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May 21, 2007

Beer pong or Beirut?

Beer pong, beirutHalf of my friends call it beer pong, and the other half call it Beirut.

What do you call it? I want to take a vote.

Growing up on the Eastern Shore, I always thought the name of the popular college drinking game was beer pong. I went to college at the University of Maryland College Park, and most of my friends from out of state said it was beer pong.

Since I moved to Baltimore, I've heard people call it Beirut more than beer pong. (In the game, you toss ping-pong balls into plastic cups partly filled with beer).

I've had people tell me it's a Baltimore thing. But some Web sites say both names are interchangeable. What do you think?

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:20 AM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I went to school in DC and I've heard it called both- I've also heard a definition that "beer pong is when you bounce it (like ping-pong), and Beirut is when you throw it" but that doesn't seem to be true any more. I guess the best plan is to say screw it and play flip cup!!!

it's beer pong. end of discussion.

its beirut. discussion reopened.

So far, we're 1-1-1. Anybody else care to comment?

beer pong is played with paddles. you play ping pong with cups as targets. hence, beer pong.

'ruit is when you throw the ball.

really, it doesnt matter. everyone knows what you're playing. but it's 'ruit in bmore.

in all of my high school, college and graduate years, in baltimore and out of baltimore, i personally have never played nor seen anyone play beer pong with paddles.

how is it even possible? i think saying "beirut" is just trying to make a fun game sound overly classy. beer pong is what it is, people.

Personally, I'm with the last poster. I've never seen it played with paddles.

Maybe people used paddles in the beginning, and that's why it was called beer pong. But not anymore.

Has anyone out there actually seen it played with paddles? That would be hilarious.

In my fraternity, we played beer pong with paddles. 2 players on each side, 2 cups at each end of the table, down the middle. Ping pong scoring, but points are only scored by hitting the cups. Hitting the cups is a point and a drink. Sinking in the cups is a point and a chug.

If the ball goes off the table on the fly, the other team gets to try to scoop the ball off the floor, bounce it on their side of the net, and get an easy shot at the cups.

You'd think you could hit the cups every time, but it's harder than it sounds, especially with such a severe penalty for not hitting the table. Much, much more fun throwing the stupid ball.

I'm so confused that by this point I use them interchangeably... I was always a "beer pong" man, but I think my little brother and his friends converted me to "Beirut." (Geography only confuses the issue further: I went to college in Mass.; they were in Maine, but many of them are from this area.)

"Beirut" more accurately describes the arcing of the ball and the destructive possibilities of a drawn-out set of matches. But do we really want our drinking making fun of Lebanese history? (Or even worse, current events?)

it's beer pong with or without paddles. i think the original game involved a ping pong table and paddles, but the game morphed as it spread around -- mainly because paddles weren't always available. The name stuck.

A friend of mine who went to Dartmouth was surprised to see beer pong without paddles, so maybe the different variations have become regional.

Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, Beirut is a city.

Quarters is better.

So, not only does "beirut" sound snobby, but its also possibly very offensive to the entire population of Lebanese people. I'm pretty sure "beer-pong" officially wins this discussion.

In northern Baltimore county, we called it "CUPZ N BALLZ."

Beer Pong. The other name is silly. Sounds like someone just drunkenly called it something wrong by accident and the name stuck

The term one uses describes not the game, but the player. beirut is played by UVA grads or UMCP frat kids with polos with popped collars. beer pong is enjoyed by all.

it's beer pong. snobs.

Beirut is a type of beer pong played without paddles. At Dartmouth, where beer pong is said to have originated, they use paddles and they now refer to it as "Pong." Though I agree with the previous poster that Beirut is played by UVA grads and frat boys w/ popped collars.

"The difference between Beer Pong and Beirut is that Beer Pong refers to any variation of the game that uses paddles to hit the ball in the cup, while in Beirut, the ball is thrown by hand, " said Jason Keith, head of the National Beer Pong League.

well i go to college in upstate new york and we play both however beer pong and beirut are not the same game beer pong is played by throwing ping pong balls and beirut is played by throwing quarters at the cups i never heard of it before i got to college and most of my friends that go to schools in other areas have never heard of it either

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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