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SO, you’ve been wanting the cornhole book for a while. Perhaps you’ve been struggling financially, or maybe you’re just waiting for someone to buy it for you. Whatever the case, here’s your chance.

Derrick Smash (derricksmash.com) and Mark Rogers (author of Cornhole: Throwing Bags in a Hole) have come to an awesome agreement. They have agreed to set an all-time low price record for a brand new paperback of Cornhole: Throwing Bags in a Hole to be sold via derricksmash.com. Not only is the book being sold for the strikingly low price of $12.99 (lowest publicly published price on the internet), but each book sold will have the autograph of the author himself, Mark Rogers!

Click Here to Take Advantage of this special offer! The holidays are coming up – what better way to spruce up your loved one’s cornhole equipment than with the original Cornhole Book! Buy it now!

Here is an example of what your inside cover may look like:

And here’s a photo of the book itself:

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Cornhole Epicenters

My name is Derrick Pugh – I own and [85% of the time] fully operate derricksmash.com. I’m here to talk about my evolved perception of the Sport of Cornhole and provide my simple idea of what will ‘save’ the sport.

When I accidentally got into this industry of Cornhole building about 6 years ago, I had one mission: to build so many cornhole sets that no other builder in the country was able to compete. Big dreaming, huh? No, that isn’t feasible – with my resources anyways…nor would it be good for the Sport. Spreading the name of derricksmash.com isn’t nearly as effective for business as it would be to simply spread the name of Cornhole first!

Then I started to know the community a lot better. Spent last summer playing in tons of tournaments, met a lot of fellow players, many big names in the game (Randy, Matt, Vanderver, etc) and took an entirely different approach to derricksmash.com’s perception of “self”. A lot of these big players would reminisce of the game, as if it were an ancient sport or something. These people spoke with phrases such as, “remember the good ole’ days of cornhole?”, “…it used to be”, “…the game needs to come back”, etc, etc. All of these people saw something that I didn’t because they were part of it this whole time – you can go so far as to say they triggered the cornhole revolution in the first place.

After having some talks, chats and emails with enough people, I eventually got a mentality of “Wow, I had this all wrong. It’s not all about competition, It’s about community…and sharing moments within said community!”. This one really hit it on the spot:

“…the sport is in a critical stage right now in my opinion…it could blow up and become a staple sport like softball, or it could fizzle out and 10yrs from now we’ll be saying, ‘remember bags?’ (aka cornhole)”
Rudy Rutherford

All I was doing this whole time was selling derricksmash.com products with all intents of saying “F you” to the competition – what I should have been doing was realizing that the products I was selling, like every other builder, was part of a bigger picture – that’s spreading the name of Cornhole. Don’t worry, I now see it that way.

Cornhole’s dieing in the Midwest. That’s the reality right now. Perhaps if I had spent the last 6 years spreading the name of Cornhole instead of hocking off my products, maybe I could have prevented the state we’re in now…maybe if only a tiny bit.

I met some of my competitors, Clinton from Ripped Boards and Chris from Naperville Bags. They are stand-up guys and their companies offer something another doesn’t. I respected Chris when I met him for many reasons. For one, he wasn’t the douche I was expecting him to be with his massive inventory and huge sales reports. I figured he was all about that and nothing more – almost envious of him because I thought he became what I used to want to be. He became that “big boy” in the Cornhole Building industry but he also had something else: being well-known by in the Tournament Side of the Sport – the real community of the sport. I was WOW’d. As for Clinton, I personally feel he used to be the same way I was (screw everyone – my company or no one), but is now on the same side of the field that I am…and I’m glad.

Then I talked to Steve Vanderver on the phone for what seemed to be a few hours! He had just recently created the Cornhole Players Association to help fight the foreseen drop in Cornhole’s Reputation. He was upset, emotional and confused about what happened to his beloved sport in the last couple years. “…annual tournaments that used to draw 90+ teams are now barely able to get enough for a 20 team mini tournament”. He talked to me about how he saw this a long time ago (due to a bigger organization) and when he left that organization, he realized that he had to go back because he was classified as “too good” or “pro” to play in many of the smaller, private [and in my opinion, more fun] tournaments.

I also feel [and hope] I gave him some insight, too – I am not speaking for him in any way. He’s out in the East Midwest, and what he sees is totally different than what I see, being here in Chicago. In Chicago, the sport is still waiting for it’s initial BOOM. We got a little one last summer, but this summer should be bigger. If not, next summer will. And out West, not many people are playing this game at all. I told Steve, “Let’s not only worry about reigniting the spark in the over saturated area of the Midwest you reside in, but remember that out West and probably 80% of the country has probably still never seen the Sport!”.

