124 Greenbrier pupils join efforts for world record

Greenbrier Elementary students joined more than 100,000 peers to set a world record for sport stacking.
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Greenbrier Elementary School fifth-graders can stack up against anybody, and that ability helped them - as part of a global effort - beat a Guinness world record.

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Dylan Williams, 11, stacks cups for 30 minutes during Thursday's competition at Greenbrier Elementary School.  Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Annette M. Drowlette/Staff
Dylan Williams, 11, stacks cups for 30 minutes during Thursday's competition at Greenbrier Elementary School.

The pupils took part Thursday in the second annual World Sport Stacking Association STACK UP! in which participants worldwide stacked pyramids of Speed Stack cups in prescribed patterns continuously for 30 minutes.

"Every place it will look different," said Matt Reed, the executive director of the Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based WSSA.

The 124 Greenbrier fifth-graders worked individually or with partners to build cycle stacks by stacking 12 cups in a pattern of 3-6-3 pyramids, 6-6 formations and 1-10-1 stacks.

"I think it's really cool because a lot of kids don't have a chance to break a world record," said Laney Ivey, 11.

Last year an official WSSA count of 81,252 stackers participated in the first STACK UP! event. The WSSA Web site reported late Thursday that last year's record in the "Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day" had been beaten by at least 10,000.

Lindsay Shipe, 9, who worked with Laney, said they found out about STACK UP! Wednesday, so they had no chance to practice ahead of time.

"Once you learn, it's not hard," she said.

Not even a broken arm stopped Jack Rautenstrauch, 10, from taking part in the effort.

"I like doing it with my friends and challenging my friends," said Jack, who worked with partner Hunter Hargrove, 10.

Mr. Reed said sport stacking was created in 1980 at a California Boys & Girls Club of America by children using Styrofoam cups. The WSSA was formed in 2002.

Rebecca Vaught , a Greenbrier Elementary physical education teacher, said Greenbrier added sport stacking to its curriculum for kindergartners through fifth-graders three years ago.

Much to her surprise, she said, "The kids loved it."

She said she decided to take part in the world-record breaking effort after receiving an e-mail from the WSSA.

The children also challenged each other to set the fastest stacking time, and the winners received a gold wrist band and a set of mini stacking cups.

Dalton James was the top male stacker with a time of 14.29 seconds, and Caitlyn Hawes won the girls' competition with a time of 12.75 seconds.

Ms. Vaught said sport stacking develops fine motor skills and boosts children's confidence by giving them an outlet other than an athletic field to master a task.

"Not everything has to be physical to be physical education," she said. "And if anything, they're going to leave here with the best hand-eye coordination you've ever seen."

Reach Betsy Gilliland at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113,or betsy.gilliland@augustachronicle.com.

WHAT IS SPORT STACKING?

Twelve plastic cups are quickly stacked and unstacked in a prescribed order, normally a pyramid. Individual players try to beat their own best times or someone else's in a competition. Teams play in a relay race style.

STILL DON'T GET IT?

You really have to see it to believe it. Watch video of Greenbrier Elementary pupils sport stacking at augustachronicle.com/metro.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO PLAY?

The World Sport Stacking Association, which is the governing body for sport stacking rules and regulations, requires brand-name Speed Stacks cups to be used in competition. For beginners, any plastic cup will do. WSSA competitors also use a mat with built-in timing device and a regulation timer.

CAN THIS REALLY BE A SPORT?

Proponents of sport stacking cite studies that indicate the activity improves ambidexterity and hand-eye coordination. One academic study likened the sport's energy exertion to light-to-moderate weightlifting, archery, bowling, volleyball and walking 2.5 mph.


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