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Stacking game is a fun shift

Goessel students able to defeat teacher in niche sport

Staff writer

Joe Biggs remembers when he started teaching physical education at Goessel Elementary School. His predecessor had introduced speed stacking in class, and the students were able to defeat Biggs handily in the niche sport.

Speed stacking involves stacking specially made cups in predetermined sequences — “upstacking” — and then disassembling the stacks — “downstacking” — as quickly as possible.

Page Hiebert holds the school record of 12.98 seconds in the cycle. The cycle is the sport’s gold-standard record, like career home runs in baseball. The current world record is about 5.9 seconds, Biggs said.

“Hand-eye coordination is the main benefit,” he said.

Better hand-eye coordination can help students in virtually all facets of their lives, he said. Speed stacking isn’t a frequent class activity, but it is good for a change of pace.

“It’s something different than the ordinary stuff they do in PE,” Biggs said. “They can all still beat me.”

Timed runs are just one exercise Biggs uses with the sport. Students tried cooperative stacking, where two students worked together with each only able to use one hand.

The cups that are used have holes in the bottom and are designed to minimize sticking, Biggs said. The sport was created in the 1980s but gained steam in the 1990s in Colorado.

Speed stacking now has an international governing body, the World Sport Stacking Association, and there are companies that only make gear for speed stacking. Elementary and middle school levels are the most competitive divisions in the sport.

“I think it’s really cool that kids have the records,” fourth-grader Eden Hiebert said.

Last modified April 7, 2010

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