Stacking cups: The new craze in world sport

Stacking cups: The new craze in world sport

The world of sport is constantly getting a makeover and the latest craze to hit the sport world is none other than stacking cups. A 17-year-old from North Carolina, William Orrell is ranked number 1 and is the reigning junior Olympic and world champion. He has a huge following on YouTube and has a line of products named after him. There is a mind boggling clip of him stacking small cups in pyramids. Although many people question the legitimacy of the sport Orrell is defending his world title at the World Sport Stacking Championships in Germany.

The game started with Dixie cups at a Boys and Girls club in Oceanside, California more than 30 years ago and has been growing leaps and bounds ever since and has even become a part of Physical Education in the United States. More than 24 nations will field teams at the championship and in Asia the sport is catching on fast especially with children as young as 10.

The A.A.U. Junior Olympics has included stacking as an event since 2012 alongside karate, baton twirling and jump rope. Schools find the sport attractive as it has low liability and every child can play even those with physical or mental disabilities.

Wayne Godinet, a Samoan-American from Oceanside, is widely credited with turning cup stacking into a sport. He was a director at the Boys & Girls Club, and, one day back in 1981, he took a stack of Dixie cups and told the children to stack them in a pyramid, then run and touch a wall, come back and stack them again.  It was an instant hit. The kids responded very well to the game and children with smaller built who weren't athletically inclined seemed to enjoy it also. Godinet received a patent for the stacking kit in 1990 and the stacking programme was started in 37 states.

Bob Fox a physical education teacher in Highlands Ranch, Colorado saw 'The Tonight show' with Johnny Carson where Matt Adame (Godinet's protégé) was a guest. He then attended one of Godinet's tournaments. Fox later held one of his own. When more than 250 children turned up, he recognized the sport's potential. In 1998, he founded Speed Stacks Inc., which now has 98 percent share of the market for cup sets. Through Speed Stacks, the activity gained a more formal structure, with an emphasis on speed, and became a big business.

The competition is expanding into multiple age divisions and the atmosphere is always supportive even though competitive. There is no booing but often rivals offer words of encouragement and consolation. No one throws cups or curses, and there was no obnoxious parenting.

 sources: The New York Times

image: The New York Times

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