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Beer Pong vs. Beirut: And the verdict is… no one really cares!


It’s your last shot. You make eye contact with your opponents, and feel your palms starting to sweat as you lock your elbow and aim. The ball seems to move in slow motion as it glides through the stale air of some off-campus basement, finally descending effortlessly into the last cup of beer. You are a god.

Congratulations! You just won a game of Beer Pong… or is it Beirut?

The “Beer Pong versus Beirut” controversy has plagued the American social scene for some time now. Most can agree that knowing how to play a good game or Pong or ‘Rut is key to a fulfilling and well-rounded college experience, but some get into heated debates over what the game is actually called.

Where did this whole nomenclature argument originate? Beer Pong was originally a game played with ping pong paddles, as seen in Beerfest. The paddle version, which appears to be the original version of the game, was allegedly created at Dartmouth College, a school reputed for its students’ drinking prowess. It is rumored that the paddle-less adaptation of Beer Pong was formulated in the 1980s by either Lehigh University or Bucknell University in reference to bombs being dropped in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, according to the Daily Princetonian.

College Humor conducted a survey to see what most people preferred to call the famous drinking game. The results: 77 percent of people call it Beer Pong, while 23 percent call it Beirut.
While East coasters have a tendency to call the game Beirut, arguing that Beirut sounds classier and that Beer Pong is too easily confused with the paddle version of the game, the rest of the country is more likely to call it Beer Pong.

“I call it Beer Pong,” says Claire Hannah, a Weinberg freshman from Kansas, “even though Beer Pong technically should be played with paddles.”

“I don’t really care what people call it, I just prefer ‘Rut,” said Weinberg freshman and Massachusetts native Wendy Lei.

Chances are, you’ll never get into a fist fight over these two names. Knowing the history may make for interesting conversation fodder, but in the end, both names are socially acceptable and it mostly just comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you’re sick of arguing over it, though, try one of these variations.

Strip Beer Pong

  1. You’ll need four players, a table suitable for beer pong, and 20 Solo cups.
  2. Each team should use a sharpie to write an article of clothing on the bottom of each of their ten cups
  3. Trade cups with the members of the opposing team who have also just completed step one.
  4. Set the cups up in standard pyramid form and fill equal amount of beer in each cup.

Gameplay: Start playing as you would play traditional beer pong. Once a player sinks a ball in one of the opposing team’s cups, a member of the opposing team must choose to either drink the beer or take off the article of clothing written on the cup. But don’t yet pick up the cup with the ball in it: The ball must get in the cup a total of two times before the cup is removed from the game. The second time the ball gets in on cup, the opposing team must do whatever they chose not to do the first time the ball got in — either drink the beer or take off the article of clothing. If a team lands the ball in two different cups in one turn, the team gets to go again, just like in traditional beer pong. If both team members sink the same cup, BOTH members of the opposing team must take off the article of clothing under the cup, as well as finish the beer.This game always makes for a good ol’ raunchy time. Just remember not to put things like ’sombrero’ under the cup, unless in fact one of the opposing team members is wearing a sombrero.



  1. Gather two teams, each with at least one person. Each team gets a quarter or ping pong ball (both work; use whichever you prefer or have around).
  2. Get four different-sized cups, from shot glasses to pitchers, and place them in a line in order from smallest to largest, with the smallest closest to where you are shooting from.
  3. Fill the glasses with beer.

This game is the best alternative to playing baseball drunk. Each glass is like a base: The smallest glass counts as a single hit and the largest glass is a home run. You can figure out the rest. Each team selects a batting order. The objective of the game is to get as many hits as possible. You do this by throwing a ping pong ball from a designated distance into the cups. Once a cup is sunk, the other team must drink it. Once a cup has been drunk, it should be refilled immediately. If a cup is missed, it counts as an out for that team. Each team is alloted three outs. After three outs, you must switch teams up to bat. This goes on for a total of nine innings. The score is kept just like in regular baseball. If someone hits a double and then the next person hits a double, the person originally on second base gets a run for the team, and someone else is left on second base. The team with the most runs wins.

Beirut Free-For-All

  1. You’ll need three players on each of the two teams, and six ping pong balls — one for each player.
  2. Form three triangles, consisting of three cups each, on both sides of the table. The three triangles on each side should be next to each other.
  3. Fill the triangles with beer, using one can per triangle.

Gameplay: This free-for-all, dodge-ball-esque game can get a little crazy. Start with each player standing in front of a triangle. Count down to start, and start shooting. Any ball is up for grabs. If a ball lands in your triangle, you can’t start firing again until you finish the beer and take the cup away. Once your triangle is finished, you’re out of the game. The team with the last remaining triangle wins.

Comments (5)


  1. Craig says:

    I personally prefer the name Beer Pong, because that’s what I’ve been using for the past 4 years now, and I don’t know what this Beirut thing was…until I looked it up on Wikipedia.

    But seriously, I’d go with beer pong on this one. And, the variations you listed are pretty interesting. Might have to try those out sometime.

    Anywho, I know of a couple of tournaments going on relatively soon. You could go to to check out a list of where these tournaments will be. Hopefully you’ll participate, and maybe even go home with some of the prizes that we will be awarding.

  2. Crown Royal says:

    Craig, you are effing gay! That site is gay. GAY!

  3. Craig says:

    Gee Crown Royal.
    No need to call me a fag just because you didn’t like the site.
    If you didn’t like it, you didn’t like it.
    End of story…

  4. Loser says:

    This article is poorly written and your “facts” and opinions are worthless. “Each glass is like a base: The smallest glass counts as a single hit and the largest glass is a home run.” that doesn’t make any fucking sense at all, why would the largest glass be a home run? it’s the easiest thing to it! Go back to college you fucking idiot

  5. I think the tie in between the Lebanese Civil War (Beirut specifically) and playing Beer Pong is that they both involve getting bombed.

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