Stack Up

Chu-Chan Yang in action

Dharani Rangthale

Have you ever had a set of cups lying around, that you’ve tried stacking?

You’ve probably tried stacking them to pass time, but cup stacking is a sport people can play with official cups and even enroll in tournaments for, two of them being the Junior Olympics and World Championships.

Speed Stacking grew prominence when Bob Fox, a teacher in Colorado, was asked in 1998 to present it in Texas. From there it spread.  The organization Speed Stacks, sells timers, cups, mats, and other gear for people who want to start.  

When stacking, the goal is to complete the task in fastest time possible. There are three ways to stack the cups: the 3-3-3, 3-6-3, and the cycle.

The 3-3-3 consists of stacking three cups into a pyramid: two cups on the bottom and one on the top. This would be done three times each, and after that is complete, the cups would be stacked onto each other, creating three groups.

The 3-6-3 consists of stacking two groups each of three cups into a pyramid.  The third group is in the middle and consists of six cups altogether, having three cups on the bottom, two cups above, and finally the last cup above that. Once done, the cups have to be stacked onto each other, and stay in three groups.

The cycle consists of continuously stacking a set of twelve cups and unstacking them, until three cups are stacked on top of each other, in three groups.

Many people compete in tournaments to improve their times as well as win awards. When people reach certain qualification, they can be invited to the team USA, and enter the Junior Olympics, and World Championships. They are both great opportunities for people to showcase their skills;  the Junior Olympics is usually held in the country and the World Championships is usually out. If people are fast enough, they can achieve world records: Chu-Chan Yang holds the female world records for the 3-3-3, 3-6-3, and the cycle whereas William Orrell holds the male records.  

If interested in learning more, check out the World Sport Stacking Association for more information and events to enter.