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Cornhole tournament an excuse to get out and have fun

January 15, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Cornhole participants take aim Saturday during a cornhole tournament at the Wood Center at the Capitol Theatre Center in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — It wasn't news that Cindy Lanning won millions of dollars in a lottery that compelled her to squeal with joy, leap in the air and give her friend a bear hug. It was the fact that she won her cornhole game.

Teams including the Hot Mamas, the Grizzlies, the Corn Dogs and the Untouchables competed for six hours to seize the coveted Cornhole Tournament title at the Wood Center in downtown Chambersburg's Capitol Theatre Center on Saturday.

"It's more than fun. It's bringing people together. We have a great time and a lot of laughter. There's a lot of cheering on," said Lanning, of Virginia Beach, Va.

For Lanning, it wasn't the $100 prize money that lured her to the tourney. It was about the fun and socialization.

"I'm just here to be with my friends and family. It's a good time — a pick-me up. It's a very warm place to be," she said.

Now in its second year, Linda Boeckman, theater operations manager, said cornhole enthusiasts had to be turned away from this year's competition.

"This year, we had a waiting list of people to come. So we could have easily gone bigger, but we didn't have enough time or space to go bigger," said Boeckman, who plans to host a single elimination event next year to accommodate 64 teams.

Cornhole is similar to a beanbag toss, but the 1-pound bags are filled with corn. Players take turns tossing their corn bags at wooden boxes trying to launch their corn bag into a 6-inch hole, aiming for a score of 21 points.

Players earn three points for each bag that goes in the hole and one point for each bag on the wooden board.

This year, 32 teams and 64 people participated in the event, raising about $1,000 for the Wood Center through the $25 entry fee and a cash bar.

Boeckman said the cornhole tournament is another way to use the "underutilized" Wood Center.

The multipurpose center has been used for wedding receptions, small shows, birthday parties and class reunions.

While Boeckman said the facility hasn't been used to its full potential, the number of activities at the multipurpose facility continues to increase.

Todd Shearer of Chambersburg, whose wife, Felicia, along with Carol Ernst organized the event, sat on the sidelines while corn bags whizzed overhead, waiting for his turn to play cornhole.

"It's wintertime. People want to get out of the house. Cornhole is usually played in the summer. It's great when it's nice outside. But people come out in the wintertime to have a good time, too. People love playing cornhole," he said.

Shearer's nephew, Jack Helms, 15, of Kodiak, Alaska, also played the game.

"This is a fun thing. It's usually played in the summer. But people can still play and have fun and get together," Helms said.

Curtis Ritchey of Amberson, Pa., looked like a professional as he tossed the corn bag gracefully in the air.

But he admitted that he studied some of the other players before he perfected his style.

"I picked that up this morning watching somebody else throw. I have never thrown like that in my entire life until today," Ritchey said.

The Chambersburg Area Senior High School graduate used the event to catch up with some former classmates.

"It gives you an excuse to get out and have some fun in the afternoon. This is a fun time," said Ritchey, who plans to come back next year.

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