Welcome to Boston Cornhole! Our goal is to increase the presence of the exciting, fun game of cornhole in Boston and the Northeast. Boston Cornhole promotes the game of cornhole with the organization of Leagues, Tournaments, and Special Events at local venues.
For more information, write us at email@example.com or call us at (857) 225-2302.
Dream Street - Boston, MA - Saturday, April 29th 2017 at 12:30 PM
Pepperell Youth Baseball - Pepperell, MA - Saturday, May 6th 2017 at 12 PM
1776 Financial Best Buddies - Norwood, MA - Saturday, May 13th 2017 at 4 PM
Winner's Circle Cornhole Club - Salisbury, MA - Saturday, May 13th 2017 at 12 PM
South Shore Country Festival - Marshfield, MA - Saturday, May 20th 2017 at 12 PM
AMERICAN YOUTH Football And Cheer - Pepperell, MA - Saturday, June 24th 2017 at 11 AM
3rd Ave Tournament Tuesdays - Burlington, MA - Beginning Tuesday, June 27th 2017 at 6 PM
Fenway Cornhole Classic - Boston, MA - Saturday, September 9th 2017 at 10:30 AM
New England Cornhole Cup - Pawtucket, RI - Sunday, September 10th 2017 at 12 pm
"Ringers" won in 2015...private the past two years.
Since late January, it's been harder for some people to enter the United States; I know some of you must like that. Similarly, some fundraiser tournaments now have their own "no-fly" lists. I know some of you definitely don't like that. In the past few weeks, some teams have been refunded or denied entry for tournaments Boston Cornhole has hosted; one of them was even advertised as public (sorry Chad, that's on me). Perhaps you are not aware and probably do not care about the negative feedback I hear when a team who knows nobody at an event (except me) comes in and wins, but I do. Too often I hear "your ringers are just here for the money." And sometimes the prizes are modest, but the complaints are not.
Private or Public?
When hired to host a tournament, the first question I ask a client is "public or private" and I explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option. It's not always an easy decision, but the overwhelming trend is to keep most events private. Private means no outsiders. It does not mean that you can play if you live in the next town or that you can play because you are partnering with someone who does not play regularly. It means you can only play if the organizing group authorizes it. And to be clear, that decision is made by the organization; I do not make that decision. But, if a client does not recognize a name and asks me to review a registrants list, I will happily do that. If a client asks me to post to facebook that a tournament is private, I will happily do that too. Each and every time, my priorities and loyalties are with the group who is writing my checks. It is strictly business, not personal.
It's on EventBrite and Facebook so it must be public, right?
Nope! Organizers use social media and the Internet for its original intent to get the message out and connect with friends. Unfortunately, they are not aware of the unintended consequences of placing the deets in cyberspace. Many organizers cannot comprehend why people that they do not even know would want to join their event. Usually it's to chase cash, sometimes it's just to play. And since Mohegan-gate, the trend of finding private tournaments in the public sphere will definitely continue! I know our top Google connoisseurs usually check with the organizer prior to blindly registering for a secret or private tournament. Probably a good strategy!
Doesn't it seem weird for a fundraiser to turn away money?
Not at all! Yes, one goal of a fundraiser is to bring money in. However, from Whitman to Wayland, nobody wants to alienate a core group of supporters for a couple hundred dollars; it's just not worth it to them. I have seen players such as Tim Grew and Sarge spend plenty on raffle tickets at events. I would never question the generosity of some players. Unfortunately, these are the things that are rarely noticed. In contrast, I have received negative feedback on some players who I know are the most gentlest of gentlemen. The bottom line is that some groups simply will not welcome competitive players and it is completely their decision to make.
Is there really a problem?
In my opinion, demanding to play in a private tournament is no different than barging into somebody's backyard and that is absurd! But, if this is the latest cornhole molehill to be made into a mountain, then so be it. The beauty of the cornhole landscape today is that you can play every night of the week and there are multiple weekend offerings. If you do not like our rules of engagement, go play somewhere else. Boston Cornhole will continue to provide the best service we can and run tournaments based on the preferences of our clients.
