Blog: Stacking - Perfect for Guinness, Not a Sport

If you're a sports aficionado, I know, absolutely know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you've used this sentence:

"That's not really a sport."

Don't even try to lie. You have used that sentence. And I don't care what activity you were referring to (and many come to mind), you know you've said it. Seriously - you have.

A friend who is a sportswriter has told me that he defines a sport as something that combines athletic ability with some kind of a start/finish line, or with some kind of an indisputable point system. That means, by his definition, races (on foot, on skates, on skis, in a pool, on bicycles) count since they use a start/finish line, as do competitions like baseball, tennis and soccer, since they have a defined point system as determined by the existence of a goal.

Now, at this point, I am going to take shelter behind something big and sturdy and note that he doesn't count what he calls "performance art" like cheerleading, gymnastics, ice skating, diving and synchronized swimming to be sports because those are judged subjectively. And before you go off on me, remember these are his definitions, not mine. (For the record, he agrees those people are athletes; he just doesn't define what they're doing as a sport.)

So there are his basic parameters. Mine might be a little more lenient. But recently, I came across a press release for a sport/competition/event that I have to admit neither one of us had heard of before: sport stacking. I must have missed that issue of Athletic Business.

Sport stacking, in which competitors stack specialized plastic cups in specific sequences in as little time as possible, defies both our definitions of sport, and perhaps yours as well. The World Sport Stacking Association's website has plenty of information on it, including the information that "in 2005, the name was changed to its current WSSA in response to growing awareness that stacking is considered a sport."

I will allow that it's an art and that it requires precision and speed, admirable qualities to exhibit under pressure. But - um - a sport? Nope, I'll say it's not one, and I'm not even going to take shelter while I do it. If you do consider cup stacking to be a sport, and if you're done composing your rebuttals to me, you'll want to take a break and hear this next part. WSSA is planning The WSSA Stack-Up for Nov. 15. The Stack-Up is the organization's yearly attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for most people stacking cups at multiple locations in one day. The number to beat is 412,259. If you want to enter, you can go to the site and learn all about that.

So, there you have it. Putting cups in pyramids. Not a sport. Just my opinion.

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