The Isla Vista Beer Pong League has officially been established, and not only has it organized I.V.’s favorite game, it has also helped bring peace to the town by producing an exhaustive, official list of rules – while flashing is permitted, throwing Keystone cans at an opponent is not.
Comprised of at least 48 pairs of competitors, a written set of rules and a whole lot of Natty, the IVBPL not only offers competitors a shot at ultimate bragging rights, but the ultimately victorious duo will win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2008 World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas.
Gaining steam and popularity through Facebook, the league is the brainchild of I.V. residents Brad Odom and Keith Russell. Odom said the idea stemmed naturally, but was enhanced with the help of another intoxicant.
“We were just sitting around smoking and we thought it would be a good idea to start an intramural tournament that involved drinking,” Odom said.
Odom and Russell advertised primarily through Facebook, but also walked door to door to find participants. There are currently 48 teams registered, and Odom said he thinks the number will rise to 52 before the ending of the season.
To enter the league, each team must have access to a home court. Home teams provide red plastic keg/party cups and ping-pong balls, and visiting teams bring a 30 pack of beer. Games are held in I.V. throughout the week, depending upon player availability turned in at time of registration.
A $20 per team fee is required to join the league, as well as valid current photo identification proving members are at least 21 years of age. All money raised from entrance fees goes to financing the championship team’s trip to Las Vegas.
The five-page set of rules for the I.V. Beer Pong League resemble those of the World Series of Beer Pong, since teams’ ultimate goal is to reach the tournament.
“It’s close to that [the World Series of Beer Pong rules] without all the stupid rules they have,” Odom said.
One WSOBP rule that the I.V. league does not follow is, “Players who are visibly intoxicated must have their cups filled with water.”
In the I.V. league, the only cup filled with water is the one used to wash ping-pong balls. Also missing from the I.V. league, but featured in the WSOBP, is the “Best Costume” contest and the “Last Cup Challenge.”
A complete list of official WSOBP rules can be found online at Bpong.com, and rules for the I.V. league are available on the group’s Facebook page, “I.V. Beer Pong League.”
Female participants may be disappointed that one rule stipulates that “bitches” are no longer “allowed to blow” – according to the official rules under the “Interference” category, “Fingers and Blows are not permitted. If a ball is fingered or blown out of a cup then that cup is to be pulled and drunk.” Traditionally, if a ball banks into a cup but swirls around the rim before settling, a female participant can blow on it and cancel the point from counting. This move is commonly known as “Bitches Blow.”
Another interesting, and perhaps controversial, rule falls under the “Miracles” category: “If a shot happens to land and stay on top of the cups, that shot will count as the three cups it is touching. Congratulations, you lucky S.O.B.”
Choosing team names and costumes proves to be a creative outlet for most players in the league. “Beaver Swat,” “Dirty Sanchezez” and “Dolls with Balls” are among some of the more original I.V. team names. Uniforms range from everyday clothing to jerseys and elaborate costumes.
Travis Hearnsberger, fourth-year mechanical engineering major and a part of the team “Shit’s Weak,” said choosing a good team name plays into strategy.
“We have a good thing to yell at them when we kick their ass,” Hearnsberger said. “We have our insult and our distraction built into our name.”
Unlike other nationally recognized sports, men compete against women in the same league. There are no rules that distinguish a difference between abilities of the sexes, although some participants disagree with that rule.
“[Girls] have an unfair advantage because they have better distractions than guys,” Hearnsberger said.
However, some think guys have the upper-hand due to physiological differences.
“The only technical thing is who can hold the most alcohol,” Odom said.
For information on how to sign up for the summer season of the I.V. Beer Pong League, visit the official group on Facebook.com.