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Cornhole: It's Not Just a Backyard Game

Aug 27, 2017 10:42PM ● Published by Elena Hutslar

West Coast players attend Cornhole Championship in Kentucky (L to R): Brett Holland, Ron Stokes, Kelly Lyle, Ken Jones, Nick Renevitz, Doug Rippy, John Richards, Scott Phillips and Blake Demale.

Cornhole: It's Not Just a Backyard Game

 

It is believed the game of cornhole originated in Germany in the 1800s and several decades ago found its way to midwestern states, particularly Ohio and Kentucky. For years this game was played in backyards, parties, and tailgating prior to sporting events. Fast-forward several years and, believe it or not, the game of cornhole has become a nationally recognized sport and made it to national television networks such as ESPN.

 

The basics of cornhole are simple. Players take turns throwing 16 oz. resin filled bags (similar to corn) at a raised board with a hole in the far end. Boards are placed 27 feet apart. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while bags left on the board score 1 point.

 

Just a few weeks ago, the City of Owensboro in Kentucky hosted the American Cornhole Organization’s 12th Annual World Championships of Cornhole. Attending the event were seven Bay Area residents, all of whom are nationally ranked players, with most holding at least one state title in their respected divisions. Blake Demale, Ken Jones, Nick Renevitz, Ron Stokes, Brett Holland, Jon Richards, and Kelly Lyle all made the trip to Owensboro to compete with the world’s best players in the five-day event. As usual, the competition was fierce, but Ken Jones and Nick Renevitz were able to achieve a well-respected 9th place finish in the doubles division, well ahead of several previous state and world champions.

 

This accomplished group of Bay Area residents plays for West Coast Cornhole (WCC), an organization created several years ago in the East Bay by Pleasant Hill and Lafayette residents Ron Stokes and Ken Jones. Ron Stokes said, “The group’s main goal is to create a fun environment for everyone that plays.” Currently, WCC not only runs tournaments, leagues, fundraisers, and corporate events but also assists in the development of players to get them to that professional level if they wish.

 

Starting in September, Ron Stokes along with the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District kick off their seventh season of league play. The indoor cornhole league is held on Sunday afternoons and caters to players of all levels, ensuring a good time for all.

 

For more information on cornhole events, contact Ron Stokes at ron.stokes@westcoastcornhole.com.

Sports+Recreation Ron Stokes Cornhole West Coast Cornole
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