Beer Pong

The following rules are tentative for the beer pong league and are subject to change before league play starts.

Starting the Game

Cup Formation

10 cups per team

Starting formation is a “tight triangle” formation (rims touching), pointing towards the opposing side.

The 10-cup triangle must be centered on the table  and the back of the rack must be in line with the back edge of the table.

Cups must not be tilted or leaned against the surrounding cups.

Content of Cups

Fill up each cup with water, ⅓ of the way

Playing the Game

League Structure

Teams will have 45 minutes to play their opponent. The winning team is determined by best of three matches or whoever has won the most amount of games once the 45 minute time limit is up. In the event of an unclear winner at the end of 45 minutes, teams will go into 3-cup overtime play (see next section).

First shot

To start the game one player from each team is to shoot “eye-to-eye”, meaning they shoot while looking the opposing shooter in the eye, until a cup is made. Once a player makes a shot, their team receives the balls to take the first shots of the game. If both players make a cup during “eye-to-eye” they continue to alternate shooters in this format until only one player makes a cup. 


The ball may be grabbed, however ONLY after it has already made contact with a cup, but not while the ball is in the cup. You may not grab before the ball has hit a cup.

In the event of player interference prior to the ball making contact with a cup, a one-cup penalty will be imposed for the interference. The thrower who had his or her shot interfered with may choose the cup to be removed.

Bounce Shots: Players ARE allowed to let their shots bounce off of the table before making it to the cup. Bounce-shots may be interfered with before making contact with a cup. It should be noted that bounce-shots count for two cups. In the event a player makes a bounce shot, that person is allowed to choose the second cup that the opposing team needs to pull from the playing area. If a bounce shot is made with two or less cups left, it only counts as one cup – the one it made it into.

Any cup knocked over at any point will count as a hit shot.

Reformation, aka “re-racking”

Each team is allowed two reformations throughout a single game. The allowed racks are: triangle (6,3), diamond (4), zipper (6,5,4), and a straight line (3,2). (# cups left)

Racks must be aligned to the center of the table. When one cup is remaining, the cup shall always be pulled back to within an inch of the end of the table, and it shall be placed in the center of the table.

Cups that drift out of position may be reformed, but only at the request of the thrower.

Cups should be removed as soon as they are hit. It is the responsibility of the shooting team to wait until a hit cup is removed to take their next shot. If a team shoots while the opposing team is reforming or in the process of removing a cup from the table, and the ball goes in the cup after making contact with the defending teams hand(s), the shot will count as a miss. If a shooter hits a cup that has already been hit, it will count as a miss.


If both players on a team sink his/her shot on the same turn, that team will get one (1) additional rollback shot, not two. The only exception to this rule is during redemption.

Either teammate may take the rollback shot.


Players’ elbows must be behind the table, or their feet must stand behind the designated shooting line.


Distractions are permitted with the following restrictions (subject to a one cup penalty)

Players may not cross the plane of play (the imaginary plane which runs vertically and separates you from your cups) with any part of their bodies, clothing, or other objects, while the other team is shooting. To avoid violating this rule, just stand back a few feet from your cups.

Players may not fan, blow, or otherwise intentionally create an air current surrounding the cups in play.

Players may not approach the opposing team members in an unsportsmanlike manner. This includes running alongside the table to talk trash in an opposing players face. In general, players should never be on the side of the table (picking up a ball is an exception).

Players and spectators may not visually block cups from opposing players.


Interference is defined as any contact, intentional or otherwise, between game pieces (balls or cups) and any other objects.

In the event of player interference prior to the ball making contact with a cup, a one-cup penalty will be imposed for the interference. The thrower who had his or her shot interfered with may choose the cup to be removed.

In the event that a player who does not have possession of the ball comes in contact with the ball and as a result that ball enters one of his own cups, such as by unintentionally acting as a backboard, that shot IS counted.

In the event of interference on the part of non-players, such as spectators or officials, the shot is replayed.

In the event that a player drops his/her ball into one of his/her own cups, no penalty is enforced.

All objects sitting on the table are considered part of the table for the purpose of determining interference. Specifically, if a shot bounces off of an errant object on the table (such as a water cup, a cup that has already been hit, a personal can of beer, etc) and then goes into a live cup, that shot is counted.

The previous clause notwithstanding, the playing area should be kept as clear as possible at all times. Specifically, no objects should placed in between the opposing cup formations.

Cup Interference

Cup Adjustment: Cups may NOT be moved or adjusted while the ball is being released, or while the ball is in mid-flight. Doing so incurs a 1-cup penalty.

