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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Good form, a little luck and a good flick of the wrist

Cornhole was rediscovered in Kentucky over 100 years ago. PHOTO: CHRIS KLINE ’23/THE HAWK

The second St. Joe’s Campus Recreation cornhole tournament of the semester took place on the lawn outside of the Wolfington Welcome Center on Oct. 17.

According to the American Cornhole Organization, the game of cornhole originated in Germany in the 14th century, and then was rediscovered in the hills of Kentucky over 100 years ago. This fall, the historic game made its way to Hawk Hill.

Twelve teams of two students battled for the bragging rights that accompanied being crowned champions of the double-elimination tournament.  

Alex Kissinger, Campus Recreation coordinator, said students requested a second cornhole tournament after the success of the initial iteration over Labor Day weekend.

“It’s an easy sport to pick up and just have fun with,” Kissinger said. “You don’t have to be the best cornhole player to play.”

In Cornhole, contestants take turns pitching their corn bags at the cornhole platform until a contestant reaches the score of 21 points. A bag in the hole scores three points, while one on the platform scores one point.

On the lawn, three pairs of cornhole boards were placed parallel to each other, and three contests were playing simultaneously. The “cancellation” method of scoring was used in the tournament, meaning that if one team earned two points during a term, and the other team earned one, the score would be 1-0. 

Rob Wilsey ’23 of the team named “Splash Brothers,” an ode to Golden State Warriors guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, said that the best cornhole players must have three key skills. 

“You have to have a good form, a little bit of luck and a good flick of the wrist,” Wilsey said. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Campus Recreation altered its typical fall activities, like flag football and basketball, in favor of activities that align with social-distancing protocols. This semester, in addition to cornhole, Campus Recreation has hosted kickball, wiffleball and pickleball tournaments and a punt-pass-kick competition. 

According to Assistant Athletics Director for Campus Recreation Angela Nagle, the goal of this fall’s myriad of tournaments is to provide students with the opportunity to engage in activities that allow them to compete on the level of their choosing, connect with their peers and stay active.

“Our hope is that, although the fall tournaments don’t include the traditional offerings of flag football and five versus five basketball, students still will find value in competition and connection,” Nagle wrote in an email to The Hawk.

Reid Hartman ’23, Wilsey’s teammate, said he was coming back for revenge after a fourth place showing in the Labor Day tournament, and added that confidence and knowing your strengths and weaknesses are fundamental skills for a successful game.

Both Hartman and Wilsey found out about this weekend’s tournament through Campus Recreation’s Instagram account. Wilsey said that the turnout and enthusiasm for the cornhole tournament is a product of its uniqueness.

“It’s something different outside of sitting outside of your room,” Wilsey said. “It’s a good time to get out and be active.”

One variable that would seemingly jeopardize the status of future cornhole tournaments is the turn in weather from fall to winter. However, Kissinger said that Campus Recreation has contingency plans to ensure that the tournaments still go on as scheduled.

“Our plan right now is to have a cornhole [tournament] outside, but we could always move it to the upper gym in O’Pake [Recreation Center],” Kissinger said. 

Kissinger said she encourages students to give feedback on what types of activities they would like to see next. 

“Reach out to Campus Recreation if you guys have any ideas or any interest in things,” Kissinger said. “We’re happy to hear from you guys.”


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