My buddy’s parents in Surprise, AZ have one of my sets and they say people are going APESH*T over it! I got a few orders out that way because of this and I pretty much shipped them for free just to get some Cornhole boards out that way. Also, there is a cornhole tournament taking place next weekend on USC Campus (University of Southern California) to benefit Relay for Life – they are expecting a huge turnout! Out there, it’s something new and exciting. derricksmash.com has donated $200 in product to this event. USC is way out of the cornhole’s heartland and they are just now starting to see the excitement of cornhole and tournaments like this are sprouting everywhere out there. If you look at the customer map on my website, you’ll see the major lack of my company’s cornhole products East of the Mississippi River. The “centralization” of cornhole is probably why the Midwest is losing it’s flare. A lot of the areas of our country that haven’t yet been exposed to cornhole have one advantage when it comes to the introduction of a new sport – they don’t have a winter. Growth and reputation of cornhole will spread year round – not like the Midwest…where the sport finally gets its spotlight of growth, then is abruptly shot down and throw into hibernation after out our first November snowfall forcing us to start all over again this time each year. Florida, Texas, Mississippi, SoCal, Arizona, New Mexico, etc are all places that haven’t yet been properly introduced to cornhole – but once they are, people will be hooked year round – no downtime. These states occasionally get snow, but it is melted within a day due to 65+ degree days. Once the name of cornhole is spread, the sport won’t die. We need to make sure we prioritize spreading the Sport’s name before it loses it’s name in the small region it exists now – the Midwest.

Basically what I’m saying is don’t give up hope on the sport of cornhole just because your town or state seems to have lost it’s flare – the sport needs to be known nationwide – worldwide – to get a real effect. Trust me, if the sport is dieing in Kentucky, but these same Kentuckians hear that people in San Francisco are now hot on the game, a rivalry will form and those cornhole boards will get dusted off. Rivalry = Sport = Addiction = Awesome. All the places in the country that are “cornhole’d out” are basically ticking time bombs for exploding once again and I think that will come with the increase of Cornhole’s footprint as a nation, not cornhole’s local reputation as it is now. Keep playing folks! Keep your city, state, town or whatever at least a bit involved…because when there are enough little seeds from coast to coast, rivalry forms and everything in the middle will fill itself in. It’s sport – it’s how every sport still exists and survives. It’s how any brand becomes a “brand”.

If there were only four MLB teams in the league, and all of them were in the same geographic region, I assure you MLB would be as cornhole is now…only known locally. MLB and all other “leagues” and “associations” survive because they have a “representative” team in pretty much every major city. If one team is doing bad, so does their representing region’s morale, but the sport in a whole doesn’t struggle to thrive because of all the other teams in the country (ie: Chicago Cubs…haha). Right now the sport of cornhole fills the geographic triangle created by Western Chicago, Nashville and Eastern Ohio – that’s not big enough…especially because “Chicago” was probably pushing it…I really don’t think the spread truly this far yet.

The popularity epicenters of the Sport of Cornhole need to look like this:
Future of Cornhole's Name
(source: www.studybreaks.com)
Cornhole needs enough branding throughout the country’s population spikes. This is the next step and is the only way to ensure the future of cornhole.

So, players, keep playing – Builders, keep building and if someone out West contacts you and wants a cornhole set, make it happen. If you can’t make it happen, refer them to someone who can, instead of just telling the client, “sorry, can’t help you”.

Cliffnotes: Spread the game enough, and it won’t die.

cheers, derricksmash

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Spring Preparations

Triple-A ball clubs are swinging, birds are starting to chirp in the mornings, and streams are flowing. Spring is in the air and cornhole builders all around the country are starting to dust off their tools and restock their lumber in preparation for what seems to be a big year in Cornhole.

Perhaps one can go so far as to say this will be a “make or break” year for builders across America to establish their brand – or simply get left behind. Participation in cornhole events should be on the climb this year in direct correlation to the increase of our population’s general exposure to the game. There are more and more “cornhole blogs”, websites and small associations sprouting up throughout this past winter. One such example is the blog you’re reading now as well as the traffic increase over at The Cornhole Game Players’ Forum. Something else to keep your eyes on is the Cornhole Players Association formed by top cornhole player Steve Venderver. CPA’s intent is to 1) bring back the spark in Cornhole in already-flooded areas such as Ohio and more importantly 2) spread the popularity of the game outwards and from coast to coast to the other 99% of the population who still haven’t been exposed to the game. They want to make sure everyone knows about the game. With all of this comes the demand for cornhole boards…and builders all around America are prepping for it.

