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02/16/2016

A HISTORY OF BAG THROWING GAMES

If you’ve been to a party in a backyard, you might be familiar with games that involve throwing things into other things. If you’ve been to a good party in a good backyard, then you’re probably familiar with games like cornhole or Baggo.

Cornhole and Baggo are beautiful games. In essence, what you’re trying to do is throw a bean bag (which is really a bag full of corn, because, as we know, in America corn is everywhere) into a hole on a board which is placed some distance away (20 feet for Baggo & 27 feet for Cornhole, to be exact).

Sounds simple, right? Well, it’s not. These games take some talent if you want to be really good, and it takes some know-how as well. That being said, however, anyone can play, because it’s also the kind of game where beginner’s luck, or even an ability to throw lightweight objects, can translate into some serious success. In the end, both cornhole and Baggo provide the perfect combination of difficulty and ease of use, though the Baggo board is widely considered the more convenient of the two.

This combination allows cornhole and Baggo to be two of the greatest tailgating games in the history of civilization. Visit any college campus or professional football stadium parking lot anywhere near game time, and you’re bound to see all kinds of people playing some great bag throwing games, and having all kinds of fun with them.

But, Where Did It Start?

Now, when it comes to the history of bag throwing games, there’s a little bit of murky water you’re going to have to wade through on your way to the truth. Legends often tell tales of bag throwing games as far back as biblical times, and there are rumors that the three wise men were playing these games while they waited for Joseph and Mary to arrive on their trek from Nazareth, but those stories are, as of yet, unconfirmed, and we may never know the truth.

There is something we do know. The modern history of bag throwing games is generally attributed to European countries, despite what fans of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals might try to tell you. Take, for example, the story of a gentleman named Matthias Kaupermann. When it comes to bag throwing games, Kaupermann should be a household name, but sadly, history has not been kind to him.

Kaupermann, as the legends say, saw a number of children in his native Bavaria throwing stones into holes, and became worried about the safety of the game. See, as it turns out, throwing stones around isn’t always smiled upon by parents, and Matthias believed in the safety of his people above all else. So, he created the soft-sided bean bags (corn bags) that are still in use all over America today. Whether or not he actually perfected the rules of the game is another matter, but without Matthias Kaupermann, cornhole as we know it probably wouldn’t exist.

Who Let The Rules Out?

The rules, on the other hand, bring us to an American farmer in the Midwest named Jebediah Magillicutty. Many scholars agree that Jebediah brought the game of cornhole to Midwestern farms in the 19th century. Mr. Magillicutty wanted a way to bring some entertainment to the farmers’ long, hard days of tending fields and crops. Needless to say, Jebediah succeeded, and his game was a runaway success.

So, Where Are We Now?

Of course, Jebediah’s game was by no means a finished product, and, since its popularization, it has undergone multiple changes and refinements. Nowadays, cornhole and Baggo are two of the most accessible lawn and party games on the market.

It isn’t until you look at the competition that you realize just how perfect cornhole and Baggo really are. Take, for example, horseshoes. First of all, horseshoes require a custom-built sand pit (well, two, actually) to play the game, and the spikes to play horseshoes must be installed well in advance. All of the above requires some work to install it in order to ensure someone is creating a professional playing environment. Not to mention the dangers of a large metal spike sticking up out of the ground!

But not Baggo. All you need is two of the highly-portable boards, and a little bit of space. Then, when you’re done, simply fold up the boards and carry them away. It’s like you were never even there.

Baggo and cornhole have taken hold of America for the past two or three decades, and, if you’re not on the bandwagon, then hop on. All you need are two of Baggo’s easy-to-carry boards, and a little bit of bag throwing cheer. Trust us, the party will thank you. 

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