If you’re not quite a world-class athlete, but you still crave the heady rush of elite competition, you might be right for the Beer Olympics, the pentathlon of drinking games.
A popular favorite at frosh weeks, pub crawls, and house parties, Beer Olympics is a great choice for large crowds.
By dividing groups into competing teams and sticking to a set schedule of events, even the rowdiest of parties stays on track with the Beer Olympics.
Here’s an easy to follow guide to setting up your own Beer Olympics.
In the Beer Olympics, teams of at least four people compete in a set series of events.
There is no limit to the number of teams that can participate, but teams should not be any larger than six players.
It is better to have a large number of smaller teams than it is to have a small number of larger teams.
Tip: Try to divide teams so that all teams have roughly equivalent drinking capacities.
If you have a designated driver or otherwise non-participating friend, they can act as the referee. Try to make sure that whoever is chosen as referee is as impartial as possible.
To decide which events will take place and in which order, each team should designate a team captain to speak on their behalf in a pre-game meeting. Send team captains to confer with the referee.
Once the events have been selected and announced, teams should decide among themselves which team members will compete in which solo events.
Events should be chosen to test a variety of skills. No player is allowed to play in multiple solo events.
If you decide to include individual events, make sure to pick a number equivalent to the amount of players on each team. That way, every team member gets to play in at least one solo event, and no one is drinking a disproportionate amount compared to their teammates.
Teams should be encouraged to get into the spirit of things, wearing uniforms, choosing entrance music, and engaging in some friendly trash talk.
If you decide to divide teams on a national basis, the reigning champions or event organizers always get to play as the “home team”.
Once all the teams are in position, have the referee announce the events and reveal the prize. The more you want to foster the competitive spirit of your players, the more over-the-top you want to be with your opening ceremony.
Due to the large number of players for Beer Olympics, it is advised to have all teams bring their own alcohol.
Tip:Make sure that all of your drinks have roughly the same alcohol content to avoid giving anyone an undue advantage.
What equipment you will need for your particular version of Beer Olympics will depend heavily on which events you select.
To be on the safe side, try to assemble all of the classic party game supplies:
- Shot glasses
- Ping Pong Balls
- Baseball or wiffle ball bat
- A Prize
Score is determined by placement in the Beer Olympics, and will vary depending on how many teams you have.
Last place is always one point, second-to-last is worth two points, all the way up to first place.
The more teams there are competing, the more valuable it is to win, but the more difficult it is to maintain a winning streak!
Once all events are complete, add up all the points. The winners take home the prize, and gain the privilege of being the next event’s reigning champions.
Beer Olympics: Games of Skill
Quarters: test your precision by bouncing quarters into shot glasses. First one to bounce the quarter into the glass is the winner! This event can be played one on one or team versus team.
Beer Pong: Arrange six cups in a bowling-pin arrangement, and fill them part way with beer. Players take turns throwing the ping pong balls into each other’s cups from across the table.
If a ball makes it into a cup, the defending player must drink its contents and then remove it from the play area. First one to clear all of their opponent’s cups gets the big points.
This event should be played one on one or in teams of two with teammates taking turns.
Flip Cup: place rival teams opposite each other across the play area. Each player should have a drink on the table in front of them.
When the game starts, players must drain their drink, then place it upside down, with the rim hanging over the edge of the table.
Using one finger, players must attempt to strike the cup so that it flips back over and lands right-side up. Once the first team member is finished, the next may begin. This is a whole team event.
Beer Olympics: Games of Endurance
Chug Race: Nominate the best chugger from each team, and have them sit in a group facing the ref. When the referee says to begin, everyone starts chugging their drink as quickly as they can.
If you stop drinking before your opposition, you lose. If you finish your entire drink without spilling any before your opposition finishes theirs, you are the winner.
Big Bucket Challenge: Place one full drink per team member into a large vessel, either a pitcher or a clean bucket. The team must finish the beer, again without spilling any, by any means necessary.
This is a full team event, and a time penalty should be applied for spilling or interfering with the other team.
Relay Race: This is a team event that requires some running, so be sure to clear out a path beforehand. Have teams stand in a line at one end of the room, each of them holding a beer. When the referee says go, the two lead players begin to drink their beer.
Once they finish their beer, they must bend over so that their forehead is touching the end of the baseball bat. Using the vertical baseball bat as a central point, they must take ten full rotations around the bat until they are nice and dizzy.
Their spins completed, they must then run to the other end of the room, touch the wall, and run all the way back to tag the next person in line. The team who gets their final player back to the starting line first wins.
Case Race: typically reserved to be the final event of the Beer Olympics, the Case Race is exactly what it sounds like: each team races to finish an entire case of beer.
Faster players might drink more than slower ones, but each player must complete at least one full beer in order to qualify as having successfully completed the case race.
The beauty of the Beer Olympics is that there are as many potential events as there are drinking games in existence.
If you’ve got a favorite competitive drinking game, make it an event at your next Beer Olympics and show the world what a gold-medal competitor you are!