For those of you who have heard of Sport Stacking, I applaud you. It is to my dismay that many would dare not claim that Sport Stacking warrants the title of being an American sport. I contend that Sport Stacking is just as dignified and worthy as many other popular American sports. Already, after only being present for a mere twenty-nine years, Sport Stacking is gaining momentum by the hour, and has a sufficient following. Sport Stacking has already established a secure presence in the world, and thus it must be that it is popular.
It is important to note that Sport Stacking was wholly established in America. The WSSA (World Sport Stacking Association) was established by America, and since the beginning of the sport, the vast majority of the world champions have been Americans. We should deem Sport Stacking as having fulfilled the sufficient qualifications of being an American sport, even though it is not yet at the level of the older sports, such as American football or baseball.
Sport Stacking was invented in 1985, although the concept of the sport was originally envisioned by Wayne Godinet, it was Bob Fox, a physical education professor, who made Sport Stacking into a legitimate sport. Bob Fox ought to be credited with Sport Stacking’s success. He, the founder of the WWSA, gathered immense support and recognition for Sport Stacking.
It is a honourable thing to be considered a sport stacker. Being a sport stacker requires the mastering of multiple, complicated hand-eye coordination. Sport stackers ought to be level-headed; many a times a competitor is a mere hundredth of a second away from a record, only to have the slightest breeze topple over a precariously balanced cup. In order to master sport stacking, a stacker must work tirelessly to imprint the various, highly complicated stacking combinations into their minds, so that they will eventually have the capability to stack with their eyes closed.
When Sport Stacking first began, the stacking cups were simply a dozen, finely crafted, plastic cups. Each cup had three holes to aid with limiting the air resistance and also to decrease the problems that come from the cups sticking together. These are problems a stacker so often deals with, and ought not to worry about when in an intense stacking competition.
However, as sport stacking gained popularity among the youths of America, we see that the equipment used for stacking became more refined. Specially designed mats and timers began being used for the purposes of decreasing the times of competitors. The timers were originally fastened to the sides of the mats. However, later on, the timers were placed at a more practical, and strategic position on the mats.
The cups also went through renovations. The cups have very slight, yet very critical changes, that cause the cups to slice through the air at even more fascinating speeds. The cups now have three small holes around a larger hold in the middle of the cup, along with a different texture on the surface of the cup that helps with grip and eliminates much of the slipping that occurred with the cups previously.
The times of World Champions have also been decreasing drastically. Emily Fox, the premier world champion had a time of 7.43 seconds in 2002, and in 2014 the world record was a blistering speed of 5.28 by William Orrell. This difference in times is quite drastic, and we should ponder whether competitors are getting faster due to a higher dedication to the increasingly competitive sport, or if the increase in technology of these cups is causing the times to decrease immensely.
We consider the point that if some stackers are unable to access special training cups (these cups are weighted, in order so that when a competitor switches to the lighter cups, they have the capability to stack even faster) they are automatically at a grave disadvantage. The cost of Sport Stacking may also hinder who can fairly compete. Normal cups are worth approximately $17, while the mat & timer is worth roughly $30. There too is a competition expense.
The WSSA is also starting to peddle articles of clothing, as well as designer stacking cups that are much more costly. The WSSA is making stacking a more expensive sport, and are also increasing the rules and regulations. Sport stacking now has an obscene amount of rules. We observe that these increases in technology and the rules are making it harder for amateur stackers to feel welcome to competitions. The WSSA is perhaps becoming an entity whose primary motive is to obtain a profit.
However, as Sport Stacking gains popularity, Sport Stacking is too appearing in more educational institutions in America. Now, budding citizens of America are exposed to Sport Stacking early on, and this movement to instill Sport Stacking into developing children is praiseworthy. Sport Stacking can help with hand-eye coordination and is an overall beneficial sport.
Although now the current world record holder for girls is not an American, we need to consider the matter that American stackers still hold many titles, and that the roots of Sport Stacking will forever lie deep in the physical education classes of America. We need to be wary of the vast commercialism that Sport Stacking is seeking to entertain, and we must also be sure to keep Sport Stacking accessible to the youths of America, for the youths are who this captivating sport was created for initially.