Aug 12, 2015

The Cornhole Champion of Western Ohio

When Chuck, my Friend with Benefits in Dayton, said that he was the cornhole champion of Western Ohio, I was mildly surprised.

"No, really, I've won trophies.  They're still on display in my parents' house."

I was even more surprised.

"Mom and Dad took me to my first cornhole tournament when I was five, and I've been a fan ever since."

Ok....what?







Turns out that in western Ohio, but nowhere else in the world, cornholing is a game where you have to throw a beanbag full of corn kernels into a hole.

It's rather difficult.  Even the top players rarely get more than 50% "ins."

It was invented by the German immigrants in Cincinnati during the 19th century, and spread through the region.  They played it at school carnivals, fairs, festivals, and at home.  Alone, or in teams.  There were tournaments and prizes.


Ohio residents who moved out of state soon discovered the other meaning of the term "cornhole."  That didn't stop them from promoting the game.

The American Cornhole Association has a list of dozens of tournaments scheduled this summer, most outside of Ohio.

At the Wyoming State Fair
At the Parkersburg, West Virginia Homecoming Festival
In Jacksonville, Florida.
There's a Battle of the Bags Cornhole Tournament in Napa, California, with a $100 per team entry fee.



The players are mostly male, and often cute, although shirts generally stay on.  The fun is in watching them play, and thinking about the more common meaning of "cornhole."

And wondering what other interesting pursuits German immigrants have brought to the U.S.

See also: My Friend with Benefits.