Guide Host a Tournament



Tournament Guide

What is the WSSA?

The WSSA promotes the standardization and advancement of sport stacking worldwide. The association serves as the governing body for sport stacking rules and regulations and provides a uniform framework for sport stacking events. The WSSA sanctions sport stacking competitions and verifies records. Speed Stacks, Inc is proud to be the official sponsor and equipment provider of the WSSA. Speed Stacks equipment is the only equipment approved for use in official WSSA competitions.

General competition information

WSSA tournaments happen all over the World. They give stackers a chance to meet other stackers, test their skills, develop good sportsmanship and even set records. See the current list of tournaments

Why register my competition with the WSSA?

Registering your competition with the WSSA will connect your stackers with the greater stacking community. With more than 20 years of experience in running successful and rewarding competition experiences for stackers of all ages, we can offer expertise, equipment rental, an online management system and a presence on the web to showcase your top stackers. As a thank you for taking the time to register your tournament, we send all tournament directors a thank you gift for registering their tournament(s) with the WSSA.

Contact the WSSA by email or phone if you need any assistance with any part of the process of running a competition.

Types of Competitions

There are two types of competitions: recreational and sanctioned.

Recreational competitions can be held anywhere enough open space is available and where sport stacking courts can be laid down, if needed. They can include one event or many events and happen in one hour with one group of stackers or be expanded to include multiple ages and event.

Sanctioned tournaments are higher level events with greater requirements. The reward of running a sanctioned tournament is that official records can be set and stackers can qualify for participation in Junior Olympics. However, there are more specific rules that must be followed. It is important to note that Divisional, State, National and World Records will only be recognized at WSSA Sanctioned Tournaments and cannot be established by stackers at a WSSA Recreational event.

Steps to a great competition:

  1. Choose your format (basic recreational, expanded recreational, sanctioned) and event(s).
  2. Choose a date, time and location.
  3. Register your competition with the WSSA.
  4. Advertise the competition so stackers know it’s going to happen.
  5. Decide how you will recognize top stackers.
  6. Determine number of volunteers and judges needed.
  7. Set up competition.
  8. Use StackTrack to run your competition.

Recreational Tournaments

There are two levels of recreational tournaments: Basic and Expanded.

Basic Recreational Tournament

A basic recreational tournament is a competition meant to introduce stackers to this aspect of the sport. A basic recreational tournament has one event and up to 30 stackers and can be completed in an hour or less. A great setting for this is a club meeting or physical education class.

A leader only needs to choose one event, set up a mat and timer, and follow this simple format:

  1. Stackers warm up prior to approaching the competition table.
  2. Stackers complete 3 attempts at the chosen stack for the competition.
  3. Stackers are judged by someone familiar with the rules of stacking.

The best of the three attempts is recorded. When all stackers have completed their time at the competition table, their times can be ranked and leaders can be recognized.


A basic recreational tournament lets you choose any of these events:

The Competition Table

The WSSA recommends a six foot table. One or two stackers can compete at this size table at a time. For each mat, you will need one judge.

Judging Court

A judging court is needed only if relays are to be part of the competition. A tape line must be put down the center of the table and extend back a minimum of 7 feet and perpendicular to the table. A start line for the relay will be placed at the 7 foot mark and be parallel to the table. See diagram.


Stackers are given 3 attempts at the event. After each attempt, they should be told if that attempt was “good” or “a scratch.” See the chart below for each of the 6 types of scratches.


A scratch occurs when a rule of sport stacking is broken.

Scratch Types

  1. Starting and stopping hand positions
  2. Surface of the StackMat
  3. Stacking sequence
  4. Fumbles not fixed properly
  5. Hands on 2 stacks of cups
  6. False stop

See the WSSA Official Rule Book for more detail about scratches.

It’s important to tell a stacker why their attempt was a scratch so that they can improve their understanding of the rules of sport stacking.

Many judges use a green card to show a good attempt and a red card to show a scratch.

That’s it. Choose your event. Set up a competition table and you’re ready to go. Register your tournament and you’ll have free access to our tournament manager called StackTrack for easy administration plus a chance to see how your students “stack up” against other students around the world.

Additional Details

  1. More events and stackers can be added. For each event or doubling of stackers, add a table OR an hour.
  2. Each new table will need an additional judge or judges.

Give your students numbers so they know when it will be their turn to compete.

Set up stations around the gym for stackers to occupy themselves before and after they have competed.

Let students help you judge. After a stacker has completed an attempt, see if you both agree that it’s a good attempt.


At any sport stacking event, judges are the key to the success of the competition. Judges are charged with following specific guidelines for timing events and making judgement calls during relay events. Judges need basic knowledge of sport stacking and be trained on the rules that most commonly apply to any sport stacking event.

How many judges do I need?

A recreational tournament with one event and up to 30 stackers requires just one judge which can be a teacher or club leader. Add one judge for each additional event and/or each additional 25 stackers.

How are judges trained?

We recommend judges to be high school age or older, although younger, experienced stackers can make good judges, too. No prior stacking experience is needed.

It only takes 3 steps to train a judge:

  1. Judges will watch the training video
  2. Read the official WSSA Rule Book.
  3. Meet with the tournament director to have a face-to-face training. This can be done individually or with a group.

