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The Villages
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Is it cornhole or bean bag toss?

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

When I was young and even when my kids were young, we used to play a game called bean bag toss. As the name implies. It was a cloth bag filled with beans. I am not certain what kind of beans they were, but they were in the bag. Now that I think about it, I wonder if some folks had an advantage based on the type of beans that were in the bag. Probably there were some beans that were better in soaring through the hole at the almost top of the board. The idea as is obvious is to put the bag through the 6-inch hole which is located 9 inches from the top of the board.  It is sort of like getting a ringer in horseshoes, except the bag is less weighty. The bean bag also doesn’t hurt if you drop it on your foot.

I hadn’t really thought about the game for a goodly number of years until we moved to The Villages. Then one day I noticed that the recreation department was having cornhole games at certain sites.  Well, I tell you I was appalled, since where I grew up – in a nice family community – the word cornhole was not used in polite society.  Using it was a pure form of scatology. It other words it was an obscene word. Thus, I found its use in The Villages to be a puzzlement. However, after doing some checking I discovered that there is now an American Cornhole Association. As is the custom with associations, they set rules and conditions. if you wish to go to the big time in the toss of bags full of beans or whatever they put in the bag now it is required that you comply with the ACA rules.

Actually, it my understanding that now they use small plastic pellets in the bags – pro or otherwise.  However, at one time they used corn which led to the unfortunate name mentioned above. They also have all weather pro-style bags if you wish to be a real pro and get an endorsement from a company named Reynolds which seems to be the big supplier of the bags. I guess if you choose wisely and pick out the proper style of bag – and there are several from which you can select the one that fits you best.  Sort of like picking out your favorite softball glove except that you pick four of the bags. It is probably hard to get four exactly alike as the pellet content might be slightly different in each one. In fact, you most likely need eight bags four red and four green. I further imagine that if you become a famous pro cornhole champion, you can do well on tee shirts sales, and perhaps your name on one of the prostyle bags. Life is full of opportunities!

I will have to admit that one of the reasons I bring the subject up is that I fell sway to the magic of the game formerly known as bean bag toss. Thus, I have been playing the game for a relatively short time.  As a result, I now find myself in a genuine bag toss tournament on June 5.  You may find us on ESPN25 or perhaps a popular YouTube video.  The downside in this is for the poor lady who has been chosen as my partner in a blind draw couples’ championship.  It is a one game competition with high score winning.

I hope that she has her prostyle bags with her!

Columnist Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages.

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