you just have to be Betty White for the guys to still accept you.

Photo by Yogma

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