Davies competes on Team USA in sport stacking

Grace Kirtley

He starts with two hands on the timer. When he’s ready, his hands fly to a stack of 9 speed-stacking cups. First is the 3-3-3, named for the three stacks of three cups. Up-stack, then down-stack, this takes him 1.822 seconds. Next, is the 3-6-3. Up-stack, then down-stack once again. This takes him 2.094 seconds. Finally is the cycle, this includes a 3-6-3, followed by a 6-6, and then a 1-10-1. This takes him 6.761 seconds.

Junior Noah Davies is a cup stacker on Team USA. He has been competing with the sport for six years and is ranked the fourth-best male stacker in Missouri.

He started with watching YouTube videos of stackers and from there his passion for the sport developed and he began to win tournaments. 

Noah’s mom, Candace Davies was surprised to see how great this sport was for her son.

Courtesy of Candace Davies
Noah Davies, junior, competes in a tournament in the beginning years of his participation in the sport of sport stacking.

“Over time, I came to learn what a big deal it is—not only for Noah but for hundreds of thousands of kids around the world,” Candace said. “Noah was so invested in the sport, and I realized he was quickly becoming part of this really great community of people and learning valuable life lessons as a result.”

Although it is often recognized as a sport, Noah does not compete in teams normally. Practices consist of hours of repetitions to increase consistency in stacking. This dedication is what landed Noah on the National Team.

“People think that since I’m really good I don’t mess up often. I’ve just been dedicated to the sport for over six years now,” Noah said. “My sportsmanship and commitment to the sport helped me to get on the team.”

Getting on Team USA means many different things to Noah and to sport stackers across the globe.

“First off, you represent your country. You can go to the world championships. You’re considered the best of the best in terms of the sport. Not only do you represent your country, but a lot of younger people will also look up to you,” Noah said. “It shows that you’re dedicated you’re hardworking, determined and have been in the sport for a while. You want to take that and inspire the younger stackers so they can end up where you are.”

Noah was asked to be on Team USA in June of 2019, after knowing the coach since he had started the sport and had dreamed of making the team.

“For more than six years, he worked hard and never gave up on his dream—even in light of constant setbacks and failures. Seeing him honored in this way was a moment I’ll always remember,” Candace said.

Noah has found the sport stacking community to be very supportive throughout his years of competing, even in important tournaments.

Courtesy of Candace Davies
Davies has opportunities to compete with teammates in tournaments throughout the year.

“Typically you have a decent audience. It’s a little nerve wrack because you want to do well for your friends and family, but otherwise, it’s really relaxing. Everyone’s super supportive and there’s not a whole lot of pressure,” Noah said. 

The sport in itself is very competitive, yet Noah finds that assume that he won’t mess up since he is on Team USA. Noah’s mother, Candace, finds that the sport has taught Noah a lot about failure.

“So Noah’s greatest success in this sport isn’t actually measured in his wins. It’s measured in his failures. And in his perseverance to continually push forward and work hard under pressure after failing over and over again. Sport stacking requires hours of daily dedicated practice, and yet, a stacker competes for only minutes each year to achieve his or her best times,” Candace said.

Noah has worked on giving back to the sport stacking community through many community service projects. 

“[Noah] has organized and participated in stacking events for sick and terminally ill children at Shriners Hospital. He participates in numerous sport stacking demonstrations at the St. Louis Science Center and TED exhibit each year,” Candace said. “He even organized a team-building event centered around sport stacking for 50 executives at Mastercard in St. Louis.”

Noah will continue to be a part of sport stacking and is hoping that the community can get more recognition in the future. 

Stacking is a sport, many people say it is not a sport due to the lack of work you really have to do. It’s more about hand-eye coordination and the brain,” Noah said. “It’s really underrated and I hope it gets more recognition in the future.”