Lance and Larry topped a strong field in CT
I thought 2016 was going to be the breakthrough year for Massachusetts cornhole; however, contentment with disappointing performances at the Fenway Cornhole Classic, had me questioning if local teams would ever make it over the hump. With Chris Cuccia and Scott Lane en route to Mohegan Sun, I thought we would see more of the same this weekend, but I am happy to be wrong for the first time ever! Larry Pigeon walked through that door and Lance Madden played like the pro that I thought I'd be telling him he wasn't. Going undefeated to win Last Bag Standing with two wins over Stranger Danger is a big deal! Gracious in victory, Scott and Chris were equally as gracious with the silver medals. And now, I cannot wait until their paths will potentially cross again in September at this year's Fenway Cornhole Classic!
While Lance and Pigeon flew the highest on Saturday, they were not the only ones from Massachusetts to make a statement. Rounding out the podium with a third place finish was the pairing of Charles Prew and Tim Grew. The duo suffered two defeats to Stranger Danger, but showed everyone else why they are the best team south of Boston. And let's not forget the rest of the Rice Baggers who won some big matches! In my opinion, this is the Bay State's most competitive group and regularly tossing against these guys is what pushed the champs to pay dirt. If you are serious about improving your game, go to Lowell on Tuesdays or play in one of the Rice Baggers' weekend events.
The real winners...
Only a few cashed checks, but Last Bag Standing is a win for all who like cornhole in the Northeast. Kudos to Mohegan Sun for taking a chance on cornhole and putting on this event. Cornhole and casinos are made for each other and I am hoping that this event was a success for the organizers. They priced it perfectly and offered enough prize money to not only sell out, but build a waiting list of over 40 teams! Oh, and with that space, this venue could host some of the biggest tournaments in the country. If you enjoyed the tournament, be sure to let them know!
Was this a secret or not?
The real story is above, but let's address the chatter from those who are crying foul and throwing shade. If this was a secret tournament, then it was the worst kept secret in history! With that said, from Lowell to Pawtucket and everywhere in between, any time this event was mentioned, it was always a "How did you hear about it?" and never a "Hey, did you hear about the tournament at Mohegan Sun?" And yeah, it's because of the prize money. While I have railed against this before, it's part of the game and here to stay. If you are building a list of people who knew about this tournament and did not share, it will be a very long list. Rather than be angry, my advice is to sharpen your Google skills!
Play in one or play in both!
The weekends are filling up in January and February...
This has been PREWing for some time...
2014 POY with the new POY
2016 Player of the Year - Charles Prew
The Anchor of a Strong Doubles Team
Pigeon and Lance take home the 2016 Trophy
"Larry and myself...on this day" became the social media moniker for broadcasting victory after victory. While the grammar may not be textbook, more often than not, this duo schooled the area's top teams on the cornhole court. And with some easy wins, difficult wins, and probably some wins that nobody knows about, Lance Madden and Larry Pigeon have earned Boston Cornhole's title of "2016 Team of the Year"! With several talented teams in the area, the Head-to-Head matches proved decisive in crowning this year's top team. Arguably, Henry and Em, Prew and Grew, and Joe and Jose join Lance and Larry at New England's top four teams. So let's compare the results from some of the tournaments this past year where these heavyweights were in the draw.
Woburn: Henry & Em - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd. (Same day as Amesbury)
Amesbury: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd. (Same day as Woburn)
Pawtucket K of C: Lance & Pigeon 1st. Joe & Jose - (2nd or 3rd).
Woburn: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Henry & Em - 2nd. Prew & Grew - 3rd.
Hastings House: Henry & Em - 2nd. Lance & Pigeon - 3rd. Prew & Grew - T5.
Plymouth Memorial Hall: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd.
