What’s Sport Stacking?

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Sport stacking involves stacking and unstacking 12 plastic cups in a predetermined sequence at high speed. It originated in California in the 1980s and gained widespread attention after being featured on The Tonight Show in 1990. The World Sport Stacking Association governs and promotes the sport, which offers benefits for children’s hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity, and brain development. Schools have incorporated it into their physical education curriculum, and it has become a fun and challenging activity for both children and adults worldwide.

Sport stacking is a sport designed for individual and team competition that involves participants stacking and unstacking 12 plastic cups in a predetermined sequence at high speed. The sport originated in California in the 1980s, but gained widespread attention when Johnny Carson showed a segment on sport stacking on The Tonight Show in 1990. Since then, sport stacking has grown into a worldwide competition governed and promoted by the own association, The World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA).

Competitors race against the clock or against each other to complete stacking sequences in the fastest times. The WSSA has reported entrants from 6 different countries and 21 different states participating in its latest competition. The sport continues to grow across the nation and around the world. In fact, just before the 2006 holiday season, Speed ​​Stacks, one of the largest manufacturers of stacking sports equipment, was included in the top ten toys list by more than one publication.

In addition to being a fun sport fueled by competition to be the fastest, sport stacking offers benefits for children who participate in the sport. Not only can they compete individually or as a team, sport stacking relies on hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity, and speed. There has actually been research showing that sport stacking increases bilateral brain competence, a skill that improves reading and math skills.

The kids who participate may not care much about the potential social, educational, and brain development benefits of sports stacking, but they sure are interested in giving it a try. Unlike the violin or tuba, the best part about sport stacking is that kids have fun with it, so they practice it.

Schools in various areas of the world have incorporated sport stacking into their physical education curriculum and in 2006, sport stacking was a featured sport in a short segment of a major children’s television channel. As the sport catches on, both children and adults are scrambling to perfect their skills and perhaps attempt to break a world record. Many more are simply finding that sport stacking is a fun and challenging activity that they can do alone or with friends and family.

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