Classic Midwest game comes to campus

Cornhole is in Miami? We’re not in Kansas anymore.

The traditional Midwestern game of tossing beanbags at boards has become an official club at the U. The Cornhole at UM organization helps raise money for charities and add more diversity on campus.

Midwestern juniors Matt Garbarino and Kevin Pribramsky created the club in May, after realizing that Miami was missing out on the popular game, which is played in a manner similar to horseshoes, except that stuffed beanbags are tossed.

“I’m from Chicago, and Matt is from Cincinnati,” Pribramsky said. “We wanted to bring cornhole to UM because we miss it. It’s a big part of our culture. It brings everyone together.”

Club advisor Seth Reder, the area director for Stanford Residential College, is also from the Midwest. He wanted to see cornhole on campus instead of just in events like tailgating at football games.

“I love cornhole,” he said. “It is a great American pastime. I wanted to help remove the stigma that it is only a tailgate event.”

The traditional version of cornhole is played with a couple of slightly raised boards, each with a hole at one end, several beanbags and two to four players. The players throw their bags at their team’s board in hopes of scoring points.

A bag that lands and stays on the board is called a “woody” and is worth one point. A bag that falls through the hole is called an “ace,” “cow pie” or “cornhole” and is worth three points. The game ends when someone reaches 21 points, but they can only win if they are in the lead by at least two points.

For Pribramsky, the goal of UM’s cornhole club goes beyond winning.

“The point of the club is to make friends, have fun and raise money for charity,” he said.

Garbarino also sees cornhole as a way to introduce students to a slice of the Midwest.

“It’s welcoming like Midwest culture,” he said.

Members compete in tournaments with other student organizations. All of the earnings from the tournaments are donated to the winning organization’s cause.

“The tournaments are used to show that it is a fun sport, and we’ll use cornhole as a way to put on charity events like ‘Cornhole for a Cause,'” Reder said.

Through “Cornhole for a Cause,” the club participates in tournaments led by nonprofit organizations and donates cornhole equipment to the charity.

“We participate in nonprofit tournaments and give money we raise to charity,” Gabarino said. “We also make a cornhole board to donate to the charity.”

Cornhole at UM is open to all levels of players, from beginner to expert.  The club is for any students who want to play, help the community and learn the tradition of cornhole.

The club is formally called Cornhole at UM, but is most commonly referred to by the catchy name #cornhole.

“We like to call it #cornhole,” Garbarino said. “We wanted to show how cornhole is trendy, like Twitter.”

November 29, 2012


Molly Canfield

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