The turf of West Virginia Power Park was home to a different kind of sport this weekend as the American Cornhole Organization kicked off its ninth season with the West Virginia Cornhole Cup, one of eight major tournaments to be held in various states.
This is the first time a tournament has been held in Charleston. Friday evening was the more laid back precursor to the actual tournament Saturday, and the public was encouraged to come out and enjoy the fun.
With food, drinks and live music, the scene could have been your typical backyard barbecue with the family - a very large family.
Nearly 100 people graced the field as participants and observers of the open-play event. Anyone with a membership and $5 entry fee was welcome to play. Representatives collected the $20 registration fee and signed up people to become new members.
Managing the nearly 20 simultaneous cornhole matches, ACO President and CEO Frank Geers was on hand to explain the overall rundown of the weekend tournament. Geers was enthusiastic about the public getting involved.
Partners for the 21-point matches at the Charleston event were chosen randomly, and winners could walk away with small cash prizes - $40 for first place and $20 for second.
Getting to a professional status is the goal of any serious cornhole athlete. Bruce Forsee of Cincinnati, Ohio, provided important statistics for any newcomer to cornhole hoping to go pro.
A cornhole player needs to score 120 points in a Skills Challenge Rating, or SCR, as well as average 245 points in regional tournaments. These events are held about once a month with eight to nine major tournaments throughout the year.