Beer (Pong) League
How two kids turned college's favorite pastime into a sport
Posted: Friday September 22, 2006 9:40AM; Updated: Friday September 22, 2006 9:56PM
Beer pong is now an official sport. Possibly even bigger than hockey.
At least, Christian Kunkel and Kyle Lininger would like to think so. Kunkel and Lininger went to a couple of the top universities in the nation and left with some pretty stellar degrees. Kunkel graduated from Duke last year with a degree in economics, while Lininger graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in cognitive science.
But after commencement, the two hit the beaches of Hawaii, basked in the sun and contemplated about their future career paths. They put their heads together and this is what they came up with:
"Everyone plays beer pong," Kunkel said. "And it just seemed like a clear opportunity for something to be done to organize beer pong in a professional fashion."
"We wanted to bring it to the masses, kind of like a sport or something," Lininger added.
They either had way too much fun in Hawaii or they realized that parting ways with their beloved college nights of beer pong was simply unbearable. Maybe both.
Regardless, Kunkel and Lininger created the American Beerpong Association of America, the official governing body of the greatest, ahem, sport ever. The two, along with their designated "point man," Tom Piontkowski, who went to high school with Kunkel in Pennsylvania, are touring major colleges and universities across the nation in an RV.
They're bar-hopping, essentially, hosting beer pong tournaments for those willing to show off their pong skills. So far on their 60-school tour, the RV has invaded North Carolina and is en route to Georgia. N.C. State was first on the hit list, followed by UNC Chapel Hill and Duke.
Players are required to cough up a $5 cover fee, but the competition and the prizes are worth every penny. The winner is given an authentic ABAA medal and other merchandise, such as shot glasses and T-shirts that read "I'm better than you at beer pong. No seriously, I'm my school's champion."
The ABAA tries to keep a standardized set of rules for the game, but after noticing that most players rely on "house rules," Kunkel and Lininger usually leave it up to the majority at each location.