HopeWest cornhole tournament fundraiser this Saturday, Sept. 25

MEEKER I From horseshoes to lawn darts, croquet to badminton, backyard games have long been a part of backyard entertainment. In recent years, “cornhole” has skyrocketed in popularity. This simple backyard game that anyone can play now has professional leagues, big prize money, and devoted fans. 

Locally we’ve seen tournaments at public events like Septemberfest and Meekerpalooza, and HopeWest will host a cornhole tournament this Saturday at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds for its annual fundraiser. But where did cornhole come from?

The origins of the game are a little murky. Some trace its birthplace as far back as 14th century Germany. Other reports give credit to the Blackhawk tribe in Illinois, while others say it was invented by a Kentucky farmer named Jebediah McGillicuddy in the 1800s. An official patent application filed in 1883 for a game apparatus to play “parlor quoits” looks suspiciously like a cornhole board. The game has been a popular pastime at football tailgate parties for years, particularly in the mid-West.

For the uninitiated, the rules of the game (from the American Cornhole Association, playcornhole.org) are fairly simple. Games consist of innings. An inning comes to a close after all contestants have tossed four bags. Points are earned by tossing the bag from a specified distance toward the board and getting the bag through the hole (a bag-in-the-hole or cornhole) or at least landing it on the board (a bag-in-the-count or woody). When one team reaches 21 points, that team is declared the winner.   

The HopeWest Meeker Cornhole Tournament starts Saturday at 11 a.m. and is the organization’s big fundraiser this year. Team registration (for a team of two) is $100. Tickets for spectators and the Happy Hour receptions are $30. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at hopewestco.org/cornhole/. For sponsorship information or questions contact Solveig at 970-878-9383.

There will be appetizers, a live and silent auction, live music, and activities and prizes for kids during the reception from 4-6 p.m. Items to be auctioned include six cornhole board sets created by local artists, and four tickets to the Oct. 3 Broncos game against the Ravens.


Special to The Herald Times

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