There are three main types of stacks in competition: a 3-3-3 stack using 9 cups, a 3-6-3 stack using 12 cups, and a 1-10-1 stack again using 12 cups. All stacks can be made from left-to-right or right-to-left depending on an individual's preference; however, the same direction must be maintained for both setting the cups up in a pyramid and unstacking the pyramids and returning the cups to their nested position. Cups are not to be slammed, but instead must be allowed to slide. If a cup is knocked down, the individual must downstack back to where the error happened, and start again.
Sport Stacking is an individual or team sport where competitors compete against the clock or other players to stack cups in pre-determined sequences. Sport stacking is an individual and team activity played using plastic cups. Participants of sport stacking upstack and downstack cups in pre-determined sequences, competing against the clock or another player. Sequences are usually pyramids of three, six, or ten cups. Proponents of the sport say participants learn teamwork, cooperation, ambidexterity and hand-eye coordination. In 2004, the WSSA changed the activity's name from cup stacking to sport stacking in an attempt to give it "immediate identification as a competitive sport."
In the United States it originated in the early 1980s at a southern California boys and girls' club and received national attention in 1990 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The sport was invented by Wayne Godinet, the man who invented the first formations and gave the name to the Cup stack (Karango Cup Stack). Shortly thereafter Godinet formed a group called Cupstack. Later he worked together with the physical education teacher Bob Fox. Early competitions were held in 1998 in Oceanside, California and Denver, Colorado. Later Bob fox developed the sport and invented new formations and competitons, he also invented the annual World Sport Stacking Championships and founded Speed Stacks.