Speed Stacks Game Rules

by Robert Godard
Players must stack rows of cups quickly in speed stacks

Players must stack rows of cups quickly in speed stacks

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Speed stacks, or sport stacking, is a game where the player must stack plastic cups in predetermined configurations before other players do. The sport first gained notoriety on YouTube, due to the posting by particularly talented speed stackers. Since then, the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA) has formed to dictate official rules for the game.


There are several different types of stacks. The 3-3-3 stack uses nine cups, and each player must make three pyramids, each of which have three cups. They must then "downstack" them, or take them apart, in the order they were stacked and put them into groups of three. The 3-6-3 stack uses twelve cups, and the player must stack two pyramids on the left and right of three cups and one in the middle of six, then downstack them. The cycle stack dictates that a player must create a 3-6-3 stack, then a 6-6 stack, then a 1-10-1 stack, then end with a downstacked 3-6-3.

Singles, Doubles, Team Relay

The game can be played individually; that is, any of the three stacks may be played by each individual. The first player to finish stacking, wins the game. The game can also be played doubles, with two people on each team. In this instance, only the cycle stack can be played, unless the teams are disabled or young, in which case 3-6-3 can be played. Team relay involves four players on each team, and each team completes either 3-6-3 or cycle stacks.


A player must always fix a fumble, of which there are four types. The first type is a tipper, where stacks fall onto the table or floor. The second type is a slider, where one cup slides down onto a cup on a stack below. The third is a toppler, where a downstack column falls to the ground or floor. The fourth is a slanter, where one cup rests diagonally on another. After a fumble is fixed the player can continue.


A regulation court is 9 feet wide by 17 feet long. It is divided into a front and back court, and each player gets half the court to himself. Each player plays on a WSSA-sanctioned stack mat. At the beginning of the game, each stacker places his hands on two lights at the front of the stack mat. When the player removes his hands, the timer automatically starts and does not stop until both hands are placed again on the front lights. The player with the shortest time wins.

About the Author

Robert Godard began writing in 2007 for various creative blogs and academic publications. He has been featured on multiple film blogs and has worked in the film industry. He attended Baltimore College, earning his B.A. in history.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images