Cup Stacking

image I noticed this article about the sport of competitive Cup Stacking in today's issue of the San Diego Union Tribune. That would be plastic cups... stacked up... as a sport. All the internet research I've done indicates this isn't a hoax. The sport of Cup Stacking is real. For instance, here's the site of, the leading manufacturer of cup stacking equipment. But still, I'm having a hard time getting my brain around the concept of it. Maybe it's the testimonials in the Union Trib article that are giving me a hard time. Check out what student Jason Counts says about cup stacking: "It changed my life. Before then, I was kind of going down the wrong path. Since I got into cup stacking, I've changed tremendously." Someone please tell me he's kidding.


Posted on Mon Nov 29, 2004


I've seen a demonstration of cup stacking and as weird as it sounds it is pretty incredible to watch. I saw it at a vendor's booth at a convention for children's pastors. The company that sells the cups is marketing hard to churches (for youth and children's programs). In that context the kid's comment doesn't see so unusual.
Posted by PJ  on  Mon Nov 29, 2004  at  11:51 PM
Yah, I've seen videos of that on t.v. It's really cool looking to watch, though the idea does see a bit ridiculous. I guess some people just have way too much time on their hands.
Posted by Razela  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  12:27 AM
I too have seen video of this. Contestants stack the cups in various configurations and then disassemble them by putting the cups inside one another and then move on to the next configuration. It is pretty cool to watch people do this.

Here is a link to some videos that don't work with my browser:
Posted by BugbearSloth  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  04:33 AM
Yeah, when I was in elementary school we didn't have this, but four years later all the elementary schools in my town have Cup Stacking teams. While this is mostly a little kid sport, there are professionals. They can stack the cups really fast.
Posted by Nick  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  05:45 AM
My son, in fifth grade, did this as a school project. They showed the video to his class and then all of the kids got a few tries. I guess it's quite popular. Go figure.
Posted by Jeff  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  10:42 AM
Yup - it is legit.

One of the National level proponents was a P.E. teacher in the school district I work in in Colorado. (He no longer works here, he does cup stacking trainings and promos nation wide now full time.) It is HUGE in the elementary schools here thanks to him. I used to teach 4th grade in one of our schools and saw it have profound effects on one girl in particular. She was a shy and overweight girl with no ambition until she realized she was good at this. She won our school and state cup stacking championships in her age group and finished 2nd nationally. In the course of a year she lost weight, became active, and most importantly came out of her "shell" and now does demonstrations at other elementary schools in the state about once a month. I even saw her grades improve dramatically, since she had to maintain all A's and B's in school for her arents to approve of her doing the extra curricular cup stacking stuff.

It is a fun, low-impact way to get kids active. Is it going to replace soccer or basketball as a favorite pastime for kids? No way.

I still think it is crazy, but it is has had quite an impact here.
Posted by Chris  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  12:22 PM

I posted above, but then went to the site linked in the article. Sure enough - Bob Fox is the guy formerly from my school district I am talking about. He's quite a fellow.

Seems to me that Denver, Colorado and San Diego, California are the hotbeds for this sport, but it appears to be international now.

Good for him, good for the kids. I agree with Jeff - go figure.
Posted by Chris  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  12:28 PM
I hope the photo above isn't an example of this brilliant new pastime. If today's kids need a lot of training (and special equipment?) before they can stack ten large plastic cups on top of each other, I fear for our nation.

Of course, soon we're bound to have a video game version of cup stacking, which will save kids the trouble of using actual muscles to move actual cups. ...
Posted by Big Gary C  on  Tue Nov 30, 2004  at  06:53 PM
Cup stacking, or sport stacking as it is now known, is actually a very good activity for kids. I, too, thought it was ridiculous the first time I saw it, but after reading some of the studies done on how it affects the brain, I'm all for it. Kids have to use both hands simultaneously, thus using both sides of the brain. It improves concentration skills as well. I'm going to be sponsoring an after-school stacking class here where I teach. My own kids at home love it, too. They spent literally all day doing it one Saturday. They were surprised when night fell and they had been practicing all day!
Posted by Aaron  on  Mon Sep 12, 2005  at  10:05 AM
My three year old son, my seven year old daughter, myself and my wife make an evening of it. Because the children are quick learners at their age and have the reflexes of a cat, they win almost every time, the exceptions are when they fumble a cup.

This is good clean gaming that harkens back to the days of Monopoly, Wiffle-Ball, Badminton and the like. The "equipment" is a set of specially designed cups that make it possible for the air to escape the cups rapidly, making the moves that much quicker.

