Student stacker piles up cups, accumulates titles
July 24, 2012
By Katie Larsen
In second grade, Benjamin Royce found his passion: speed stacking plastic cups.
Now, he will travel to Houston from July 27-28 to compete in the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games Sport Stacking Championships. This is the first year stacking has been a part of the games.
Because stacking is a worldwide sport, Benjamin said he’s excited to go and see world record holders and about 350 stackers.
The World Sport Stacking Association invited him because he placed in the top tier of his age division at the Northwest regional tournament. There, he also received two first-place and four second-place medals.
“All the tournaments were very exciting because you get to see all the really fast people,” Benjamin said.
There are three different stacks players make with different amounts of cups. For example, three stacks of three cups that are built into three pyramids, erected and taken down from left to right.
“It’s really an athletic thing and helps kids with concentration,” said Benjamin’s mother, Emily.
On the Web
Learn more about speed stacking from the World Sport Stacking Association at www.thewssa.com.
The game is played with special equipment — including cups, mats and timers — that can be ordered online.
“When he first got into it, he’d come home from school to practice for hours and hours,” Emily Royce said.
Her son became interested when his church started doing it as an activity and then his school started stacking in physical education classes.
“It all started from there,” Benjamin said.
There are different ways to compete in speed stacking. Team play requires each person on the team to stack the cups the fastest. Doubles includes one person stacking the right side and one stacking the left. And singles has one person making different kinds of stacks.
A fumble occurs when a cup either slides onto another cup, a cup tips over or an entire stack of cups tips. If these fumbles aren’t corrected, the player scratches.
Royce was home-schooled last year because coursework could be done by lunchtime, leaving the rest of the day to practice stacking. Next year, he will attend fifth grade at Maple Hills Elementary School.
Stacking cups isn’t the only thing Benjamin is fast at. He can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than a minute. He said he also enjoys playing with K’NEX — a construction toy set — playing the recorder, playing on the computer and writing poetry.
“He’s a man of valued interests,” Emily Royce said.
When he grows up, he said he wants to learn everything he can about computers because his dad says he will always have a job.
“Or work at the K’NEX factory,” he said.
To date, Benjamin has received three first place medals, 11 second place medals and one fifth place ribbon. He has competed twice at the Northwest Regional tournament in Auburn and once in California at the Southwest Regional tournament.
Benjamin hopes to start a team at school.