Pinky Pie

Flip cup & not Me

Posted on: July 27, 2010

And the crowd roared! The players’ skill and command of the game were cheered! This was raw talent, expertise that could only be admired from afar.

It had to be from afar as the Flip Cup tournament at Burt Lake in Michigan was a no parent zone. Or at least a no parent zone for those of us who have children old enough to be there. Us oldie parents were ever so encouraged to stay in their cottages and do what parents do when their adult children are not about.

Being located in close proximity to the game – just a cottage or so down from where we were staying – enabled us to hear how much fun our adult children were having playing this game – without us.

Most of us grumpy grownups had missed Flip Cup, which is actually a drinking game learned in college (and not before turning 21, I’m sure).

Back in my college days we did not have drinking games and we also didn’t do much drinking. Instead, we had hunger, paranoia and enhanced music listening associated with another substance for which the statue of limitations has long since passed along with the usage. (No police need call.)

So I know I’m supposed to tsk-tsk about a drinking game but nobody was driving and well it was the lake, after all.

Our family has been going to Burt Lake since Maggie was in middle school and then had to watch the big kids go off at night to do what big kids do. Not only is she a big kid, but so is her kid brother, now old enough to join the big kids. I kid you not.

You probably didn’t know there were rules associated with flip cup, especially if you have never heard of flip cup. But I would not want to live in a ruleless flip cup world.

Hence, thanks to Wikipedia, I have learned the rules of flip cup:

Flip cup (or Cups) is a team-based drinking game developed at Loyalist College in Belleville Ontario.[1] Two teams of an equal number of players stand on opposite sides of a table, facing one another. The players directly facing are opponents. In front of each teammate is a Solo cup filled with a set amount of beer. Generally, the first line inside a Solo cup is used as a marker.

At the start, the first member of each team drinks their beverage. When finished, the cup is placed open side down at the edge of the table, and the player who drank it attempts to flip the cup, by flicking or lifting the bottom until it flips and lands face down on the table, sitting on its mouth. The player may not use two hands to “guide” the cup to flip over. If player is unsuccessful on the first try, the cup is reset and re-flipped.

Only after the first teammate is done flipping successfully can the next person proceed. Whichever team finishes drinking and flipping all its cups first wins. (

Evidently, there were many teams and changing alliances in the Burt Lake flip cup tourney, including lakes versus imports, boys versus girls, etc. Our family would be imports, not that I was there, mind you.

And, I might add, I know that I should be grumpy about this, but I’m not. Just jealous they had so much fun.

Meanwhile, I was thrilled to learn there is a United Flip Cup Association ( and tournaments held throughout the world. I’m hoping ESPN picks it up so I can at least watch the tourney live from Burt Lake next year.

The graphic from the United Flip Club Association

Oh, there is more to Burt Lake than flip cup, which I’ll write about in future posts.


1 Response to "Flip cup & not Me"

Sue – Next year we’ll have the kids vs parents. And we should have webcammed the tourney for the parents, except I’m not sure this is something my parents would be proud of. 🙂

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