How I Fell in Love with Cornhole

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

The game with endless innuendo that is surprisingly good



I get shushed all the time living in Germany. The hair salon, the gym, even at work! I find American exuberance to be a thing and I have it.


In efforts not to be so “ugly”, I’m working on it. However, it didn’t matter how quiet and polite the German Cornhole crowd was at the elementary gymnasium, I jumped for pure joy! The players and teams were packed into a space so tight that you had to wait until the opponents stopped throwing their bags on the other end to pass behind their court. Even though there were 8 teams playing at once on a court that was 30 feet long, it didn’t stop me from running to the center of the cornhole court to jump into my husbands broad arms. My feet came up and I squealed a bit in joy as he spun me around like I was a Wheaties champion. My back arched and feet kicked up as I kissed him and I couldn’t help but smile so big I could feel the redness in my cheeks.


I finally did it! In official tournament play, I threw a “four bagger”, “12er” as my Greman friends like to say , or “glory hole” (my clubs’ official term for 4 in the hole)— and even better, all delivered via “air mail”.


“Air mail “— when you throw a 1 pound (or 400 gram in Europe) bag filled with cornfeed that leaves your hand and lands directly into a 9 inch diameter hole inside a 4 foot piece of plywood 30 feet away from where you stand.

Never before had I done this even in practice. My throws prior to this were mostly not even on the board, landing off to the side or short. Once or twice I had gotten three bags out of four that you throw in one round of play into the hole. They usually slid or got knocked in, and definitely I didn’t deliver much “air mail”.


And these cornhole boards! The nascent cornhole clubs in far western Germany created some challenging boards. They were slick and slippery (rutschig in German) and nobody liked them. Even the seasoned champions were complaining auf Deutsch, one didn’t need to even speak German to know that the boards in this tournament were difficult. The cornhole bags slid, bounced, and generally missed their mark that day.


Experienced players like the steely Silke, guiding Gunni, or smiling Isabelle modified their throwing technique to improve their scores. 4 baggers aren’t unknown to them, but even they found that their strategy had to change a bit. For players like me, I didn’t have a modification, I normally am elated to hit the board, but a 4 bagger (gloryhole)! Delivered via Airmail! It was so easy to feel fully absorbed in the moment over something so silly as tossing bean bags.


We walked across the court to the opposite side to start the next game and the bright Saarlandisch sun shone in from the windows and hit my eyes on the next round after my glorious 4 bagger.


Never complain about a sunny day in Germany

It was so bright in the school hall that I had to borrow my husbands baseball hat to shade my eyes. We went to the tournament in Germany’s second smallest state on the border with France in a tree filled village called Quidersheid. This state has flipped back and forth between Germany and France for hundreds of years, just like the bags flipped back and forth between boards during the game of cornhole. It’s not uncommon for German people to say Bonjour instead of Tschuss at the shops and bakeries after selling you a pretzel.


How valuable are Expectations anyways in physical performance?
How valuable are Expect