Sports

Beer pong?

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The game of beer pong is a prohibitionist's nightmare.

It's also not the typical competitive sport.

To state the obvious, players don't consume a sports drink but beer and lots of it.

The game's popularity has boomed in the past decade especially among college students and young adults.

Movies, television shows and word-of-mouth brought the sport to the forefront of drinking games.

Local venues like 7 Cedars Casino, Oasis Sports Bar & Grill and others have taken to the sport to bring in more people.

Erick Miller, a marketer for 7 Cedars Casino, said there's a misconception that there are just retirees in

Sequim and that beer pong is a way to reach the younger crowd.

"It's definitely working," Miller said.

"It's growing every week."

The casino started hosting a weekly beer pong tournament on July 1.

Twelve teams and 24 people participated.

At their most recent event, 26 teams and 52 people played for a chance to be in the 16-team bracket.

What is beer pong?

Setup is fairly similar in all venues with a long table, 10 plastic cups on each side and at least a few pingpong balls.

Each side has cups filled with beer or water for sanitary reasons.

Players take turns throwing balls into all of the opposing players' cups.

Each time a ball goes into a cup the recipients must drink the contents of the cup or a beer cup nearby and remove the in-play cup from the table.

The goal is to be the first team to sink a pingpong ball in every cup.

Rules

Beer pong's rules vary.

"It depends on what house or fraternity you go to," Miller said.

Looking on the Web, players can find several pages and books for official rules and styles.

There are a few techniques for throwing a ball during beer pong but most players opt to throw/lob it straight at a cup.

If a player chooses to bounce the ball, then the opposing team can swat it.

A game can end early too depending on your skill level.

An instant win can occur when a team throws two balls on the same turn into the same cup when there are only three cups left.

Competitive fun

When asked why they play beer pong, players agreed it's all for fun.

"You are drinking and having a fun time," Miller said.

"Whether you are winning or losing it's all in good fun."

Laura Lestage, a participant, said she plays because she enjoys the interaction with people and that it's an active drinking game. Michael Slezak, another beer pong player, said games are always going on around town and that he plays because it's something to do.

"It's challenging," Slezak said.

"The more you drink the harder it gets and a lot of the times it gets down to one-on-one (with cups)."

Dustin Henning, a first time beer pong 7 Cedars Casino player, said he plays it at home often and that the level of intensity depends on the crowd.

"Sometimes it gets rowdy and sometimes it just gets loud," Henning said.

He recommends people try it in a backyard to get the full experience.

Local offerings

The casino, 270756 U.S. Highway 101 in Blyn, is the most active place for competitive beer pong.

"I know it's something you can do in your garage, but it gives people a chance to win some money," Miller said.

Registration starts at 7 p.m. and games begin at 8 p.m. every Thursday night.

Cost is $5 per player and the first-place team receives $75 and second gets $50.

"It's a good deal because if you come you'll see how much they'll get to drink," Miller said.

For more pictures of beer pong look on www.facebook.com and search 7 Cedars Casino.

The Oasis Bar & Grill, 301 E. Washington St., offers beer pong at 9 p.m. Tuesdays but no cash prizes are awarded.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.


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