How it all stacks up
Physical exercise at school is usually playing ball games or doing gymnastics. But soon, students might be told to stack cups instead.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Physical exercise at school is usually playing ball games or doing gymnastics. But soon, students might be told to stack cups instead.Although it doesn’t sound very sporty, the quirky game is proving to be a popular way to train children’s hand- eye coordination.
Using a dozen 295ml plastic cups, players need to build up pyramids and break them down in a specific sequence. To complete a cycle, they first create a pyramid of six and with two pyramids of three on the side, or 3-6-3, and break those down.
The second formation is in sets of six, then 1-10-1, before ending with 3-6-3 again.
Beginners usually finish all formations, or one cycle, in 60 seconds while the world record is 5.93 seconds.
“To accomplish the sequence, players need fast and accurate coordination between brain, eyes and hands,” said associate professor Louie Lobo Hung-tak from the department of physical education at Hong Kong Baptist University.
“It trains their fine motor muscle skill and enhances dexterity in reactions. For those suffering from muscular dysfunction, sport stacking can achieve positive therapeutic effect.”
A research paper published in Perceptual and Motor Skills magazine in 2004 has shown that sport stacking can boost eye-hand coordination and reaction time.
To date, more than 20,000 schools worldwide have adopted sport stacking in their physical education curriculum.
“Children can also learn about sportsmanship and advance initiative through competition. Although
the sport is geared toward children, it’s actually a wonderful choice of physical education for families,” Lobo added. Local stacker So Chi-leung agrees. “It’s a very easy sport that everyone can play. And once you master the skills, finishing a cycle at top speed is really satisfying,” said the 15-year-old who started sport stacking six months ago. “Since all you need is the Speedstack cups and a table, you can play the game with your friends anywhere.”
If you want to try out sport stacking, New Town Plaza III in Sha Tin is holding workshops over the weekend from 2pm to 4pm.
Shoppers who spend HK$500 and above in the mall can redeem a free set of competition-standard cups with a DVD guide.
The WSSA Hong Kong Sport Stacking Tournament 2009 will also be held on August 1 and 2. Register at http:/ /www.speedstacks.com.hk/ tournaments before July 27.