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Disclaimer: Beirut (beer pong) can be played with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, or no beverage at all. If you choose to play beirut (beer pong) with alcoholic beverages, you should be of legal drinking age and drink responsibly.


The Shooting Arc


The arc of a players shot when playing beirut (beer pong) is as unique as the way the ball is gripped. Any arc can be effective, as long as a player is consistent with their shot. However, there are some advantages that can be gained by using a higher or lower arc when shooting.  

Low Arc

Low Arc

Low arcing shots are generally looked upon as low percentage shots. To get the ball across the table, the ball must be shot with increased velocity. This increased velocity leads to greater deflections of the ball off of the cups, and in turn less lucky bounces and collateral cups. However, if the rules of the house allow for knock over shots, the low arcing shot can generate more knocked over cups. Keep in mind that you can't win a game on a knocked over cup.

As well as decreasing the percentage of lucky bounces, low arcing shots tend to increase the amount of shots that result in balls spinning in cups. On tables where house rules allow for spin defense and/or blowing, a player's shooting percentage will further be reduced by defense of these shots.

Finally, low arcing shots will minimize the area of the opening of the cup due to the angle that the ball approaches the cup. This is the most compelling reason to increase the arc used when shooting the ball. For a taller player, the angle of approach will be steeper, and may approach the angle of a shorter player using a medium arc.

High Arc

High Arc

High arcing shots are also not as high percentage shots as one might expect. To get the ball across the table at a high arc, the ball must again be shot with increased velocity. This increased velocity carries the ball to higher altitudes, but it also translates to increased velocity at impact with the cups. This increased velocity leads to great deflections of the ball off the cups. These deflections tend to be straighter up above the cups, and lead to a greater percentage of lucky bounces and collateral cups than a low arcing shot. However, these deflections are general easy to defend by alert defenders, and the increased percentage is usually reduced. Due to the angles at impact, the percentage of knocked over cups and balls spinning in cups will also be reduced.

The technique used to throw high arcing shots, also leads to increased movement of the upper arm and shoulder. This increased movement can decrease the consistency and accuracy of a player.

Advantageously, high arcing shots will maximize the area of the opening of the cup due to the angle that the ball approaches the cup. Overall, the high arcing shot may be superior to the low arcing shot for most players. A consistent low arc shooter may still be more effective. Shorter players may find that the high arcing shot is most effective.

Medium Arc

Medium Arc

Most players' shots fall into the medium arc category. The medium arc leads to a balance of all the factors discussed previously. Knocked over cups, lucky bounces, collateral cups, and balls spinning in cups will occur at average frequencies. The area of the opening of the cup due to the angle that the ball approaches the cups will be bigger than low arcing shots, but smaller than high arcing shots.

Conclusion

A player's shooting technique will be unique to the individual, but players that are having trouble maintaining effectiveness with their shot may want to explore a different shooting arc.


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Disclaimer: Beirut (beer pong) can be played with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, or no beverage at all. If you choose to play beirut (beer pong) with alcoholic beverages, you should be of legal drinking age and drink responsibly.