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The White Elephant

5 min read
$100 dollar bill cornhole boards

I’m saying this with a heavy heart…

Cornhole is not a backyard game anymore. Cornhole is just another sport that revolves around money.  Granted, I am not talking trash about those who chase money and seek their best chance at cashing. But in my experience, most people followed tournament directors that did a good job of keeping events moving.  (See my first blog on being a tournament director for the highlights of being a tournament director)

Cornhole has evolved into a game that revolves around money.  Yes, I’m the White Elephant in the room right now but it’s the truth.  I run events and guess what, I charge money to do that.  Back on topic.  The transition of this game to be money based is good and bad all at the same time.  Anyone can build crappy boards and buy $10 bags and raise money.  Now I’m not knocking the fundraisers, but delivering a good event with a following is hard to do.  It creates the drive to come back next year for you participants.  Hire someone and sit back and chat with your supporters.  If you are doing a fundraiser and don’t want good players to show up then don’t tell anyone or better yet, don’t create a Facebook event.  Facebook events are a recipe for disaster if you want your event to stay on the down low because we all find them.  And then you get mad when we show up. Trust me, I have been there and on certain days, I’m good but most days I can get beat by your neighbor that says he plays.

Back on topic, again….  I’ve helped or ran competitive events, beginner events, fundraisers, blind draws, and everything in between.  I was traveling for work one day and someone said to me, you wrote a blog and are an expert so run our league tonight.  Well sure, I love being involved.  Again, cornhole now revolves around money.  Think about this, the more money you can potentially make playing in an event is where the players are gonna go.  What I see nowadays is players are waiting until the last minute to make a decision of where they can capitalize their entry fee investment.  Kind of like the stock market, so no fault to anyone.  Teams will go where there is easy money, plain and simple.   But getting people new to the game is priceless. And getting them Addicted to the game is even better.   My favorite event was a 48 team event with one person throwing a flat bag. It ran flawlessly and everyone had a great time.  

Fundraisers are just that, to raise money for a cause!

Imagine a good friend you met through cornhole is having a fundraiser for a family in need. It looks like you have players and team lined up, although, non have committed or signed up yet. Then, at the last minute, players go to another event to win more money as you aren’t paying as much. As shitty as that sounds, it’s the new cornhole. People chase money to maximize their investment. You are offering 40% payout as this is a fundraiser but another event is paying $800 for 1st place and your event is out.  Well not always, because a lot of players are loyal to a well run event. Add the word fundraiser and most understand why the payouts are low. Those that don’t understand what a “fund” raiser is and complain about low payouts should burn in hell. I have a whole rant on fundraisers and turning people away but most who follow me on Facebook have already read that (hence why you are reading my garbage now).

I mean, cornhole is a great game where you are going to meet a whole bunch of new people, awesome people!  I moved from Pennsylvania to New Jersey in 2004. I had my girlfriend and whatever neighbors in my apartment complex as friends. In 2009 we bought a house and now I have more friends, I’m up to 12 people to complain about property taxes in New Jersey with.  I started playing cornhole competitively in 2014. Since then my Facebook friends went from 70 to about 1,400. I’ve made and semi lost so many friends with cornhole. 

Don’t let the money drive you

Most people/teams have played events for 3 years or so and have barely cashed. But they show up to almost every event you have been to. Those competitive teams are dwindling in our area, whether it be life (me this year), the lack of cashing, or a stupid hearsay argument with someone.

Long story short, keep it simple. Don’t read in to what you think someone has said or what they posted on social media. Pick up the phone or meet them face to face. Be prepared for criticism as harsh as it may be but offer constructive criticism to the other person. Never ever trash someone else’s event or product. If yours is better, it will outshine their product or services.  But don’t be upset when certain teams don’t support your event because Joe and Tony took $500 in a neighborhood event in Kensington.

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