Beer pong (also called beirut, lob pong, and other names) is a drinking game in which players throw a table tennis ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in one of several cups of beer on the other end. The game typically consists of two two-player teams, one on each side of a table, and a number of cups set up on each side. There are no official rules, so rules may vary widely, though usually there are six or ten plastic cups arranged in a triangle on each side. The number of players on a team can vary as well, from one to three or more.
When a ball lands in a cup, the defending team must consume all of the beer inside that cup. The game is won by eliminating all the other team's cups before one's own cups are eliminated. The losing team must then consume all the beer remaining in the winning team's cups. The order of play varies â both players on one team shoot followed by both players on the other team, or players on opposite teams can alternate back and forth.
Today, beer pong is played at parties, North American colleges and universities and elsewhere, such as tailgating or other sporting events. The game is also played by high school students, despite the fact that furnishing alcohol to persons under the age of 21 is illegal in the United States.
Although the preceding guidelines are common, the rules may be subject to a wide variety of modifications and additions that often vary based on the area of the country, the state, or even the house in which a particular game is played.
Beer pong is usually played with two teams of two persons each, though it can be played with 2 teams of 1 person each. Each team begins the game standing at either end of the table behind their rack of cups.
 Playing field
According to the World Series of Beer Pong, the regulation table size is 8 Ã 2 feet (2.44 Ã 0.61 meters), and it stands 27.5 inches (69.8 centimeters) above the ground. Although the game is typically played on either a ping pong table or a folding banquet table, beer pong enthusiasts may create a personalized table for use by friends and visitors. In general, this will be a plywood board cut to proper size, sometimes painted with sports, school, or fraternity symbols and given a liquid-proof coating.
The most common cups used are Solo or Dixie 16 ounce cups. These cups have ridge-lines which can be used precisely to measure the amount of beer to be poured. On each side of the table, teams assemble equilateral triangles, with the convergence point focusing on the other team. Games typically use either six, ten, or fifteen cups.
38 mm or 40 mm table tennis (ping pong) balls are typically used for game play.
Usually an inexpensive pale lager or light beer of 3.2-5% abv (for example, Bud Light, Natural Light, Keystone Light, or Coors Light) is used since large quantities may be consumed during the course of several games. The game may be played without beer, as is done at Utah State University, a dry campus, where root beer is used instead.
 Game play
Teams have many possibilities for reracks.There are very few universal beer pong rules. Typically, players abide by a uniform set of "house rules", which are often consistent within one university or region of the country (e.g., "Ivy League rules" or "West Coast rules"), or may vary on a house-by-house basis. Number of cups, bouncing, amount of alcohol, the distance shots must be taken from, etcetera, all may vary.
In some house rules, players must immediately drink any cup that has been hit. Failure to do so incurs a penalty, such as drinking more beer or losing the game.
Some houses allow for re-racking, which is also known as rearranging or consolidation. This is when teams can get their cups rearrangements into different formations once or twice and even more as dictated by the rules of the house. For example, a team with three remaining cups may ask the other team to "re-rack" their multiple targets into a single triangle formation. In the event that a "lone cup" is left one the table, a player can call lone cup infinetely and upon hitting the cup is awarded a bonus cup.
After shooting, teams may dunk the ping pong balls into cups of water in order to wash the balls off. However, research showed that the wash cups still hold bacteria, such as E. coli.
Some other house rules consist of:
Swatting the ball away if it bounces
If the ball spins around the cup, male players may finger the ball out and females may blow the ball out
 Shot techniques
The typical path for the different kinds of shots.There are three key ways to shoot in beer pong: the arc, the fastball, and the bounce. The most common throwing technique is the "arc", where one grasps the ping pong ball with the tips of the thumb and forefinger, holds the arm at an angle with the ball upwards, then throw by using gentle elbow motion, holding the upper arm parallel with the table.
Some players throw "fastball" style, which uses more of a hard chopping motion to send the ball in a more direct line to the intended target cup.
A "bounce" is performed by bouncing the ball toward the cups. Since the other team has the opportunity to swat away a bounced ball, a bounce is usually worth two cups. The "muck" bounce is a low trajectory shot achieved by bouncing the ball in a sideways motion as opposed to overhand.
 Winning the game
If the opposing team makes the last cup, the other team must usually make either all remaining cups or simply one cup, depending on "house rules", or the opposing team wins - this is called a rebuttal or redemption.
A shutout rule is a house rule usually stated before a game or during the game in the midst of a shutout. If the shutout does occur the losing team must do whatever the two teams decided on, such as going streaking. This rule has colloquially been referred to as the "naked lap."
 Legal restrictions
Former Steeler and 2006 candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania Lynn Swann plays beer pong with and courts voters before a football game.Some municipalities and states have attempted to ban beer pong, either from bars or in general. In Oxford, Ohio, where Miami University is located, the city council tried to ban the game from being played outdoors, and in Arlington, Virginia, bar owners were told to stop allowing the game to be played in their establishments. In the fall of 2007, Georgetown University officially banned all beer pong paraphernalia, such as custom-built tables and the possession of many ping-pong balls. Some writers have mentioned beer pong as contributing to "out of control" college drinking.
In May 2008, a high school basketball coach from Mason, Ohio was charged with allowing underage students to play beer pong at his house. He was fired and given community service.
 Tournaments and leagues
National Beer pong tournaments are held in the United States. Some of the larger tournaments held in the United States are the World Series of Beer Pong and those hosted by the World Pong Tour. The World Series of Beer Pong (WSOBP), hosted by bpong.com, is the largest beer pong tournament in the world. WSOBP III, held in January 2008 in Las Vegas, NV, had a $50,000 grand prize and attracted 600 participants nationwide. A more common and decentralized organization of beer pong games is small leagues. Ordinarily, a group of college students or other pong enthusiasts will create teams (partnerships) and play weekly against each other, such as at the University of California, Santa Barbara with the "Isla Vista Beer Pong League", and at New York University