Non-Dorky Poll: Beer Pong

The video that accompanies this article is pretty impressive. A bunch of college kids show off their ability to hit trick shots with ping-pong balls, bouncing them off walls, doors, floors, moving skateboards, people, and items of furniture and into beer cups. As the PopSci piece notes, there's a good deal of physics in this-- if every student put half as much effort into learning the material as these guys put into practicing trick shots, the world would be a better place.

The title of the piece, however, is "The Physics of Beer Pong," which brings us to today's non-dorky poll question:

Beer Pong: Paddles or no?

This is a critically important doctrinal dispute, so leave your answer in the comments.

Of course, as all right-thinking people know, the game of "Beer Pong" requires paddles, and is played like regular ping-pong with cups of beer placed on the table. You volley the ball back and forth, hitting only lob shots, until the ball hits one of the cups, at which point whichever team loses the point has to take a drink from their cups. If the ball lands in a cup, that's two points for the other team, and the team whose cup the ball ended in has to finish their beers (unless they can throw the ball into one of the other team's cups).

The game in which people stand at opposite ends of a table and toss ping-pong balls at cups of beer is not "Beer Pong." It's "Beirut," or "Ball Tossing," or "We're Too Incompetent to Keep Track of Ping-Pong Paddles," or something like that. It's a game for heretics, incompetents, and the weak-minded.

The only thing lamer is "Beer Die."

More like this

Last week, Rhett did a post on animating a bouncing ball in VPython. This was mostly making a point about the distinction between real simulation and animation, along the lines of yesterday's post on social construction of videogame reality. But, of course, my immediate reaction was, "That's not…
tags: Thanksgiving holiday, Snoopy, Chales M Schulz, humor, comedy, streaming video If you are like me, you do not have a television, so you are missing all the special holiday programming. This sweet video is a late one created by the late, great Charles M. Schulz about celebrating Thanksgiving on…
Let's say you have a table. This table is better than your average table. It's perfectly level, absolutely flat to within the thickness of an atom over its entire surface. In fact, this table isn't even made of atoms. You called up Plato and ordered the platonic ideal of a flat table. Now you…
Some readers have called to my attention a pair of recent stories from the New York Times that you may find interesting. First, Audrey noted another dispatch on the eternal struggle over how math ought to be taught: For the second time in a generation, education officials are rethinking the…

No paddles is clearly superior in every way. Further more, team beer pong, or beer flip, in which a made cup triggers a flip cup race down the side of the table is the pinnacle of American athletics.

Beer flip? No, that's called Flip Cup. And bc you're definitely right, it's a pinnacle of American Athletics.

No paddles wins. It's hard enough to keep track of ping pong balls, let alone paddles. And c'mon, they break way too easily. And with more cups on the table, you're more likely to drink more (people always fill their cups too high).

Beer flip? No, that's called Flip Cup. And bc you're definitely right, it's a pinnacle of American Athletics.

It seems pretty clear that he's talking about playing beer pong where every time people make a cup a side game of flip cup is started. I think beer pong is an okay but not great game, but flip cup just seems really dumb to me. It seems like a game invented by and for women for whom beer pong (or a genuine boat race if you want the relay aspect) involved too much drinking.

Paddles. Without the paddles it's not beer pong, it's beer toss the ball in the cup.

Up in these parts, paddles are not optional and the game seems to play a very significant role in undergrad social life.

You can call it 'Beirut' or 'We're too incompetent...' or whatever you want, paddleless is superior. Preferably played in 2-person teams, so everyone has a scapegoat.

By Aaron Lemur Mintz (not verified) on 08 May 2008 #permalink

Without getting into superiority, it has to use paddles to be called "beer pong".

No paddles!

I thought you were going to point out that the dorky analysis of that video neglected drag. Anyone who has played any form of pong, other than the original video game, knows you have to worry about drag ... not to mention spin and the coefficient of restitution when a bounce or two is involved.

I'm too old to have played beer pong, but around here it is usually played without paddles in the driveway using a card table rather than something that would simulate actual ping pong. When we played ping pong, which was a lot, we held the beer while we played and spilling any cost you a point.

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 08 May 2008 #permalink

Our favorite in college was what you call "Beirut"(no paddles) but we called it "Beer Pong". I agree that there is no reason to call it "Beer Pong" except that it is played sometimes on a ping-pong table.

We played both out in Santa Barbara, but Beirut was infinitely better. Beirut has all the excitement of a tight basketball game; Dartmouth pong the thrill of a third grader's tennis lesson.

(That, and we didn't play any of this "take a sip if the ball hits the cup" crap in the paddle version. Sink it or nothing. Hence I'd have to have a personal beer off to the side just so I'd have something to drink during the long dry spells.)

No way! No paddles. technically, i guess it's "beirut" without paddles, but f-it, I'm from the midwest, AKA "flippy cup" country. so it's beer pong for me.