Abilene ISD students are earning international recognition through a unique pursuit: sport stacking.
This exciting and competitive activity, which the World Sport Stacking Association (WSSA) refers to as “a track meet for your hands at warp speed”, involves students quickly stacking twelve specially designed cups called Speed Stacks in predetermined up-and-down sequences. At various locations across AISD – including Alcorta Elementary, Austin Elementary, and the Center for Innovation at McMurry University – student stackers have been racing against the clock by making sport stacking part of their physical education classes.
However, this week’s sport stacking effort is going toward the greater goal of setting a new WSSA world record for most people sport stacking at multiple locations. The 2021 STACK UP! event taking place on November 16, 17, and 18 has AISD students contributing their sport stacking skills to those of thousands of participants worldwide in an effort to break the previous WSSA record of 638,503 stackers in 2019. This year’s goal is to have over 645,000 stackers participate from around the world in locations such as Hungary, Germany, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Colombia, Australia, Japan, Taiwan – and Abilene, Texas.
Sharon Gilley, Physical Education Teacher at Alcorta Elementary, has been incorporating sport stacking into her program since 2008. Gilley has her students participate in friendly stacking contests against other classes as they pursue new records; she says sport stacking is “a neat way to teach students to synergize and to improve concentration and balancing skills, reaction time, and creative problem solving.” AISD schools have to register at least 25 stackers with the WSSA and each participant has to stack for at least thirty minutes to have their effort count toward the world record attempt. The organizer and a witness are then required to send in verified numbers to the WSSA for official recognition. At Alcorta, Austin, and the Center for Innovation, students across grade levels will get the chance to stack and be recognized as world record setters this year.
According to Bob Fox, WSSA founder, the STACK UP! is a wonderful way to bring together sport stackers across the globe. “Sport stacking is an activity enjoyed by all ages and cultures. It promotes hand-eye coordination, brain activation, fitness, teamwork, speed, and lots of fun,” said Fox. “We’re excited to have another shot at setting a WSSA World Record.”
Sport stacking is an activity that now takes place in more than 50,000 schools and youth organizations worldwide. Abilene ISD is proud to offer this physical education opportunity for our students. For more information about sport stacking, check out thewssa.com.