Wrentham - Joe & Jose - 1st (same day as Woburn)
Woburn - Lance & Pigeon - 1st (same day as Wrentham)
Best Buddies in Norwood: Lance & Pigeon 1st. Prew & Grew/Jose & Joe in the draw; not sure where they finished.
Southbridge: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Joe & Jose - 2nd
ACO States: Joe & Jose - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd. Lance & Pigeon - 3rd.
Bridgewater: Prew & Grew 1st - 1st. Competitive field.
Fenway: Joe & Jose - 4th. Lance & Pigeon - 5th.
Bridgewater: Prew & Grew 1st - 1st. Competitive field.
Athletes Unlimited: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd. Joe & Jose - T5.
Wenham Firefighters: Joe & Jose - 1st. Lance & Pigeon 2nd.
Pepperell: Prew & Grew - 1st. Joe & Jose - 4th.
Rocky Woods: Joe & Jose - 1st. Henry & Em - 2nd. Prew & Grew - 3rd.
North Brookfield: Henry & Em - 1st. Joe & Jose - 2nd.
MIT: Joe & Jose - 2nd.
Somerville: Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Henry & Em - 2nd.
Timothy Graham Memorial - Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Prew & Grew - 2nd.
Pawtucket Pacers - Henry & Em - 1st. (Same day as Roxbury)
Roxbury - Lance & Pigeon - 1st. (Same day as Pawtucket)
Toys For Tots - Lance & Pigeon - 1st. Henry & Em - 2nd. Prew & Grew - 3rd.
The results don't lie and neither does the blog! Congrats to Lance and Larry!
Tyler Kiddle and Randy Parker
Back in March, I pulled up to 14 Oak Street in Beverly Farms to a venue that was going to host a sold out 60+ team tournament. I had to double-check the address because what I saw was a residential home on a residential street. At first, I wondered if this is what it would feel like to play in a secret tournament...as it turns out, there was nothing clandestine about it. We had scheduled a 32 team event and once it sold out, people were literally offering twice the entry fee to enter the draw, so we bumped the field up to 64 teams. And it wasn't just the locals, this tournament attracted top talent from the North Shore and South Shore. Several Rice Baggers were in attendance joined by Sarge, Queen, Lance, Prew and Grew. Even Shawn Renard showed up just to watch! You might be thinking with that roll call that there had to be some little-known trip to Vegas on the line, but there wasn't! And that right there was the beauty of this tournament. The ink is barely dry on my rant documenting the challenges of getting the competitive crop to compete against each other. What John Moran and I have been trying to do for two years in Pawtucket, just organically happened on a magical March night in Beverly. In my opinion, the Hastings House tournament was by far the most competitive event of 2016, and thus, tournament of the year!
Oh, and let's not forget the locals. The cream of the crop certainly is not large enough to account for the 62 teams that participated. The local supporters came out in drones to support the Hastings House. They were in costume, having fun, and tossing bags. And at no point were there complaints of "ringers" which is sometimes the case when pedestrians and pros mix. The surprises continued as Michael Lounge turned into a crowd favorite. Yes, that Michael Lounge! Maybe it was his Hitler Youth haircut or the fact that people love to root for the underdog. Whatever it was, I have never seen 4th place garner so much attention. And your winners...Randy Parker and Tyler Kiddle. You may remember Randy as the senior member of 40 Plus who took his bags and headed back to the Wu once the winning disappeared. But, when you have have the opportunity to play with Tyler Kiddle, you come out of retirement and get it done. And these two did exactly what winners do, they won!
While the Hastings House gets the nod for 2016, there were some other tournaments worthy of honorable mention. The Amesbury Rotary tournament in January had a nice 2016 rebound to draw 47 teams with a player-friendly three match guarantee. The Fenway Cornhole Classic continued to be extremely popular and drew some more powerhouse teams this year. And in Lawrence, we saw the Winner's Circle Cornhole Club actually send two players to the winner's circle.*
*If there was a "Choke of the Year" award, it would go to Kevin Lowry and Dave Scott for inexplicably getting double-dipped in Lawrence.
