Drunkball: The Rules

The Basics

First thing is first, Drunkball is a Gentleman's game, and should be treated as such. The game starts much like Beer Pong. Two teams (we'll call them Team A and Team B) of two start at opposite ends of the table. However, the similarities to Beer Pong end there. One Player on Team A throws the ball and tries to hit Team B's cans (placed at the opposite end of the table from Team A). If he/she hits the cans the other member of Team A opens and starts drinking from one of his/her team's cans (one can must be finished before moving on to the next). Meanwhile, Team B retrieves the ball and brings it back to their end of the table and says stop. Repeat this until one team finishes all of their beer. The team with the finished beers is declared the winner.

Comprehensive Rules

These rules are VERY comprehensive and cover almost every situation we have ever encountered. The game itself is simple in concept, but these rules were necessary to minimize debate over various circumstances that may come up.

Setup Materials

  1. Four UNOPENED cans of beer (ideally Milwaukee's Best Light)
  2. One ping pong ball, 2 if a throw off is necessary (ideally Sportcraft One-Star)
  3. A standard Beer Pong-style table (ideally 8 ft. in length)
  4. Any space you would be willing to play in that would be equally fair for each team

Table Setup

Starting the Game

  1. Each team chooses one member to start a throw off.

    Throw off

    1. Each team has one player as a designated thrower.
    2. The throwers, each with their own ping pong ball, must first make and MAINTAIN eye contact.
    3. The throwers simultaneously throw their respective balls in an attempt to hit the other team's cans.
    4. Repeat, alternating players, until only one team is able to hit the cans during the throw off.
    5. Throw offs can be foregone if the table's rules state that the winners stay. In such a case, winners go first.

  2. The starting offensive team MUST ask the defending team if they are ready to begin the game (FIRST TURN OF THE GAME ONLY).
  3. The game proceeds as described in the Offensive/Defensive Rules Sections.


  1. The offense is always considered to be the team in valid possession of the ball.
  2. One member of the offense is designated the thrower, and the other is the drinker. This alternates every offensive turn.

    The Thrower

    1. The thrower's objective is to throw the pong ball at the opposing team's cans, ideally hitting the cans and causing the ball to bounce off, away from the defending players.
    2. The thrower must shoot from BEHIND the table. They may not, at any time, be alongside the table.
    3. Leaning OVER the table is allowed in all cases unless rules such as the "elbow rule" are called beforehand, due to a less than standard length table.
    4. Once the offense has possession of the ball (unless it is the first throw), the thrower can throw the ball at any time, in other words, no defensive timeouts.

    The Drinker

    1. The drinker's objective is to open and drink as FAST as they can from ONE of their team's two cans on a successful hit from the thrower.
    2. The drinker CANNOT DRINK FROM, OPEN, OR TOUCH the can(s) from when the thrower winds up until the actual hit occurs. See penalty section for associated penalties.
    3. The drinker can only open a can if no cans are open or if they deem the current can empty during the course of a hit (BEFORE the "Stop"). See penalty section for penalties regarding falsely finished cans.
    4. The drinker has COMPLETE responsibility regarding paying attention to the thrower's throw and the defense's retrieval of the ball. The thrower can assist verbally, but in no other way.
    5. The drinker is NOT allowed to malform the can in ANY way while drinking. A can must be able to have one side reasonably undisturbed to face the other team while they are on offense. See penalties section for Penalties regarding malforming your own cans.
    6. The drinker is only allowed to touch ONE can at a time. The exception to this is between finishing the first and opening the second (during a hit). The drinker must first SET the empty can down before opening the second, but they are permitted to locate the 2nd can with their other hand.

    Finishing a Can

    1. Cans that the drinker deems "finished" must NOT be thrown, crushed, or otherwise disposed of or emptied. The finished can must be placed on the table for the OTHER team's judgment.
    2. The finished cans are submitted to the other team, who is given the chance to swirl test the can, then vertical test the can to determine if it is actually finished.
    3. In cases of can checks, the new offense cannot throw the ball until the can in question has been reset if not empty or removed if empty.
    4. If the first of the two cans is determined to be empty, the can is removed from the table. If the 2nd of the two cans is determined to be empty, the can is removed and the team that finished both cans is declared the winner.

  3. Once the thrower's throw is determined to be a miss or returned to the table, the old offense is considered to be the defense, and the old defense is considered to be on offense.


  1. The defense is always considered to be the team that is NOT in valid possession of the ball.
  2. Both members of the defense share a role: to assure that if the cans are hit, the ball is returned to the table as fast as possible.
  3. Defenders can stand any way they want, so long as they DO NOT disturb the reasonable TRAJECTORY of the thrown ball before it hits and/or passes the defense's cans. See penalty section for penalties regarding defensive interference.
  4. If a hit occurs, the defense must retrieve the ball. The defensive player must take the hand that the ball is in to his own QUARTER of the table and say "Stop". The hand (NOT the ball) must be or have been touching the top of the table for the stop to count.
  5. If the defender loses control of the ball when their hand hits the table, the "Stop" call does not count, and the ball must be retrieved again.


  1. SPILLING - Spills are to be examined by both teams. A "penalty drink" equal to the amount spilled is given to the team who is drinking from the cans that were NOT spilled. Spills apply to ALL situations where beer is spilled from a can, excepting the 1st turn that the cans are used.
  2. DISPOSING OF AN UNFINISHED OR UNCHECKED CAN - In such a case, the can is placed back on the table, and all spillage is compensated for as described above.
  3. DEFENSIVE INTERFERENCE - If the defense interferes with the trajectory of the ball as it is being thrown, the drinker gets to take one reasonable gulp and the thrower gets to throw again.
  4. DENTING THE CAN - All dented cans must have dents popped out before they are thrown at, or at least one face of the can must be dentless and facing the offense.
    ********In any case where the drinker irreparably dents the can, A NEW CAN may be placed on the table, at the request of the opposing team.
  5. PUKING - GAME OVER, you lose. As we stated, this is a Gentleman's game, and gentlemen do not waste beer. Basic rule of thumb - don't puke. If the puking happens after a winner is determined, the call of winner stands.

Miscellaneous Rules

  1. Each team is responsible for paying attention to the game. Whereas there MAY be an official to settle disputes, the official is only allowed to interfere after disputes have happened. (i.e. If an official sees that the cans were hit, but the offense did not, the official MAY NOT say to drink. This goes for audience members too, without the ability to settle disputes.
  2. Audience members and opposing team members may NOT move INTO the way of the defense as they retrieve the ball. They ARE NOT REQUIRED TO MOVE, but if they do choose to move, it can only be OUT of the way of the defender. If the offense intentionally causes significant interference with the defender trying to get the ball the offense forfeits the game.
  3. The offense MAY NEVER TOUCH the cans that they throw at. No indication of fullness of cans ever needs to be disclosed.
  4. If the ball hits a can and enters another container, it must be removed from that container before "Stop" can be called.
  5. A can can NEVER come off of the table from a penalty. This also means that the game cannot be WON on a penalty.