Game – USA


“Beer Hockey”

Adam Schall learned how to play this game as a freshman here at USC.  While the rules of the game are not set in stone, they [as reported by him] are as follows:  Players (while 2 are needed to play—3 or more is ideal) all sit around a table (round or oval shape is preferred but not necessary) with a bottle or glass of beer.  It is important that there be a plentiful stash of quarters in someone’s possession or near the table.  To start the game, one player spins a quarter to the center of the table and calls out another players name.  The player whose name was called must try to whack the quarter (however he desires) at one of the other player’s bottles.  Each player may try to block the quarter with his/her index and pinky fingers only.  In the event the quarter makes contact with the bottle (the sound is usually loud and recognizable and thus the game can be played in a loud environment—hence why bottles are used), the individual who got hit enters a “drinking round.”  During this round, the player must drink his beer for as log as all the other players can keep a quarter spinning.  In the event that someone tries and succeeds in stopping the quarter upright, the player in the “drinking round” must finish his entire beer.  However if someone tries to stop the quarter upright and ends up killing the spin, then that individual must chug his beer.  The players usually get very into the game, setting each other up to make different people drink and reacting emotionally when someone’s bottle gets hit.

This game fits the criteria of one of those “useless drinking games” that college students play and use to get drunk.  While neither Adam nor myself had heard of the game before coming to USC, we had both been exposed to our own fair shares of drinking games, some similar, some different.  Drinking games are an interesting example of folklore because kids are always arguing over specified rules, which change from place to place depending on the types of kids, how heavily they drink, and how they learned to play the game.  Speaking as someone who came across the country to go to college, drinking games in New York and L.A. may have the same name, but almost always, the rules are vastly different.  Those who play the games feel very passionate about the rules that they were taught and thus different regulations can be a heated topic of discussion.