Skill Pong™ Rules
In Skill Pong™ there are two teams engaging in BATTLE against one another in an effort to be the first to eliminate the other team’s cups. It’s a turn-based sport where both sides are supplied Two Skill Pong™ Balls to attack with and Ten Cups to defend. The offense shoots for their opponent’s cups from across the table, while the defense does everything in their power to reduce the damage. Each cup made must be pulled from the game and stacked in the graveyard until only one triumphant team is left with any cups remaining.
Skill Pong™ can be played with anywhere from two to four people.
*Whether playing 1v1 1v2 or 2v2 every team is allowed Two Total Shots Per Round*
The following written rules are merely guidelines for how to play the game and are by no means the best or only way to play. Coming up with your own house rules and alterations for this time-honored sport is very fun and highly recommended.
– Basic Rules are included in every Set –
Direct-Fly Shots (1 Cup) – Pull the cup that was made.
Bounced Shots (2 Cups) – Pull the cup that was made plus one extra cup of the defense’s choosing.
(May be blocked or caught by the defense the moment that the bounce occurs)
Two Balls Made In the Same Cup (Total Shot Value Plus 1 Cup) – Add up the total amount of cups made, according to the shot-types used (Direct vs. Bounce), and pull that many cups plus One Extra. The cup that was made must be pulled, but the defense may choose which cups they want to pull for the remainder.
Roll Backs – Anytime that both balls are made during the same
offensive round, the standard number of cups are pulled according to the
above-stated rules AND, as a reward for stellar play, both balls are
rolled back across the table for the team who made them to shoot again.
(Offenses may get as many Roll Backs in a row as they can earn)
Re-Racks – The offense is granted Two “Re-Racks” (Customized Rack
Formations) of their choosing to use at the beginning of any two
offensive rounds. The requested rack formation may not go beyond where
the front cup of the original rack was set.
(“Re-Rack” must be called out by the offense Before Either Player Shoots or else the Re-Rack is forfeit for that turn and must wait until next round)
Rack-Tightens – If the cups become spaced out at all during play, the offense may request a rack-tighten from the defense at the start of each round. This does not change the rack formation and is only meant to keep cups touching that are supposed to be touching.
Blocking Bounces – Once a ball is shot, the moment that it makes contact with a cup rim or the playing surface it may be caught or swatted away by the defense.
Pulling Cups – Cups may not be pulled until both balls have been shot by the offense; each team then stacks their eliminated cups in the graveyard. (Stacking cups on the ground directly under the rack is recommended)
Flicking or Blowing – If a ball ends up spinning around on the inside wall of a cup it may be flicked out or blown out before hitting the insert to save that cup from being made. (Men are only allowed to flick)
Distractions – Defenses are allowed to distract the opponent but may not interfere with the offense’s view of the cups.
Illegal Contact – If a defensive player interferes with a ball that has any chance of going in, before the ball touches a cup or the playing surface, the defense must pull a cup of their choosing from their own rack.
Rebuttal & Overtime
Rebuttal – Once an attacking team makes all of the cups in the defending team’s rack, one of three things may happen depending on the number of cups made during that last offensive round:
Greater total value than defense’s remaining cups
There is no rebuttal allowed for the defense and the game has ended.
Equal total value of defense’s remaining cups
(While earning some form of Roll Backs)
Even though the offense has made all of the remaining cups and they have earned themselves an additional shot presumably at nothing, the game is still not over. The defense sets one cup back up for the offense to shoot at with their additional shot(s), and if this 11th cup is made then there is no rebuttal and the game has ended; if the 11th cup is missed then the defense is allowed one rebuttal round. (Rebutting Round explained Next Paragraph)
Equal total value of defense’s remaining cups
(No Roll Backs of any kind)
The defending team is allowed one last round to rebuttal and redeem themselves; in this round the rebutting team is still only allowed two shots, but each ball may be shot until missed. Both teammates are responsible for their own ball and must shoot their own ball until they miss.
If the rebutting team is able to make all of, or more than, the remaining cups the game will then be pushed into overtime:
Overtime – Once overtime is reached, the two teams must agree upon how many cups will be used (typically 1-3). The team that was first to make all of their cups at the end of regulation, or in the last overtime round, will shoot first in the next overtime round. The only exception to this, where the rebutting team would shoot first, is if there are only one or two cups remaining for the rebutting team and they are able to make both balls in the same cup to finish out the rebuttal round.
There are no Re-Racks allowed at any point in overtime, no matter how many cups have been decided on.
The Rebuttal Rule applies as normal in overtime, and the game may go into as many overtimes as are necessary to determine the True Victor.
Optional Rules for Maximal Intensity
Catching Fire – If three shots are made consecutively in a row by the same player, that player alone may continue shooting until they miss. It is recommended to call out “Heating Up” after making two shots in a row to inform the defense that you’re one made shot away from being “On Fire”.
Skill Cup (Island Cup) – If there is a stand-alone cup (part of the active rack but not touching any other cups), an offensive player may call out “Skill Cup” or “Island Cup” before they take their shot. Once called out, for that player’s next shot the stand-alone cup that they are aiming for is worth two times the taken shot’s value (Direct=2, Bounce=4), and all other cups are worth nothing. If there are two island cups in the same rack, the player must point out which one they are shooting for. (Both teammates are each allowed to use this perk only once per island cup)
Behind the Back – If a ball ever contacts a cup and rolls back to the offense’s side of the playing surface, both teams may grab for the ball:
If obtained by either offensive teammate, before hitting the ground, the player who initially shot that ball may shoot again behind their back. (shot value applies as normal for this shot)
If obtained by either defensive teammate, that ball is now in their possession for their next offensive round.
Air Ball – If a player shoots the ball and it misses hitting both the cups and the playing surface it is considered an air ball, and the player responsible for shooting such a bad shot must pull a cup of their choosing from their own rack.
Once a team is down to their Final Two cups, both players on that team must shoot an air ball in the same round for this rule to apply, and in that circumstance only one cup is pulled from that team’s rack.
Once a team is down to their final cup, the air ball rule can no longer punish that team for the remainder of the game.
The Air Ball Rule never applies in overtime.
Circle of Death (Very Optional) – If a team is able to solely eliminate the middle cup and all three corner cups of the opposing team’s rack, the circle of death is created, the game is over, and that team has won the match.
Cup Hit, Bounce, Make – If the ball hits a cup, bounces off of the playing surface, and ends up going in any cup, that shot is considered a bounce and will count as two cups. (The defense has the opportunity to swat or catch the ball after the first moment that it makes contact with the cups)
Offensive Tip-Over – If a Pong ball is somehow able to knock over a cup while being shot, that cup is considered dead and must be placed in the graveyard. (This is only considered a “made” cup if the ball is stuck to the insert of the knocked over cup)
Defensive Tip-Over – If a team knocks over one (or multiple) of their own cups during play, that cup (or those cups) must be pulled from the game immediately. If the defense tips over a “made” cup in the middle of their defensive round, that cup plus and additional cup must be pulled immediately.
Bounce Backs – If a Pong ball is shot, hits the opponent’s cups, and (against all odds) bounces back across the table and into one of the shooter’s cups, that cup must be pulled.
Drop-in – If a player EVER (accidentally or intentionally) drops a Pong ball into one of their own active cups during play, that cup must be pulled immediately.