By Vesta Baker
Jason and Robin Hopper, of Kenefic, attended the 19th Annual Okie Noodling Tournament in Pauls Valley in June of this year. It was an all-day event, with vendors of various kinds. As they walked among the vendors, they took interest in one that was advertising the Cornhole Tournament, to be held that same day. They were inviting passersby to register for the double elimination tournament, at a cost of $30 per two-person team. The vendor was also selling the game boards. The Hoppers looked over the requirements and decided to enter the tournament, to help pass the time between noodling events.
It was such a fun experience that they were hoping for other opportunities to play. Talking with others at the tournament, and looking online later, Robin discovered that this game is gaining popularity all over the country. What was once a bean bag toss game for family gatherings, school carnivals and tailgate parties has turned into an internationally recognized sport, viewed by thousands on CNBC.
After talking with friends about their new interest, Robin and Jason went to the Caddo Community Association meeting, to propose an addition to the 2018 Caddo Heritage Day. They explained how they had come to play in the tournament at the Okie Noodling Tournament, and that they thought it would be fun to add a tournament to the Heritage Day activities on Oct. 20. It was easy for CCA members to envision the new games fitting into the family atmosphere that always prevails at Heritage Day.
When Robin and Jason said they would chair the event and had even enlisted someone to create a custom set of boards for the first place winner, there was unanimous approval for them to go ahead with the plans.
“With its growing popularity, I think the Cornhole Tournament will be such a hit for all,” CCA member Jennifer Wilcox said. ”People love to play this game at all occasions, back yard BBQ’s, family get-togethers, and other various events. Some play for fun and others play more serious, but when Robin and Jason Hopper brought the idea to our group and said that they would run the tournament and give all proceeds back to the CCA, we couldn’t have been more excited and thrilled!”
The basic game equipment is very simple: two 24-by-48-inch wood boards and a set of eight bean-filled bags. The ready-made games can be bought at variety department stores and online, or players can find instructions on how to make their own boards through many online hobby and craft sites. The new trend has created a new line of merchandise for people to buy customized Cornhole sets, with designs promoting their favorite university, professional sports team or whatever is important to them.
Rules of the game may vary slightly, but it is a 21-point game, played either as individuals or in two-person teams. There is even an American Cornhole Association, to provide official rules for those who are seriously into competition. Enthusiasts are hoping someday to see Cornhole as a new Olympic Sport by 2024. Even though some rules may vary from place to place, it is customary for the tournaments to provide a family friendly atmosphere, promoting good sportsmanship.
Caddo tournament General Details are as follows: Two-person teams must register before 10:45 a.m., on Saturday, Oct.20. Cost is $30. Tournament play will begin at 11 a.m., with five games played at one time, on Buffalo Street, near the Rock Community Building. Persons seeking more information, or interested in registering for the tournament can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jason (903) 271-2233 or Robin (903) 271-2201.