Many northern builders take advantage of the winter months by taking care of things they don’t have time to when the season is in full swing – repairing some things around the shop, obtaining new tools, creating new jigs, developing new building methods, implementing marketing strategies, etc. But many of the northern climate builders haven’t had the down time they are used to in these cold winter months. This is probably due to the still -gaining popularity of the sport in the warmer southern states – or perhaps these builders are finally attaining the reputation and brand recognition that they’ve been fighting for. Whatever the case, Derrick Smash of derricksmash.com is a perfect example. Derrick says, “We’re not saying that we’re upset for staying busy throughout the winter months – but these southern-bound orders have left us without the ‘slow winter’ that we’re used to having and therefore hadn’t the time to complete the many tasks we had set for this upcoming spring. It’s a double-edged sword. Derricksmash.com has higher keywords ranking in search engines down in the southeast states than we do in our own home town – Chicago! Additionally, Chicago Cornhole Rental is something we kicked out live a few months back with the intent to have a full working inventory before spring – we don’t yet have it and it’s already March! The website has already gotten a few dozen inquiries from potential clients and here we are referring them away because our inventory isn’t quite there. The season isn’t even here yet but here we are already playing catch-up with the custom orders. We know we’ll be fine because with all the expanding we’ve done in the last 3 years, we’re used to working under pressure. Growth is overwhelming. If we’re not struggling to do what we do best, that means we’ve reached a plateau. We won’t let that happen. If you’re not growing, you’re actually shrinking.” But even with the overwhelming custom orders throughout these cold months, they’ve still managed to get a few tasks done over winter. “In addition to Chicago Cornhole Rental’s creation, another plan that we did fulfill over winter was the full implementation of “weatherproof” cornhole bags. They’re filled with recycled plastic and they still bear the one-year derricksmash.com warranty. They’re already on the site and available for sale. And speaking of the site, keep your eyes peeled for the total redesign of derricksmash.com, which is going live in the next couple weeks!”

Other builders have been just fine over the winter months in regards to their planned preparations.

Clinton Bylo of Ripped Boards, seems to have everything underway. He, too, has implemented his rendition of “weatherproof” bags. “With 2011 underway, Ripped Boards has been gearing up for another great year. Too help keep customer costs down in an economy where many items are increasing, we have purchased wood, corn, resin and bag material in large bulk quantities. With our new line of Resin Bags (‘Storm Bags’) and our push to increase cornhole bag sales, we have pre-seamed over 4,000 cornhole bags allowing for small or large orders to be completed and shipped same day. Ripped Boards has also built new jigs, recalibrated saws and replaced all our saw blades to ensure our cuts don’t damage a great looking board!” With their cornhole board sales already seeming to surpass last year’s, Clinton finalizes his thoughts. “2011 is going to be a great year for us. Ripped Boards has taken many steps to help increase production, increase marketing and help keep the sport of Cornhole growing.”

Another excellent example of a builder’s use of slower downtime is TJ of Buckeye Gameboards out in Ohio.“…the winter season is always slower, which is actually a very nice change after the busy season. We usually run ragged all the way up until Christmas Eve, so we enjoy the breaks while we can. We don’t let the down time go to waste though. We have made major changes to BuckeyeGameboards.com – we have increased our bandwidth to accommodate a larger photo gallery, video gallery and expected traffic. We are also in the process of launching a new line of affordable tournament boards. They will be marketed as our “Gold Series” boards, and will be unpainted hardwood with clearcoat finish. We anticipate a price point around $150 with bags.” And of course, TJ is yet another builder who has jumped onto the “weatherproof” style bags bandwagon. “We’ve introduced a new line of microfiber, synthetic fill tournament bags. They can be seen on the pro bags section of our website.” All-in-all, Buckeye Gameboards is anticipating another very busy and successful year.

Now, derricksmash.com of Chicago, Ripped Boards in Michigan and Buckeye Gamesboards in Ohio all dealt with this brutal Midwest winter. They are all also envious of the builders in the South – the ones who don’t really have a winter. But maybe they’re wrong. Joe of Carolina Joe’s says that in South Carolina, they “…had not 1 but 2 snowfalls”. Us Midwest builders laugh, but according to Joe, “One of them shut the state down for a week making it hard to get materials and I had to for the first time crank up the heater in the shop while I worked.” Well, Joe, us Midwestern builders aren’t gonna ‘console’ with you on having to crank up the heater in the Carolina Joe’s shop (derricksmash.com went through more than 1000lbs of propane in their shop this winter) – but we will console with you on the crappiness of not being able to buy materials for a week. But again, this down time gave Joe the ability to refine some of his procedures in building. “Overall this winter was a very productive experiment in board building and finishing. Carolina Joe’s is a one man operation I can now build several sets in just one day…I believe that if you are a serious builder you should always take time to improve your methods and keep looking for better more efficient ways to create the best quality product possible for you customers.”

