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Beer pong for the masses

There’s nothing more frustrating than driving around town trying to find all of the items needed for beer pong: the Ping-Pong balls, the cups, the beer or other beverage of choice. It can be exhausting. Well, fret no more — one USF student has found the answer.

Graduate student Daniel Miller has made and patented the Beer Pong Kit, complete with a Beer Pong Association of America (BPAOA) towel, a manual, 12 cups, tournament paper, pens and four Ping-Pong balls. This isn’t just Dixie cups with a Ping-Pong ball; this is serious stuff.

“What we do is we actually use quality products. The Ping-Pong (balls) we have are at least one-star, two-star level. You’re able to play in tournaments with that kind of level, and you’re not having the Ping-Pong ball fall apart. We also include towels, tournament paper, beer pong manuals on how to play, different variations, tips, tricks and strategies — stuff that you can probably find, but you’d have to search. What we’re trying to do is bring it closer so people can immediately find that information and get the kit (and) get done,” said Miller, founder of the BPAOA.

The idea came to Miller after he quit his old job and had some extra time and money. He saw a need among the student population and wanted to meet it.

“Well, I realized that some of the students were having to go look for parts – and I realized that we need to take it to the point that people can just buy the kit and not have to worry about that when they’re actually having the games going on,” Miller said.

In the two months since starting his business, Miller has already sold half of his inventory — and with the coming price drop from $29.95 to $19.95, he expects to sell the rest of it. He’s keeping his business close to home right now to see how much demand there is for the product.

“USF students mainly (use it) because I advertised through Facebook as the first round, trying to figure out what the demand would be and what the supply is that I can meet, because I didn’t want to just advertise everywhere and come out that, hey we have too much demand and not enough supply,” Miller said.

However, some of the student population isn’t sold on the idea. It seems that the only way they would buy a beer pong kit would be if it were really cheap.

“Cups aren’t that bad, they’re just like $2, (but) I think a lot of people would buy (the kit). It all depends on the price. If it was like $5 maybe and had like 25 cups and 3 Ping-Pong balls (it would be more appealing),” Liz Jackson said.

“I would pick up the items by myself,” Joicelynne Jackson said.

“I love the game, but don’t appreciate the thought of someone selling a beer pong kit,” Victoria Schilder said.

So how does one play beer pong? There are many variations to the game. According to Miller, while it is not the popular style here, some colleges play with paddles and have bigger pyramids than others. It’s all about the house rules.

“So what you do is you basically set up a pyramid ranging from three cups, and you basically pyramid out. Our kit has 20 cups, so you have a pyramid four deep. And then they fill up with beer, water — whatever your choice drink is — and then you have two different sides set up. Once you have that done, you pick your teams. Then the teams throw the Ping-Pong ball at the opposing team’s cups. If it goes in, then that opposing team picks a person to drink that cup of beer,” Miller said.

One of the major problems with the business is that it can’t stop underage people from buying the kits. Although they promote responsible drinking in the manual and on the Web site, there’s no way to stop younger students from buying and using the kit.

“We don’t know how we can control people under 21 from buying. We just basically assume that (younger) people will be using water or something. And it’s not exactly our responsibility to be enforcing it, and (responsible drinking) is something we’re working on and we try to promote it on our Web site and in our beer pong game,” Miller said.

Whether students choose to buy the kit or choose to approve of it, Miller has made it available. For more information, go to