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Published On: Tue, Dec 31st, 2019

The History of Cornhole and its Popularity

No one is 100% certain how the game of cornhole was invented. However, the most believable origin seems to be a story from the fourteenth century. At this time, a man by the name of Matthias Kuepermann is said to have observed a group of children throwing rocks into a hole that a groundhog had made. Due to the fact that this gentleman was a cabinet maker by trade, he used his skills in carpentry to develop the boards that are now used today. He then faceted bags made from fabric and dried corn kernels, which were plentiful and available at the time. He showed the children the game as a safer alternative to throwing rocks into the holes of wildlife and thus the game of cornhole was born.

photo/ cfarnsworth

Rise in Popularity

Although developed long ago, it was not until approximately 15 years ago that the game became popular. The first cornhole players were said to be in the Midwest, but the game really caught on in Cincinnati when fans of the NFL team, the Bengals, bought a cornhole set  with them to a tailgate party in the parking lot prior to the game. As the game caught on, it became a tradition of tailgaters at football games to play against each other as a fun way for opposing fans to compete against one another. Since then it has caught on around the world and has become one of the most popular games among all ages. So popular in fact, there are now tournaments and huge prizes awarded at official competitions.

What is Cornhole?

Cornhole is an outside game played by children and adults alike. The game can also be played inside provided there is ample space available for setup. It involves two slightly elevated boards set up on any flat surface in the yard, a parking lot, at the beach, or in a bar that directly face one another. The boards are placed approximately 27 feet apart from one another determined by where one board ends and the other board begins. Eight bean bags accompany the boards in a standard kit. Four bean bags will be one color, while the remaining four are of a different color. The game can be played by two players or four players which play in a team of two.

How to Play

Opponents stand to the side of same board. Taking four of the same colored bean bags, players decide who will throw first. After one player has pitched his/her first bag, their opponent then throws their first bag. Players continue alternating turns until all four bags are thrown to the opposite board. During game play, be sure to remove any bags that touch the ground before bouncing up onto the board as this does not count as a point. Any bag hanging off the edge of the board and touching the ground should be removed as well. When throwing the bags, opponents should aim to score, but should also aim to knock their opponents bags from the board when possible.

Scoring and Winning

Any bag that lands on the board is worth one point no matter how far away it is from the center hole as long as it did not hit the ground first. Any bag that landed in the hole is worth three points. Points are tallied after each complete round of throwing, but it’s only possible for one player to score as points cancel out one another. For instance, if one player throws their bags and ends up with one in the hole for three points and one on the board for one point, this player has scored four points. However, if their opponent also has two bags on the board worth one point, then the player only scores two points for the round (4-2=2). Only the player with the higher points leftover is awarded the points for that round and play begins again. If the two players or teams score the same amount of points, then no one is awarded points for the round and play resumes as usual. The first player or team to reach a total of 21 points wins the game. We are refer you to https://sportsavis.com/history-of-cornhole/ for more details.  

Author: Virginia Wise

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