Nothing can gather a large, thirsty crowd in your establishment faster than good old-fashioned competition. An increasingly popular game for customers of all ages is bags – a.k.a. cornhole. Hosting a bags tournament is a great way to create a buzz about your place, especially if you make it a regular event.
We had the opportunity to speak with one of Accel Entertainment’s location owners, Steve Burns, owner of Burnzees Bar and Grill in Brimfield, IL. In the past, Steve has hosted and coordinated several very successful bags tournaments. He found that hosting these tournaments is fun and great way to get people outdoors, interacting with one another. Here’s how you can host one at your business this summer!
What should you know before deciding to host a tournament?
For those unfamiliar with the game, the rules are very simple. Equipment for the game includes two 48" X 24" rectangular boards with a 6" diameter hole in each board centered 9" from the top of the board. The board surfaces are often decorated with things like a bar’s logo or sports team logos and are made to be smooth, even somewhat slippery. The boards have an incline of 6 inches. The two boards are placed facing each other 25 feet apart. The bags are usually made from canvas stitched together to be about 6" X 6" squares and filled with feed corn (plastic pellets or other materials are also used).
Typically, bags are played as a four-person (two to a team) game, however a one-on-one match works just as well. Players score points by tossing the bags either onto the surface of the boards or into the holes cut in the boards. For the official rules and regulations check out the American Cornhole Organization’s website.
Here are a few important things to consider when planning your bags tournament:
Where will this tournament will be held? This can simply be determined by the layout and available space at your location. Most games of bags are played outdoors, but if you have enough space inside your location, an indoor game area could be even better since the players and spectators would typically stay closer to the bar, and tournaments could be held regardless of the weather.
During your tournament you will want to have several games going at one time, so you will need to have a few bags sets on hand. There are a few ways to go about this without having to spend major bucks yourself. One suggestion is to ask players to bring their own. It’s safe to say that many of your players who sign up for your tournament would consider themselves bags enthusiasts, so it's common that they’ll have their own sets . You could also look online for local businesses that make their own boards. You can even ask them to provide the sets for your tournament in exchange for free marketing and the opportunity to get in front of many potential customers.
Will prizes be awarded to the winners? It’s no secret that competition is further motivated by incentives. When promoting the tournament, you should make sure to include 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes to make the tournament more exciting and to increase the number of participants. There are a wide variety of prize options you could offer to your location such as cash prizes, gift cards to your location, or even a some free food.
How to get the word out about your bags tournament. The easiest way to get this information to your customers is by word of mouth. Have your servers and bartenders talk up your upcoming tourney to every customer in your place. Hang posters around your location advertising the event. You can also incentivize your customers to sign up for the tournament by offering them something as simple as a free appetizer. Another way to promote your tournament is social media. This is a free and easy way to get your message out. Does your location have a Facebook page? Post your tournament details online and encourage your followers to share and tag their friends. Once your tournament starts, you can also use your social media to post scores, rankings and photos.
Let us know when you host your tournament! Tag us on social media!