Rick Mayes and Cortez Hudson
Last month I had the opportunity to play in my first American Cornhole Tournament (outside of Massachusetts) while visiting Charleston, WV for the ACO World Championships of Cornhole, the culmination of Season IX. A week full of cornhole and then some was worth the plane ride and met all expectations. See some takeaways below from my trip and a teaser for Season X which begins in September!
King James is not the only one from Ohio who sports a crown these days. Quite a few from the Buckeye State took their talents to Charleston in mid-July for the ACO World Championships of Cornhole. The opening match on Championship Night saw Ohio's Tom Bobo take two of three from Columbus Cisco in the inaugural Senior's Championship. Up next was a showdown between Ohio and Kentucky with Rick Mayes and Cortez Hudson from Cincinnati rallying from a game deficit to defeat Lester Price and Dale Smith. The Queen of Cornhole and King Of Cornhole Finals were an all-Ohio affair. Stacia Pugh, last year's runner-up, claimed her first crown with a victory over Christine Papcke. While it's great that there was a "Queen" division, make no mistake about it, these ladies can play with anyone. Open singles on Wednesday had 200 or so players competing for only four KOC spots and two of those spots were won by Christine and Stacia! Finally, in the main event, Jeff Reynolds played a nearly perfect decisive match to complete his victory over Adam Hissner.
Cornhole bootcamp is the only way I can describe a week full of cornhole. Win or lose (and I did enough of that), you just played more cornhole! Doubles, singles, blind draws or pickup games, if you like cornhole, you would love the World Championships. As I went from local champion to national dormat, the biggest lesson I learned is that I need to develop my airmail game! Even with a rough record, my moment of glory came on the final day in knocking off the top seed in my Competitive Singles B group!
As we look to grow the game here on the East Coast, we are constantly trying new things to appeal to all levels of players from round-robin play for extra matches, triple-elimination, or even separating players in to "A" and "B" groups which can create its own controversy. The mini-bracket approach employed at the worlds accomplishes all those things. Everyone starts in the same pool divided in to mini-tournaments played on a couple of boards. Some advance and move forward while others fall in to less competitive fields with players closer to their skill level. This process repeated itself until three distinct groups were formed. The KOC bracket, the competitive bracket, and the social bracket. Look for us to adopt a similar strategy at some upcoming events in Boston...
It all starts again in September and we are looking forward to getting a full season under our belts in Massachusetts. If the demand is there, we will also support regional tournaments in Rhode Island for this season! The following are a few changes for Season X:
Let's get ready for a pitchin' good season!