The game originated from Beer pong in its general form has been traced back to at least the 1950s as a casual attempt to combine the popular activities of drinking and ping pong. The original version resembled an actual ping pong game with a net and one or more cups of beer on each side of the table. Eventually, a version without paddles was created, and later the names Beer Pong and Beirut were adopted in some areas of the USA sometime in the 1980s.

By the early 21st century, newspapers frequently attributed the origin of beer pong to Dartmouth College. History professor Jere Daniell ’55 stated that he played the game as a student, and Bob Shirley ’57 stated that he began playing in 1956 (Shirley suggests that the game began when spectators rested their cups of beer on a table during a ping-pong game). One of the earliest published photographs depicting a game of pong appeared in Dartmouth’s 1968 yearbook.

According to a 1999 New York Times article, pong “has been part of fraternity life for at least 40 years, as hallowed as rush or Winter Carnival”. Other Ivy League newspapers have called Dartmouth “the spiritual home of beer pong”, and characterized pong as “a way for Dartmouth frat boys to get drunk that has become what is arguably America’s favorite drinking game”.

In the early 1970s, Dartmouth briefly sanctioned the game as an intramural sport, making it the only college-sponsored drinking contest in the country. In 1977, Dartmouth ended this practice.

Currently, Beirut also commonly known as ‘Beer Pong’ is one of the most popular drinking games among college students today. Roughly twenty years ago the game emerged into society and caught on like wild fire. Beirut evolved as a “paddle-less” version of Beer Pong, a similar game that used paddles to propel the ping pong instead of throwing the ping pong by hand.

The reason the game is called Beirut instead of ‘Beer Pong’ is because of an interesting history fact. Since the name Beer Pong had already been assigned to the game with paddles, a name for the game without paddles was in need. What ended up coming to these student’s mind oddly enough is the 70′s. To be exact they saw throwing the ping pong balls into the opposite cups symbolizing the “bombings” from East Beirut to West Beirut while they were at war in the 70′s (In Lebanon)

The game of Beirut spread very fast across the nation picking up a bunch of different variations of the game as it went. Although the game is called Beirut, it is often referred to as Beer Pong in many areas. It has been agreed among most people that calling the game Beirut or Beer Pong is acceptable and can be used interchangeably when referring to the game. Tendencies show that more people from the north refer to it as Beirut and more people from the south refer to it either as Beirut or Beer Pong. Simply it is argued that ‘Beer Pong’ is easier to remember and makes more sense to the novice player. But most serious players call it ‘Beirut’.

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