October 23, 2013 at 7:25 am #57938
Thumbing through the forums, multiple threads can be found detailing the debate on the effect of the pro lean. Many people (especially the casual players) proclaim that leaning makes the game “too easy”.
Skinny and the pro community have allocated CONSIDERABLE time and energy discussing the lean and it’s role as a roadblock for growth. Many of the established members of the pro community are (were) against changing the current format; those who were for change structured their suggestions around table length (height) or shooting lines.
But I feel as if I missed any discussion on the dimensions of the cups. Yes, I read several suggestions that focused on increasing the *height* of the cups, but I don’t believe I ever read the suggestion of making the cups smaller overall.
When I practice, I utilize the standard 8 foot tables and BPONG rules, however I have switched over to 9oz cups. Although the cups are shorter (thus giving me a slightly better view of the cup opening), the diameter of the cup rim is much smaller. My shooting percentage is clearly not the same on 9oz cups as they are on the standard BPONG cups; it requires a higher degree of accuracy to sink consistently on 9oz cups.
Obviously, BPONG has invested much into the marketing and production of their current gear (the racks and cups); a switch now is likely not practical.
Reducing the cup size does *not* address the the issue of the lean and the way lean is perceived. Reducing cup size addresses the notion that “beer pong is becoming too easy”, as shooting percentages continue to climb.
I get the whole “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” standpoint. I am just curious to as to where Skinny stands on the viewpoint. Have there ever been considerations made on reducing cup size to lower shooting percentages?October 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm #57942
Skinny is no longer with BPong, so I don’t think you’ll be hearing his response here. BPong did reduce the cup size very slightly just before WS6, I think as a result of a changed manufacturer, and percentages only lowered for lower-level players, the good players still made the same amount. Decreasing the size of the cups will only increase the divide between pros and amateurs (I use those terms very loosely, but they help the conversation).
Also, as you said, that doesn’t do shit to help the perception problem with the lean. If we’re trying to address that, something needs to be done so that it doesn’t look like players are halfway across the table when they shoot. I’ve been an adamant supporter of lean-pong for as long as I’ve known about the Series, but history has shown that something needs to change (lower turnouts at every major since WS6) or our beloved game is destined for stagnation, sports bars, and basements.October 24, 2013 at 6:46 am #57944
Ah, I didn’t know about Skinny; thanks for the clarification.
I understand that making the shot more difficult by way of reducing the cup size will widen the gap, I just thought it would help differentiate pro from amateurs— as in, “Hey those guys are serious, the play with tiny cups”.
Its sad to know that the lean is such a problem. The only solutions are impractical ones: expensive elbow sensors, referees, tape lines, etc.
I always felt that the “lesser-of-all-evil” impractical solutions was the tape line. Yeah people can bitch about a foot over the line, but I have attended WPT events (with tape lines) and arguments were minimal. If you wanted to make the game more palpable for casuals yet preserve the fast pace of the current format, implement a tape line 3 feet behind the end of the table but use 5 foot tables. This would combat the perception of elbows over a table, but preserve the shooting distance we’re all use too.October 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm #57954
I’d argue for a 1 ft. tape line + both feet down rule. Each are easy enough to self regulate, and any “problem players” could have a ref called over (similar to how the shot clock has been regulated in the past). The good players will still win, though they will have to learn how to shoot without one leg dangling in the air, and the perception of leaning halfway across the table is gone. Nobody has to buy any new equipment (which is a must, IMO), and it would only take a year to put into place. The both-feet-down rule has even been used in the Series before (WS 3 I think was the last one to use it), so there is precedent. Tape line has been used in enough east coast bars that I think it’s proven to be manageable.
I say give it a shot in one of the side events at this year’s Series to introduce players to the concept, and then put it into place as permanent for WSX.
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