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The ACO Returns to New England with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

posted Dec 26, 2020, 5:44 AM by Boston Cornhole
ACO Season 16 North Atlantic Leaders

It's that time of the year again for the end of year blog entries and awards.  Kicking things off in a very different year is the return of American Cornhole Organization (ACO) tournaments in New England hosted by Boston Cornhole after an absence of a couple of years.  Let's take a closer look at the first four months of ACO Season 16 with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

The Good

As of the writing of this blog, we have 90+ ACO members in New England. whoa!  Not all have yet to enter a tournament, but we have also had several participate who are not official members.  Why so many more than before?  Well, cornhole does continue to grow exponentially and that is certainly the case in the Greater Boston area with more and more local sororities continuing to pop up.  And let's not forget the influence of big brother, ACL.  It's evident that competing in a national league is a thing and the ACO does offer another opportunity to do just that and see your names in big lights...or at least on a website.  While the pandemic has certainly presented several challenges to hosting cornhole events, Boston Cornhole will continue to do what we can within state guidelines so that players may compete and earn their alphabet points.  Also, keep in mind that Season 16 runs through July 2021.  With vaccines beginning to hit the market, let's be optimistic that the ACO in the North Atlantic Conference will be able to celebrate a successful Season 16!  Look for Regional tournaments at Game Changer in Londonderry, NH and Boundary Kitchen & Bar in Pawtucket, RI.

The Bad

With Majors just about every weekend, the ACO is a great travel league with superb competition and currently offers several more events than the ACL.  Unfortunately, most of you will have to take my word for it because the big events are not that close to civilization; Boston's nickname is the Hub for a reason!  I have to admit that I have enjoyed each and every city that I have visited in the past (Charleston, Knoxville, and Owensboro), but for those of us who live in the Northeast, these are not hop in the car and go destinations.  On the weekly TACO podcast, there is often talk of new Majors here and there, but the North Atlantic Conference is rarely mentioned.  If the area's current ACO resurgence is to continue beyond Season 16, the ACO brass has to deliver us something a little bit closer than York, PA.

The Ugly

"Is this tournament double-elimination?"  If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question....but, all I can do is stare back like a deer in the headlights and offer up a disappointing response.  Seeded, double-elimination tournaments are the format for just about every ACO division.  While this is a very fair format, it does not scale well and does not nearly offer the same value (guaranteed matches) as alternatives on the market today.  I had very high hopes for the ACO and SCOREHOLIO partnership, but it has not been what I had expected.  It's frustrating because I feel as if Ben Budhu has delivered the "double-elimination vaccine", but we are not taking advantage of the product's best features.  For Regionals, please let me run a four match round-robin to a single-elimination bracket or I'll keep on bitchin'!