Meanwhile, BagBoards.net down in the sunshine state of Florida spent all ‘winter’ doing what they do without having to deal with horrendously cold temperatures and snow. They are doing what they can to expose the sport in a state that has yet to be completely exposed to it. Joe Pertile says, “BagBoards.net and cornhole in general is slowly being introduced to more people and things are starting to look better for a state that pretty much lacks Cornhole. The game is getting bigger every day here and we hope we can introduce a product that is to the Highest Quality Standards and keep up with the predicted increase in the sport’s popularity.”

So, there’s the pre-spring scoop on just a handful of builders around the country. There are hundreds of builders of custom Cornhole sets all over America and it’s safe to say that they’re all bracing for this upcoming year. If you’re looking for a good cornhole set this year, just look around.

We’ll end this article with a tidbit of advice from Derrick of derricksmash.com: “I really do think this will be a make or break year for serious builders to really establish their product and truly get their name out there in the mainstream. Keep up or get left behind…”


A winter set by derricksmash.com and Burner Boards


One of Buckeye Gameboard‘s winter creations

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New-Cornhole-Classic-Banner

Windy City Corhole Classic – October 3rd, 2009

CornholePlayers.net is proud to help sponsor the 3rd Annual Windy City Cornhole Classic!

Whether you consider yourself a pro or a regular Joe, come out and test your skill.  The tournament will be held at historic Arlington Park Racetrack in Arlington Heights, Illinois on October 3, 2009.  Competitive and social players alike are invited to come out and play for a total of $4500 in prizes. While not tossing you can be sure to enjoy the music, food, drinks and vendors displaying and selling all of the latest cornhole products and accessories!

Bags, cornhole, tailgate toss, corn toss, no matter what you call it make sure you come out and join fellow Cornhole Players in the 3rd Annual Windy City Cornhole Classic presented by Adrenaline Sports Management and BestCornBags.com!

Visit www.chicagocornholeclassic.com for more information and to register for the tournament.

Questions?  Call 847-829-4538 or email info@chicagocornholeclassic.com

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CH_IN_IRAQMembers of the CornholePlayers.net community have started a movement to send Cornhole boards and bags over to our men and women fighting in Iraq/Afghanistan!

With help from a group called Soldiers Angels, the community members are hoping to get a few sets of Cornhole boards sent to the troops.

To get things started, forum member Milky has volunteered to buy the material and build the first set of boards.  Members of the site will come up with a design, make it, and ship it to North Carolina (Soldiers Angels will cover the overseas shipping costs).  PayPal donations will help to cover the shipping costs to NC.

See the forum thread for full information.

The first set will be built & customized by Milky, and will be a REALLY nice set.  We didn’t want to stop there, though.  We’ve teamed up with iCornhole.com to send additional boards!    For every $110 we’re able to raise, we will be able to send a set of painted boards, with bags, to the troops!

If you’d like to help, you can send donations through PayPal.
Donate via PayPal to: mmiehlke@comcast.net

PLEASE be sure to put “Cornhole For The Troops” in the message box.

Even if you can only give a bit, remember that every little bit helps!  As we head toward the 4th of July, remember the troops, and help us send Cornhole Boards overseas!

Thanks!!

Cornhole For the Troops Forum Thread

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philly-cornholeThe Times Herald ran an article today to feature the awesome cornhole board making skills of Mark Miehlke, better known as “Milky” in the Cornhole Players Forum.

The full story tells how Milky first learned of the game in preparation for a Jimmy Buffett show. It goes on to tell how Milky’s building and customization skills have turned his new hobby into a quickly growing small business!

Click here to read the full story.

Related Links:

Philly Cornhole Website

Milky’s announcement in the forum.

Milky’s forum Introduction

Cornhole Players Forum

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students making cornhole boards Here’s a cool story about a teacher and some students in Kentucky. Student volunteers are making Cornhole boards, with all proceeds going to benefit the programs and services at the school.

Not your usual fundraiser, but with orders going past the holidays and in to 2009, it sounds like a big hit!

Click here for the full story.

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