Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Spencer
Cornhole Governing Organizations
With its massive popularity among both men and women and all age groups, it’s only natural that governing bodies and organizations would spring up and bring a sense of order to the game of cornhole. By their own estimates, the American Cornhole Association (ACA) is the largest such organization, with more than 30,000 members. The ACA is non-profit, and the primary goal of its members is to promote the game and win new fans.
The other major governing body is the American Cornhole Organization (ACO), which concentrates on establishing rules for the game and holding competitive tournaments.
Joining ACA costs nothing, and members can receive discounts on merchandise as well as host competitions. Tournament hosts are obviously expected to enforce the rules of the game and create a positive, friendly atmosphere. ACA members are the face of cornhole, so to speak, and that entails some level of responsibility.
Membership with ACO currently costs $20. Members receive an official membership card and an online newsletter. Updated online rankings allow for virtual competitions with other ACO members. The American Cornhole Organization also produces officially licensed merchandise that members can purchase at a discount.
Both of the major cornhole governing bodies feature a means for ranking and handicapping their members, similar to professional golf and other individual sports. Scores from official, sanctioned tournaments enter into the calculation of a player’s ranking and handicap. The ACO has also implemented a program called the “skills challenge.” A single player tosses for 13 frames, and the per-frame average score determines the player’s relative rank.
The American Cornhole Association sells hats, shirts, boards and bags as a means to cover their operating expenses. They also certify cornhole board manufacturers across the country, a relatively new addition to their website. The American Cornhole Organization likewise sells a complete selection of products at their online store. The ACO also publishes the cornhole magazine, Hole.
Local and Regional Bodies
Numerous smaller organizations also exist to promote the game of cornhole and encourage newcomers to try their hand. Some of these organizations are affiliated with the national bodies, and others are not. If you think there’s a growing interest in cornhole in your community, then bring those players together for fun and friendship. Social networks and community bulletin boards are two of the fastest ways to get the word out about local cornhole gatherings and competitions.