The "Ping Games"

The Ping Games were started by my friends Rossignol and Griffin at Cardiff Uni as a way to cure boredom and as drinking games. It began as a game, then became a sport, now it has become an institution, spawning a number of varieties all designed for students either before a night out or simply procrastinating.

The first game developed was "Ring Ping".

A little history

Ring ping has developed from a social, non-competitive game to highly professional and immensely skilled sport. The height of competition being the coveted Ring Ping Cup (sponsored by White Lightning). The origins of Ring Ping are a PoundLand table tennis set and a small hoola hoop. The net didn’t fit the table they had, so they began by just playing against the wall. A table was quickly introduced, where you hit the ball off the wall onto the table and so on. The ring was then put on the wall to aim at, and Ring Ping as we know it was born.

Ring ping takes the best elements of several sports, such as squash, table tennis, badminton, tennis and rugby (drinking) and combines them into an almighty and superior sport.

To start the game the bat is spun on the table, the opposing player calling whether it will land red or black side up. If correct they will serve first, if not, the other player will. A serve consists of hitting the ball down at the table so it hits in the centre of the ring and then lands on the table. The opposing player must then hit the ball directly back into the ring so that it bounces back onto the table, and the game continues as such. A player gets two attempts at serving, much like tennis. If a player fails to return the ball into the hoop or onto the table, they lose the point. Like badminton a point is only scored on on a player's serve. If a point is scored then the players switch sides (both players stand in front of the table opposite the ring).

The game then continues in the same way until a player reaches 11 by 2 clear points, and thus wins. All games should have an official referee, this is important with regard to obstruction, which can occur like in squash. If there is clear obstruction then the point is replayed. If the ball hits the ring it is in, and if it clips the edge of the table it is also in.

Terminology used includes the following:

  • "Ring pinged" - where the ball hits the edge of the ring and goes off at a dodgy angle
  • "Ring sting" - where it hits two edges of the ring
  • "Kerby ring" - where the ball strikes the table on the edge and goes off at a dodgy angle
  • "Reverse kerby ring" - where it skims the back edge of the table
  • "Ring-ding-a-ling" - where the ball hits a chair then lands on the table (this is legal)

Tips to get you started:

As you hit the wall the spin on the ball changes, so back spin is the key. The more spin you hit it with the harder you can hit it. Back hands are easier as a general rule.

As far as positioning of the table and ring is concerned, the ring should be approximately 30cms up from the height of the table, and the table about 50 cms away from the wall. The table and ring should be reasonably small (the table approximately 1m x 0.4m and the hoop about 0.4m in diameter), but adjustments can easily be made to suit any situation.


"Ring Ping Sting"

The first evolution of the original game was to create "Ring Ping Sting". The purpose was to enable more drinking in a shorter space of time. Each player has a pint glass, preferably the same shape, and sits around a table. Ideally each player should also have the same drink, Snakebite and black is a favourite but not essential. No bat is required for this version, only a ping pong ball. There are two players in the "hot seats" at a time. The ball is thrown across the table, the aim of the game being to bounce it into your opponent's glass. Each player takes it in turns until one of them gets the ball in. When this happens, the loser drinks his/her forfeit, then is replaced by a new challenger.

There are several options for forfeits:

  • Two fingers for every time the ball bounced before it went into the glass
  • Half a pint every time the ball goes in
  • For the hardcore, a pint every time it goes in.

Note: If the loser finishes their drink on their forfeit and takes the ball into their mouth in the process, they get an opportunity to try to spit the ball into their opponents glass. This hasn't worked yet, but if it does, the player who won does the same penalty as the loser, multiplied by three.

The game continues until all players are suitably pissed.

"Ring Ping Roullette"

This version developed in an increased effort to speed up the drinking aspect of the game.

Very similar to Ring Ping Sting, in this version there are no hot seats, as everyone plays at once. All glasses are placed in the middle of the table (in a circle if there are 6, otherwise in a general cluster). Players take it in turns to try to throw the ping pong ball into one of the glasses. The object is to get the ball into someone elses glass while avoiding your own. Forfeits are the same as for Ring Ping Sting. The spitting rule once again applies, but the drinker must replace their glass in the middle before their attempt.

The game goes on until it begins to look like there are three times as many players as there were to begin with.

"I Can Ping Sting"

This game requires copper coins, excessive amounts of alcohol and an empty beer can. The object is to throw the coins at the can to knock it over. This sounds incredibly simple but is fast paced and suprisingly fun!

Players sit in a line on the floor with the empty can approximately six feet away on the floor, and take it in turns to throw a penny or a tuppence at the can. If they knock the can over, they can nominate another player to drink a forfeit. If they miss, they must drink a small forfeit themselves. If they hit the can but it doesn't fall over they do not get to nominate but do not have to drink either.

When someone hits the can, they become the "picker-upper". This basically means that instead of participating in the next round, they pick up any coins that are thrown and replace the can when it gets knocked over. They are then immediately replaced by the person who knocked it over. A player cannot be nominated to drink during their turn as "picker-upper".

This game goes on until all players are too drunk to stand up and are therefore forced to keep playing.

Have Fun!

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