DES MOINES, Iowa -- This weekend Des Moines will be the center of the competitive cup stacking world.
The AAU Junior Olympic Games are being held Friday and Saturday in Des Moines. On of the marquee events is "Sport Stacking." Competitors face off one-on-one or in teams to stack, un-unstack and re-stack cups in specific patterns as fast as they can. Special mats are used to time the action.
Sport stackers from 30 different states will be in Des Moines for the competition. Despite this being a Junior Olympic Games there will be stackers as young as 5 and as old as 66 competing. Many of the kids started playing the game in school. Physical education teachers use it to teach kids focus and hand-eye coordination. However some of the competitors are self-taught, learning the game online.
"We do have a lot of kids who saw it on YouTube, got themselves a stack of cups, taught themselves at home," says organizer Lisa Beerman from St. Louis, "This is a great opportunity for them to all come together for a big competition and meet kids from around the country."
Sport Stacking is one of more than a dozen competitions that will held in Iowa over the next two days. The Iowa Events Center, Wellmark YMCA, Drake Stadium and the University of Iowa are all hosting events.