A beer snake, or cup snake is the stacking of numerous plastic beer cups to form a "snake." Beer snakes are most commonly found at sporting events that are played out over many hours, such as cricket. Some snakes have been reported in the media as being up to 175 m long.They are typically formed during breaks in play: for example, when the fourth Test of the Pakistani cricket team in England in 2006 tour at The Oval was halted after ball tampering allegations, a large beer snake was constructed in the OCS stand.
A beer snake is made with a large number of empty plastic beer cups, usually those issued by the bars on site at the stadium. Many sports stadiums do not allow glasses for safety reasons, and use plastic cups for serving beer. The plastic cups, once empty, provide the flexible building blocks for constructing the beer snake.
The first recorded beer snake occurred in January 1997 at the WACA Cricket Ground in Perth, Australia as per Dan's Memory. A newspaper article in the Sydney Morning Herald cited Michael Gray as "The Snake Charmer" and architect of the social phenomenon.
As such a large number of cups are needed, gathering normally occurs in large groups of people. The cups are simply stacked within each other until they form a tube or 'snake'. Once the snake has reached the desired length it is held skyward to 'dance' as if being charmed. Snake length is often restricted by the width of the bay of seats as anything longer will protrude into the aisle. One solution to this is to team up with other groups and link your snakes together. One of the biggest challenges is trying to keep it in one piece.
Security staff at many sporting venues frown on such behaviour, and will often attempt to confiscate the empty cups from people building a beer snake. This is in part due to the dangers of such structures in crowded places, and also due to the fact that the component cups are often not completely empty and will spill stale or fresh beer on spectators.
As a result of several minor injuries that occurred when a beer snake collapsed during a regular season Canadian Football League game, the Winnipeg Football Club banned the creation of beer snakes during Winnipeg Blue Bombers football games.
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