2016 Year in Review
Book your marathon fundraiser tournament today
If you are planning on running the Boston Marathon for a charity in 2017, then we know that you will have to raise a HOLE lot of money. While you strive to hit your goals on the pavement, let us help you reach them off of it. For the 7th consecutive year, we are happy to announce that we are once again hosting fundraiser cornhole tournaments for runners competing in the Boston Marathon. With venues in Boston and beyond, let us help you keep pace for a successful April outing!
For up to six cornhole courts, the fundraiser event fee is $300. Schedule your tournament today! Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is cornhole strong in red states, blue states, or both?
Let's face it, the 2016 Presidential Election has redrawn the Electoral College map with a little more red than we are accustomed to seeing. Well, there has also been some change in those beautiful, blue states in the Northeast with an abundance of cornhole! Three years ago, there was only a handful of places to toss some bags during the week in New England. Fast-forward to today and south of Boston, you can play cornhole every day of the week and on some days, there are two tournaments in the same town. And if the Commonwealth's Education Department is reading these recaps, don't be surprised to see charter schools for adults on the ballot next year! But, let's stay focused because all this cornhole is really a good thing...
With all these pitching options, the player can decide when, where, and with whom to play. If you consider yourself to be an ace player, you may be in search of Bring Your Own Partner (BYOP) contests. If you just enjoy playing or are new to the game, you will probably gravitate towards blind draws. Geography also plays a role in where you may choose to play. Why drive an hour to toss bags when you no longer have to? Why purchase a $25 ACO membership from me, when you can play a mile away without one?
Even with the game continuing to grow, a player's market makes it a bit challenging for tournament organizers and venues looking to profit off of the cornhole revolution. If you are asking players to pay more than $5 to play on a school night, you may need to become a HOLE lot more creative to remain competitive on a weekly basis!
The Best Format is...
Like politics, there is not a unanimous answer and everyone has an opinion. Perhaps I need a guest writer for this one as I have never had too much success with weekly events and the map above is evidence that I've been wrong before. Nonetheless, I have my opinions and this is my propaganda platform, so here is my three point plan!
1. Low or No Entry Fees
The model has been there for years with bars that host karaoke or trivia. There has never been a cost for embarrassing yourself with a microphone or displaying your command of random facts. Cornhole does not need to be any different, but usually it is. Players are spending money on food and beverage, give them their entertainment for free! A "play for free" model did work in the 3rd Ave Burlington tournaments and led to several NEW players. And no, $5 is not too much to ask.
2. Establish a Format for Everyone
All cornhole players are not created equal. If you plan to keep everyone happy, you should abandon cornhole now! However, if you want to appeal to a large audience, then you should adopt a format that appeals to all skill levels. Blind draws are simple and one of the fairest formats out there. A good player can win with anyone and the luck of the draw may take a novice to the winner's circle; there is no better feeling! Most weekly events in the area with competitive players are blind draws which is a good thing. However, other formats can work as well. Even if New Hampshire may be JV Massachusetts, the Fall 603 Cornhole League had 36 teams from all walks of life play for ten weeks. That's more on a weekly basis than most Massachusetts and Rhode Island groups combined! Contact Shon or Brian to learn how to fill your parking lots with vanity plates.
3. Modest Prizes
Read my lips, "No big payouts!" I realize this approach may not win me many votes, but I'm sticking with it! A big cash payout may draw headlines and get people in the door for a few weeks...until the money overshadows the game. Make it about the money and it will be about the money. If and when sponsors come on board, there will be plenty of money to win at bigger tournaments. But, be careful what you wish for because those Red States are watching... For weekly events, it may seem counter-intuitive not to market cornhole to people who have been playing it for years. But, I would counter that the larger market is new players. And wouldn't the masses prefer an approach that does not cater to the top percent? Oh, wait...
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