Cornhole Challenge

| July 16, 2008
Sometimes the most entertaining activities are the simplest. This can be said of the bean bag tossing game, cornhole, aka corn toss, bean bag, bean toss, soft horseshoes and Indiana horseshoes.

While there's a fairly extensive list of official rules, the concept is delightfully primitive: Throw the bean bag into the hole.

According to the official American Cornhole Association Web site, playcorhole.org, the roots of the game are unclear, but it's believed to have come from Germany in the 14th century, then rediscovered in Kentucky more than 100 years ago.

As a former college football player, I generally express disdain for any competitive activity where life and limb are not in the balance. But I admit, while there's almost no way to hurt yourself, I'm hooked on cornhole.

The general idea is to set two slightly inclined wooden platforms (each with a hole) roughly 30 feet apart. Teams or individuals attempt to toss bean bags into the holes from opposite sides. Each team gets four bean bags per turn.

It works a bit like a game of horse in basketball, in that anything one side does can be erased by the other. For example: If I throw the bag into the hole, which is worth three points, my opponent can set the score back to zero if he or she successfully makes the shot.

Easy enough, right? Well, conceptually yes, but the game actually requires some level of finesse and talent. I found this out last summer as I entered my first match against a couple of biology lab types. Surely, a seasoned athlete such as myself could beat them. Wrong. After two or three embarrassing matches, with my initially muffled profanity becoming quite audible, I gave cornhole its due respect.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "So, what? Why should I play? Sounds completely boring," etc.

Well, let's break down some of America's favorite games and describe their essence.

Bowling: Knock some curvy oval shapes down with a big heavy ball.

Pool: Use a stick to hit a little white ball into colored balls which, in turn, go into holes.

Darts: Throw a sharp object at a circular board with numbers on it.

Ping pong: Hit a hollow white ball with a miniature tennis racket over a miniature net.

Croquet: Knock a ball with a mallet through an upside down horseshoe planted in the ground.

My point is that all games sound boring and silly. But believe me, when you're competing toss to toss with your arch rival in the final round and you need to make your next shot in front of a roaring crowd of four or five people, you most certainly need ice water in your veins and transcendental peace in your brain.

And the best thing about cornhole is that anyone can play—from kids at the park to adults in the back yard sipping beverages, even washed up athletes with one decent throwing arm.

It's good to know that in a world of digital boys and girls, we can all still get outside and hark back to simple forms of entertainment.

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count me out on this one

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Posted by Bill Marchetti on 11/17/2012 at 1:25 PM

We have a cornhole league starting at the Silly Birch on January 21st and at Payette Brewing on January 23rd. You can sign-up as a team or as an individual.

http://www.gamedayboise.com/sport/Cornhole

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Posted by ExtremeSkier21 on 12/19/2012 at 5:49 PM
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