Balls Knocking Over Cups: Cups should be filled to the point where it is not possible to knock the cup over with the ball. However, in the event that a ball does knock a cup over, the shot is counted as a hit, UNLESS it is absolutely clear that the ball never crossed the top plane of the cup before it was knocked over, in which case the cup is reset and the shot is considered a miss. To clarify, if a ball enters a cup, spins, and then exits the cup, and the cup falls off of the table as a result, the cup is counted as a hit shot, and is removed.

In the event that a ball enters a cup causing the cup to move, the defending team may not stabilize the cup. To clarify, if it appears that a cup is going to fall over, the defending team must allow this to happen.

Interference During Reformation

Players are not allowed to shoot until the opposing team has clearly finished reforming. In the event that the thrower shoots before this:

A cup made does not count and the opposing team receives possession of the ball.

A missed shot is counted as a miss and the opposing team receives possession of the ball.

Table Interference

Players may not make contact with the table while their opponents are shooting.


Ending the Game

Redemption (A.K.A. Rebuttal)

As soon as the last cup is hit, the opposing team has the opportunity to try and bring the game into Overtime. There are two different general scenarios for how to determine redemption rules: There are two or more cups remaining, or there is only one cup remaining on the side of the team that has hit last cup.

If there are two or more cups remaining, “Unlimited 1-ball Redemption” is given. Either player may take the first shot, and the ball is rolled back until a player misses. As soon as a miss occurs, that person is done shooting. At this time, players MUST alternate throwers in the event of multiple hits-one player may NOT take all the redemption shots. The only exception to this rule occurs when there are three cups remaining when redemption begins. In this case, the first two shots must be alternated (i.e., the player who shoots first cannot shoot second), but the final shot may be taken by either player.

If there is one cup remaining when the last cup is sunk, the rule is, “Take as many shots as you have balls remaining on your side”. For example:

Your opponent misses their first shot, but sinks the second into your last cup. You get 2 chances to redeem, i.e. you may miss once.

Opponent sinks your last cup on their first shot. You get 1 chance to redeem.

If an opponent sinks your last 2 or 3 cups in 1 turn, you get 2 chances to redeem, i.e. you may miss once

Successful redemption results in initiation of a 3-cup overtime, with the dominant team (the team which would have won had their opponents not redeemed), selecting possession.

Overtime (3-cup)

Overtime formation is a tight triangle.

The dominant team (the team which would have won had their opponents not redeemed) selects which side shoots first.

The same redemption and rollback rules apply during overtime as apply pre-overtime.



A dispute is not considered to be valid unless witnessed by two or more individuals. In the event of a valid dispute, that game is considered paused and an official must be notified. Any witnesses to the event in question must remain at the table until the dispute has been resolved. All calls made by the referee are final. Intentional abuse of game rules and/or disputation without adequate cause is grounds for ejection from the tournament.

Time Limit On Shooting

In general, players are expected to take their shots within a reasonable amount of time, and in accordance with proper sportsmanship. Generally, no specific time limit is placed on shots.

However, times may arise when it is necessary to limit the amount of time each player has to take a shot. In these cases, a referee, at his sole discretion, may institute a ‘shot clock’.

When a shot clock has been imposed, the referee will give each player 30 seconds to shoot. This 30 second period will start when the referee deems that the player is ready to shoot (i.e. the player has recovered the ball, and there is nothing preventing him from shooting). When a shot clock has been imposed, it must be imposed equally to all players for the remainder of the game. The referee will announce the start of the 30 second period, and then give a warning when there are 10 seconds remaining. In the event that the 30 second period expires, the shooter will forfeit his shot.

Absentee Players

In the event that a player is temporarily absent, the team may get a substitute player. If there is no substitute available:
-During regular season: the team with one player may have that player shoot twice
-During playoffs: the team with one player only gets to shoot once per round


All players are to conduct themselves in a matter respectful to other players, referees, and the sport of Beer Pong. Unacceptable conduct includes, but is not limited to, fighting, abuse of referees, unreasonably throwing balls at opponents, abuse of other players, abuse of beer (excessive spilling), etc.

Interpretation of Rules

If teams wish to enact their own rules (i.e. “on fire”, “island”, additional reformations than what’s listed) they must be agreed upon by both teams before the first game is played.

Final interpretation of these rules is made at the sole discretion of the referees.

These rules are adapted from the WSOBP Rules, available at BPONG.COM.