PRESQUE ISLE – Children at Pine Street Elementary School have – indirectly – made it into the record books.
Staff photo/Scott Mitchell Johnson
PINE STREET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL participated in the World Sport Stacking Association’s (WSSA) third annual STACK UP! Nov. 13. Together with literally thousands of cup stackers from around the world, Pine Street students helped the WSSA set a new Guinness World Record for “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.” The final number of participants submitted to Guinness was 222,560, which shattered last year’s record of 143,530. The new entry will appear in the 2009 Guinness World Records Book, which will be released next September. Here, students play BattleStack, in which each player stacks on a spring-loaded platform and the first player to finish hits their touchpads and sends their opponent’s cups tumbling down.
According to the World Sport Stacking Association’s (WSSA) Web site, the third annual WSSA STACK UP!, which was held Nov. 13, set a new Guinness World Record for “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.”
The final number of participants submitted to Guinness was 222,560, which shattered last year’s record of 143,530.
During the course of the day, each sport stacker was up stacking and down stacking various pyramids with colorful plastic cups in prescribed patterns at lightning speed for at least 30 minutes.
At Pine Street, each of the 365 students up stacked and down stacked for a half hour. The school’s grand total was tabulated and sent to WSSA headquarters where the results were added to the overall total.
In a peer teaching warm-up activity, second-graders helped the first-graders work on a stacking cycle at tables placed on one side of the gymnasium. The children then took part in a continuous relay race where they up stacked and down stacked cups as teams, and the final activity saw boys against girls in BattleStack. With BattleStack, each player stacks on a spring-loaded platform and the first player to finish hits their touchpads and sends their opponent’s cups tumbling down.
Sport stacking was first introduced to SAD 1 students about six years ago.
“Every year we have a conference where all the P.E. teachers go down and meet and they have different sessions set up,” said physical education teacher Ron McAtee. “I looked at the paper and saw cup stacking on it, and I was ‘What is this?’ I went into the session and it was unbelievable. The concentration the students have using both hands is amazing.
“I came back and asked then-principal Tom Folsom if I could approach the PTO about getting cups for school. Mr. Folsom said, ‘Sure,’ so I went to a meeting and showed them a DVD, and they agreed to purchase the cups,” he said. “That’s how it all came about.”
Sport stacking promotes hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity, focus and reaction time.
“It’s using both hands at the same time,” McAtee said, “plus it’s competitive because they’re racing themselves every time. They’re always trying to beat their time; they’re not worrying about anybody else’s time. You can do it competitively as far as groups and racing. There’s a series of steps to do the whole cycle, so the students are also thinking ahead.”
McAtee has incorporated sport stacking into his curriculum.
“We break it down and work on pyramids first with three cups, then pyramids of six, then the big pyramid of 10, and then we put it all together in the cycle step by step,” he said. “It’s a three-week unit, and Monica Bearden, the physical education teacher at Zippel, also does a unit on it.”
This is the first year that Pine Street Elementary School took part in the “World’s Largest Sport Stacking Event.”
The WSSA was formed in 2001 for the purpose of promoting and governing sport stacking around the world. The association was originally titled World Cup Stacking Association (WCSA). In 2005, the name was changed to its current WSSA in response to growing awareness that stacking is considered a sport.
Stackers from across the United Sates and around the world in countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom participated in the record-breaking event. The new entry will appear in the 2009 Guinness World Records Book, which will be released next September.
WSSA officials are already hoping to break the new record. Next year they hope to have 250,000 stackers participate in the STACK UP!
Some interesting statistics regarding the 2008 WSSA STACK UP! include:
• There were 199,659 stackers from the United States, and all 50 states were represented in the event.
• There were 13 countries (22,901 stackers) involved in the STACK UP!
• After the United States, Canada was the next largest country represented with 16,326 stackers.
• The American state with the most stackers was Texas (24,522).
• School with the most stackers: Sampson Elementary, Cyprus, Texas (1,653 stackers).
• Country with the smallest number of stackers: Malaysia (seven stackers).
For more information, log onto www.worldsportstackingassociation.org.