Wyoming’s Greatest Sport – Gelande Quaffing
Wyoming has rich sporting history. For nearly 120 years, rodeo fans across the world have flocked to the "Daddy of 'Em All", Cheyenne Frontier Days. Down the road in Laramie, the University of Wyoming has been playing football since 1893. Last year, the UW men's basketball team won the Mountain West Tournament.
However, one Wyoming's proudest sporting traditions involves a game that most people have never heard of. The sport of Gelande Quaffing (pronounced Gill-lawn-day Kwaw-fing) was invented in 1986, when a winter blizzard trapped Jackson Hole ski bums inside a local watering hole called the Bear Claw Cafe.
According to local legend, a bartender sent a mug of beer sliding down the bar. A thirsty patron caught the mug in mid-air, and the rest is history. While waiting for the storm to subside, a group called The Jackson Hole Air Force penned the rules for the game.
Little did they know then, the sport would grow in popularity over the years. From its humble roots as a local drinking game, the legend of Gelande Quaffing would develop a cult following across the world.
In 2007, organizers held the first Gelende Quaffing World Championship in Jackson. Since its inception, qualifying events have popped up at resorts around the country. In the spring of 2016, Jackson will host the World Championship tournament for the ninth consecutive year. And once again, the event will attract thousands of tourists to Wyoming from all corners of the globe.
The rules for Gelande Quaffing are simple. Each four-person team earns points for sliding a glass of beer down the table while their teammates successfully catch and chug the beer. Teams rotate the pitcher and catcher for every throw.
As the rounds increase, so does the difficulty. Teams are required to perform a 360 degree spin before catching the glass. Judges award bonus points for each team's creativity, including under-the-leg catches and handle catches. Of course, you have to keep the beer down too. Any player caught vomiting results in immediate disqualification for their team.
For more information on the 2016 Gelande Quaffing World Championship in Jackson, visit the official Gelande Quaffing Facebook page.