These additional documents may be useful for judges during a competition.

Put these sheets on a clipboard for each judge.

Expanded Recreational Tournament

The Expanded Recreational Tournament is suggested for someone who wants to run multiple events or have multiple age divisions, and/or is working towards understanding of running a sanctioned tournament.

The Expanded Recreational has the following characteristics:

  1. More events and/or age divisions and/or stackers
  2. Will run a half day or a full day
  3. Does not have any age division requirements, although stackers can be separated this way
  4. Can have 1 or 2 rounds of competition.

What do 2 rounds of competition look like?

In sanctioned tournaments, male and female stackers compete separately. If you want to make your extended tournament look more like a sanctioned one, you can separate your stackers by age division and gender.

Sanctioned Tournament

All sanctioned tournaments share the following characteristics:

  1. Two rounds of competition.
  2. All attempts from second round of competition must be filmed. Stackers are identified on camera.
  3. Must offer all three individual events or doubles and relays (Timed 3-6-3 and at least one H-T-H)
  4. Must separate stackers by gender and age division for the purpose of awards.
  5. Must use online tournament manager (StackTrack)
  6. Must be in a public location (school, church activity hall, or similar)
  7. Must be open to anyone (unless they are granted an exception)
  8. Must actively work to market the tournament.

In addition, these elements are also often seen:

  1. One stacker and judge per table recommended; two permitted
  2. More than 3 events are offered.
  3. Stackers are separated by gender and age division in Round 2 and assigned to a competition table.

For more information about sanctioned tournaments please contact

Space Requirements

Basic recreational tournaments require very little space. A classroom or gym with a table is all you need. If you add a lot more stackers, events or age divisions, you will need more space. Common sites for sport stacking tournaments are school gymnasiums.


For a basic recreational tournament, no prior registration is required. Stackers can give their name when they arrive at the competition table.

For extended recreational and sanctioned tournaments, prior registration is helpful. This can occur online or in paper form. See this link to see what a registration form looks like and what information is needed.


For a basic recreational tournament, you will need the following:

*Can be borrowed from the WSSA. The WSSA also offers banners to decorate your space and referee vests for your judges.

Additional equipment:

The following equipment is also helpful in running your event, especially expanded recreational and sanctioned:

Basic Expanded Basic Sanctioned

One event

One event or more

3 or more events

One age division

One age division or more

More than one age division

Up to 30 stackers

Up to 50 stackers

50 or more stackers

One round of competition

One or two rounds of competition

Two rounds of competition

One hour

At least 1 hour

At least 3 hours

No separate divisions based on gender

May include separate age divisions based on gender

Separate age divisions for male and female stackers (6U and 19+ can be combined male and female)

One table

More than one competition table may be needed

2 or more competition tables may be needed

StackTrack optional

StackTrack optional

StackTrack required

No filming required

No filming required

Filming required

1 judge

1 or more judges

At least 2 judges

If you run a larger tournament, here is a suggested list of volunteers you will need: 100 stackers

Task Volunteers
Set up 6

Admissions and Check In (am only) 2

Sound system 1






Data Entry




Clean up


How much money do I need to run a competition?

If you have Speed Stacks equipment and space for a competition, you will not need any money. Certificates and ribbons make great low-budget awards that many schools can afford.

If you are running a sanctioned tournament, you may need more equipment. The WSSA will loan you that equipment for free and then you need to pay the return shipping. You will also need to provide a greater number of awards, which will be an expense of running your tournament. In this situation, most tournament directors charge a registration fee to help offset the cost of the expense. Other means to make revenue to offset expenses are admission fees for non-stackers on the day of competition, running a Speed Stacks store, and selling concessions (food).

Special Stackers

Sport stacking is for stackers of all ages and abilities. A special stacker has a diagnosed physical and/or mental disability that would impede with the normal functioning necessary to perform a variety of sequential physical skills, specifically sport stacking. If a stacker wishes to be placed in the special stacker category at a competition, the stacker must meet the following requirements.

A Special Stacker must be identified by a school or licensed psychologist or medical professional as having one of the following diagnoses:

  1. Intellectual Disability (formally known as mental retardation): A person with a significantly below average mental ability or intelligence and has limited ability to function in independent daily activities.
  2. Traumatic Brain Injury: Someone who has acquired a brain injury that has resulted in total or partial functional disability affecting cognition, memory, problem solving and motor abilities.
  3. Orthopedic Impairment: Physical problem or disorder a person has had since birth that may include cerebral palsy, bone tuberculosis and amputations.
  4. Health Impairment: Having limited strength or alertness caused by chronic health problem including spinal bifida and Tourettes syndrome.
  5. Visual Impairment: Legal blindness.
  6. Specific Learning Disability: Significant difficulty in processing information and sequencing in one or more learning areas.
  7. Multiple Disabilities: Having 2 or more of the identified disabilities.

Some special stackers choose to compete in the standard competition with typically-developing stackers. Others may choose to remain in the special stacker division. The choice should be left to the stacker and his/her family.

© 2022 World Sport Stacking Association | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy