This weekend, North Texas Beer Pong is hosting its Battle of the South Weekend, a multi-day event of beer pong tournaments at McFadden's in Addison. It kicks off with the King and Queen of the South, the men's and women's singles tournaments, and builds to an eight-round squad tournament with 10-player teams cupping off against each other.
But before you start polishing your finest balls there are two things you should know.
1. Registration is closed. This is some serious stuff guys, and regional teams from San Antonio to Maryland are showing up.
2. There's no beer in the cups because of a Texas law, which means there are Texas laws relating to beer pong.
So, the pong cups are full of ...water. Even at the World Series of Beer Pong in Las Vegas (totally a real thing) only the first six of the 10 cups are full of beer.
"A lot of these kids are playing for money," says McFadden's manager Justin Armstrong, stressing that the contestants don't have a college mindset and take the game seriously. This past year the World Series in Vegas had a $50,000 grand prize.
But you don't get drunk?
"They can drink your own drinks on the side while you play," says Armstrong, "they just can't pour beer into the actual playing cups." Players don't even have to be old enough to drink, but since McFadden's doesn't allow anyone under 21 after 9 p.m., a 20-year-old going for the championship should pray that the tournament gets wrapped up early.
Fair enough. But doesn't the game lose an integral part? Apart from the customary chugging there's the looming risk of getting so buzzed and so far behind that a comeback is impossible.
"These beer pong tournaments are much bigger now than they ever were," says Armstong, "for a lot of these kids it's not about the drinking anymore." With a $5000 prize, these pongers are playing to win. "If they were playing with the beer in the cups, I don't know that it would be beneficial to them."
Interesting. That brings up a totally separate follow-up question: Is there seriously no beer?
"If you really want to," says Amrstong, "you can keep a beer next to you and every time they make a cup you can drink a beer. If you really want to play that way, you're welcome to."
Thank you. We really, really do.