Why Cornhole Might Be the Next Big Spectator Sport

someone touching grassIt’s like horseshoes, but with a bag full of corn.

Cornhole has been called many names – bean bag, sack toss, and baggo. The sport started as a pastime lawn game, but no one is certain where the game really began. Some say Germans invented the game in the 14th century, while others say that the credit should go to the Blackhawk tribe of Illinois. Still, others believe it was Kentucky farmers from the 19th century who first played the game.

Whatever the case, Cornhole Worldwide, a cornhole accessories provider, says the game’s popularity is soaring. Today, it is a nationally-recognized professional sport. In fact, the game is now so popular that its 2017 Championship of Bags aired on ESPN2 and had more than 300,000 viewers.

To many, it’s a mystery how this unconventional sport in one July 2017 weekend surpassed the viewership of a major league baseball game airing at the same time. How has it this pastime lawn game evolved into a national league, and why does it have a huge following?

It’s a Social Game

About 15 years ago, throwing bags into a hole became a regular fixture in Cincinnati barbecues. Soon after, the game spread to beaches and campgrounds across the US.

A huge part of the game’s widespread appeal is how it encourages easy, relaxed interaction and socialization. Players don’t really have to exert much effort as they don’t move around the court (except when retrieving the bags), allowing them to hold a conversation with their opponents or partners. The game’s easy pace means that players can even drink or eat during play, which is why cornhole is a perfect game at family gatherings or other occasions.

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It’s Everyone’s Game

In cornhole, weight class or age groups are not a factor. The sport is not physically demanding or difficult to learn. Because of this, anyone, regardless of age or gender, can play cornhole. Official tournaments are now divided into different divisions to accommodate all cornhole enthusiasts: male, female, seniors, and juniors.

If you are interested in becoming a professional cornhole player, all you need to do is register with the American Cornhole League (ACL). You can do this by purchasing a membership for just $25. The ACL organizes tournaments for all ages and skill levels and helps you build a player profile.

It’s a Portable Game

Cornhole doesn’t require much. You don’t need a stadium or an arena to play. What you need is a flat surface and cornhole boards. You also need a bag made of duck cloth, seamed on four sides, and filled with two cups of feedcorn or plastic pellets.

You can play the game anywhere – just throw the board and your bags at the back of your car, and you’re good to go—to the beach, a cabin on the lake, a campsite in the woods, or a party at a friend’s backyard.

Cornhole, like many, more established sports like golf and darts, is a game of skill that its players can appreciate. Because of its portability, inclusivity, and accessibility, it has gained a following, which, given its current track, can only grow in the years to come.