Obviously Bob Fox and his daughter (current sport stacking world record holder) are making money from this sport in the form of "equipment" sales but I beleive it is well worth the minimal investment. One set of cups costs about the same as two movie tickets but the time spent with the cups is much longer than that of the movies.
Posted by Jim  on  Fri Dec 16, 2005  at  09:39 AM
Yep, it's true. Emily Fox is the current record holder for cup stacking. Just checked out the video of her breaking the world record on Guinnes World Records site.
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  on  Fri Apr 14, 2006  at  10:06 AM
I was at the 2006 World Sport Stacking Tournament on April 8.It was amazing! The Germans are FAST!
Posted by Emily Hurlbert  on  Sun Apr 16, 2006  at  03:07 PM
Sport stacking is amzing! I have seen Emmy Fox do this in person.She is playing college basketball for the Minnesota Gophers. I'm from Minnesota and go to all there games! I'm only 12 but Emmy is my idol. Not only because she is a great athlete with basketball and sport stacking but because she is a GREAT person. She was my coach in a basketball I went to! She demonstrated for us. Emmy, if you somehow read this, You rock girl! See you at the games! GO GOPHERS
Posted by Brittany Davis  on  Sun Jun 24, 2007  at  02:30 AM
I also wrote above. But just to let you smart mouth people you think sport stacking is a boring waste of time, let's see you do it!It's NOT a hoax so ya might want to consider changing this websites name. And people are different. We all have different hobbies. How boring would this world be if we were all alike. Sport stacking rocks! I love ya Emmy!
Posted by Brittany Davis  on  Sun Jun 24, 2007  at  02:34 AM
I have seen children change before my eyes as a result of this sport. It dramatically improves eye hand coordination, and because your hands are crossing the midline of your brain, focus and agility are tremendously increased. I help out with the stacking club at my daughter's school, and am behind it one hundred percent. People think like, "Plastic cups. Wow." But it's so much more than that. All people can participate, and children who really need a boost of self esteem can get it when they get involved in this sport. I challenge anyone who thinks this is hogwash to attend a stacking tournament, I had a blast at the last one I went to, and I wasn't even competing! I've seen my daughter's self esteem improve greatly, as well as her focus and concentration. Please don't knock it until you've tried it.
Posted by Cindy E  on  Mon Apr 07, 2008  at  08:05 PM
Ok, so I've been sending e-mails to the only contact I've been able to find with the World "Sport" Stacking Association.

I've only gotten one reply for my almost 5 messages, and it was basically an automated response. If you would like to argue that Cup Stacking is a sport, email me and I'd be more than happy to prove you wrong, lol.

I don't mean to demean your profession and so fourth, I just don't think that a cup stacker should be in the categorization of athletes. I believe we should just make it a club, but make it recognizable just as solving a rubik's cube and chess, A mind and hand trick of the sorts.

Posted by Taylor Jonathon  on  Mon Sep 01, 2008  at  03:53 AM
I am the P.E. teacher at a small Lutheran school. We started sport stacking last year. I am currently looking for any other schools in Seminole, County Florida that might be interested in some friendly competition? My students love it and would like to compete with others. Please let me know if there is any interest out there. Thanks, Jim
Posted by Jim Blake  on  Wed Sep 17, 2008  at  09:29 AM
I don't think it's a funny "sport" as some people put it. This is very hard to do, you need to have incredible reflexes to do something like this and it's more interesting to watch most of those olympic sports too!

My 2 cents
Posted by ildarius  on  Sat Sep 20, 2008  at  06:18 PM
Actually there is a web-site where you have to perform calculations as fast as possible in order to arrange all the numbers in a pyramid stack, just like cup stacking. Some people show some impressive improvements as well.

It's boring compated to cup stacking though
Posted by ildarius  on  Sat Sep 20, 2008  at  06:20 PM
No...Jason counts is not kidding and I know first hand because I am his mother. Jason was the world champion in a cycle stack and Emily held the record for speed. Both Jason and Emily have grown up together and were both feautured on Jimmy Kimmel Live where my son was lucky enough to meet Usher. Jason has been in numerous articles and been features on many new programs. He has been to Germany, all because of this sport and the generosity of Box Fox, the founder of And, yes, this sport did change his life.......
Posted by Sandra Hendrix  on  Thu Jan 08, 2009  at  05:33 PM
Posted by Jacob  on  Sun May 16, 2010  at  09:32 PM
my time was 19 min would that be a record or not
Posted by tyler  on  Sun Jul 17, 2011  at  09:04 AM
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