Business

Why the American Cornhole Association Got into Selling Its Own Equipment

The 15-year-old association for the sport says that current offerings on the market have failed to live up to the sport's rules—so, in response, the association is selling its own high-quality equipment.

If you’re a fan of the game cornhole—think beanbags and raised wood boards with a hole on one end—the American Cornhole Association has a message for you: Not all boards meet the game’s regulations, which are more strident than you think.

In a news release, the association’s president, Trent Henkaline, explained that many less expensive boards have appeared on the market with the game’s rise in popularity.

“Many of the budget cornhole boards sold online today are not regulation boards and are built with inferior material and are a rip-off to consumers,” Henkaline explained.

Among the issues that the association says budget cornhole gear has: A lack of polyurethane lacquer on top of the boards, which means that the boards don’t have the right slickness; the wrong wood width, which causes bags to bounce; and the bags themselves, which are often filled with sand, rather than corn or plastic material, that does not allow the bags to properly slide on the boards.

So, to help remedy the problem, the association is launching its own line of regulation cornhole equipment—complete with the ability to add custom designs to the boards. The equipment isn’t cheap—a set of two boards costs $200 or more, while the association charges between $15.95 and $26.95 for an eight-bag set, made with different types of materials.

“Substandard boards often end up costing many times more what a quality, standard board does once you factor in that they need to be replaced much more often,” Henkaline added. “Given the fact our association is the first and largest governing body for the sport of cornhole, we felt it was time to level the playing field for fans.”

You can forgive the group for being serious about cornhole—the Ohio-based association, one of a few built around the social game, has presided over a recent phenomenon. The group, formed in 2002, has more than 30,000 members. Meanwhile, the American Cornhole Organization, which hosts professional tournaments, saw a cornhole-related event gain solid TV ratings on ESPN2 over the summer. Really.

A sample of ACA's regulation cornhole boards. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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