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A Beginners Journey In Competitive Cornhole

So you’ve been watching Competitive Cornhole on ESPN or YouTube and you decide you want to give this sport a try but you have no idea where to start. Well you are in luck because just 10 days ago I was in your shoes. My name is Ken and for the past couple years I’ve been wanting to try out competitive cornhole. There are plenty of beginners guides to cornhole online but I couldn’t find any that were actually written by a beginner. Now that I’ve played in 3 events, I wanted to share some tips for my fellow Competitive Cornhole rookies.

7 Steps, A Beginners Journey

1. Get The App!

Scoreholio - The best app for competitive cornhole

The most important app for any cornhole player is Scoreholio. While there are clubs that still do things manually, most non-ACL tournaments and events are run through Scoreholio. The app uses your location, simply set the distance you’re willing to drive (25 mi, 50 mi, 100mi… ect) and it will show you what Competitive Cornhole events are coming up in your area. There are multiple types of events offered through Scoreholio but for new players I recommend only looking for Switcholio tournaments which allow you to play with different partners and possibly different bags. You will play 4 games with a random partner then be paired with someone for a double elimination tournament.

2. Best Bag For Competitive Cornhole

You’re reading this blog on a website that sells bags so this is the part where I suggest a good beginner friendly Competitive Cornhole bag that just so happens to be available through CornholeAddicts.com, right?!? WRONG!!! While there are plenty of great quality bags at affordable prices through this site, blindly spending anywhere between $50-$300 (yes there are $300 bags… the secondary market is kind of crazy) is just irrational. There are tons of different combinations of slow sides, fast sides and fill, so how do you know what works for you if you haven’t even thrown a bag yet? Go to a Switcholio and use your partners bags until you know what you like. Then come back to Cornhole Addicts and buy the bags that fit you.

3. Just do it!

The hardest part for me was to go and go alone. No one wants to be the outcast standing by the wall while all the “cool kids” are having a good time, I get it. The easiest way to avoid feeling left out is to bring a friend who is also new but, for at least your first event, I would avoid that temptation. Going by yourself will force you to talk to the regulars and get to know them. The Competitive Cornhole community is very welcoming to new players. I showed up to my first event by myself and within 15 minutes, someone had loaned me a set of bags to warm up with.

4. Tell Players You’re New

I make it a point to tell every partner I get paired with and every person I’ve thrown against that I’m still new to this sport. Doing this helped to relieve my anxiety because everyone has responded with nothing but positivity. If you’re lucky, you’ll get paired with someone like Mr. CornholeAddicts himself, David Abate. To be honest, I felt bad. This guy runs a cornhole website so I was sure I wouldn’t live up to his expectations from a partner. To my surprise, he couldn’t have cared less and actually seemed excited play with the new guy.

One game we were down 15-6, David called a timeout and I’m thinking he has some secret plan to implement. NOPE, he just wanted to help calm me down and let me refocus. We ended up winning 22-16. If David hadn’t known I was new, he might not have tried to calm me down and we could’ve ended up losing that game.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Just like any sport/game/hobby, people who are involved in Competitive Cornhole, LOVE to talk about cornhole. Have a question about bag speed? Ask it!! Have a question about your technique? Ask it!! Seriously, this community loves talking about this sport almost as much as they love playing it. I’ve learned so much just by asking questions. No question is a stupid question.

6. Lower Your Expectations

I know what your thinking, “but Kenny I dominate every picnic game.” Trust me, I get it, I was just like you… maybe you are a better player than me, I’m not here to argue that. I expected to throw a PPR (points per round) of somewhere between 7-8. At picnics I could throw between 8-10 all day while drinking, so I thought between 7-8 would be attainable. Well, it wasn’t, I got humbled very quickly and currently have a PPR of 5.22. Don’t give yourself the extra pressure of expecting to hit a certain number, but if you HAVE to have something to shoot for, I’d recommend trying for 3.5-5.5 PPR. After all, this is Competitive Cornhole, not backyard cornhole!

7. Most Important Step…..Have Fun and Relax!

So you’ve downloaded Scoreholio and picked the event you want to go to. You even avoided buying those sweet Tie-Dye Fixations or Lime Green Blackened bags for only $50 from CornholeAddicts.com (plug plug). Now what?? Just show up to the event, pay your entry fee relax and most importantly HAVE FUN!! Let everyone know you are new to the game, ask questions, talk cornhole, throw as many different bags as you can, be yourself, lower your expectations and see what happens. There is no turning around now. The seed is planted and whether you know it or not, you are already addicted to Competitive Cornhole!

Did you find this article helpful? Or if you’re an experienced player did you enjoy the walk down memory lane? Would you be interested in a series of blogs with more in depth tips for beginners by a beginner? Let Cornhole Addicts know and I’d be happy to continue writing about my cornhole journey!!

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