Burlington joined the party this summer...
Prior to this past summer's Tournament Tuesdays in Burlington, it had been close to two years since Boston Cornhole had hosted a weekly event. Wow, did I miss playing and hosting cornhole on the regular with a great group of guys and gals! Here are five things about Burlington that left an impression on me...
1. Cornhole for Everyone
We all know cornhole is a game that anyone can play. In Burlington, we really did have every demographic from men, women, novices, competitive players, grade school, high school, college, young professionals...you name it, we had it. From a modest six teams on opening night to averaging 10+ teams over the final month, dare I say that Tuesdays were a HOLE lot of fun!
2. Nice and Simple
In the past year, we have taken this simple game and complicated it a bit with innovations such as the recent Triple Threat Throwdown providing hours upon hours of cornhole. Tossing bags into the night is not a bad thing, but bounded by daylight and Mother Nature, it was sort of nice to play in a tournament and still be home before the street lights came on.
3. You NEED to play weekly
If you want to improve your skills, you need to play weekly. Whether it be in Bridgewater, Pawtucket, NH, Lowell, or anywhere in between, the only way to get better is to compete! And while it may have been a bit discouraging to lose to Lance and John each week, tough competition breeds improvement. And improvement we did see on a weekly basis! I was very pleased to see Burlington regulars, Caleb and Zach, place fifth at our 55 Team Lawn on D tournament in September.
4. The Next Generation
Not only did Lance and John bring the heat each week, but they also came with their children in tow who weren't too shabby either. Grade schoolers and teenagers tossing flat bags is good to see. Cornhole in this area today appears to be dominated by past their prime athletes and fatlethes. While they may be tough to beat, nobody beats father time and these kids might truly be the first ones to challenge the Southern and Midwestern cornhole strongholds.
5. The Future Model
A big thanks to Nordblom and the 3rd Avenue businesses for sponsoring Tournament Tuesdays. With their support, tournaments were free and there were some really nice prizes! I am not saying $5/person is too much to spend, but even at that modest fee, you probably would not see the family participation that was present in Burlington. I have seen the "Bizarro Robin Hood" approach of taking big entry fees from weaker teams to pay stronger teams fail too often and most recently at our Rocky Woods event. I am not against high paying tournaments, but only when those big purses are provided by sponsors. Until then, modest entry fees and modest prizes will be strongly encouraged.