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A week ago we conducted a survey of cornhole players, and are excited to share the results!
About the Survey
The survey, which we ran with SurveyMonkey, went live on July 12. We promoted the survey via our own Facebook page (~7,000 fans) and the popular Facebook group Addicted to Cornhole (~11,000 members). We encouraged people to complete the survey by offering a set of Scoreholio bags to one randomly selected respondent. and encouraged them to share it with their league or friends by offering a set of AllCornhole AllSlides to one randomly selected person who shared the survey with their Facebook page. Matt Chaney won the Scoreholio bags, and Anthony K won the AllSlides. The results, of course, represent the opinions of people who not only follow our page, or are members of Addicted to Cornhole, but had enough interest to bother filling out our survey.
California was the state most represented in our survey, with 14% of respondents (117) claiming the Golden State as home, not surprising given its massive population and the fact that we’re based here. Things were well distributed after that, with Minnesota and Michigan 1/2 with 6.4% (52) and 4.8% (39) of respondents, then top ten rounded out by Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New York and Missouri.
And now, without further ado, the results…
Where and How Often People Play Cornhole
The first question in this area asked people in what environments they play cornhole, meaning in their backyard, in leagues and tournaments close to home, or in regional/national tournaments. We allowed multiple choice because most folks who play in big organized tournaments also play in smaller ones and at home.
Among respondents, over 80% of people play at home, and nearly that many play in a local league and/or tournaments. I was somewhat surprised to learn that over 40% of respondents play in what I consider “regional” tournaments within driving distance, and 10% play in national tournaments anywhere in the country.
We then asked how often people play cornhole. For this one people had to pick one answer. Even knowing that this survey reflects the habits of only those who are hooked enough on bags to take the time to complete this survey, I still found the results surprising: 2/3 of people said they play cornhole several times a week, and 1/4 of respondents saying they play once a wee. That adds up to 9 out of 10 respondents playing at least weekly.
Affiliation with Organizing Bodies
In order to see which leagues and governing bodies people associate themselves with, we asked which they had loyalty to, and allowed them to answer multiple.
No big surprise that the American Cornhole League (ACL) has ridden the coverage of their tournaments to become the most well-known organizing body/league at the national level, and they have the most active system of regional and local tournaments among these governing bodies. The American Cornhole Organization (ACO) predates ACL and is still doing its thing with a widely respected system of regional tournaments that roll up to a world championship. American Cornhole Association is still active as well, but needs to make some moves to build awareness and loyalty among the cornhole community.
Over half of respondents indicated some level of loyalty to ACL, 1/3 said they don’t have loyalty to any, and 15% said ACO. Note that we offered regional options like the California Cornhole League, Crew Cornhole League and Texas Cornhole League but have excluded those answers since they were small as a natural consequence of the nationwide scope of this survey.
Awareness of Tournament Software
We wanted to see which software systems people see and use as they play cornhole and organize games/tournaments among their friends or clubs. A few years ago Brackelope was popular, but hey haven’t actively supported or updated their app in years and Scoreholio has lapped it to now completely dominate the space. Challonge is primarily focused on e-sports, but can be used to run cornhole tournaments., as can Tournament Wizard.
It’s not surprising to see Scoreholio with such high awareness/familiarity, because they have transformed the game of cornhole more than any other entity by automating tournaments, enabling real-time self-service scoring, launching the game’s first player rating system, and introducing new formats like Switcholio (which lets organizers easily run blind draws in which players get a new partner for each game) and more recently Squadholio. The big organizing bodies have taken note of what Scoreholio has done for the game. For example, ACO lets its organizers run their tournaments with Scoreholio. ACL, on the other hand, has chosen to “draw inspiration” from Scoreholio instead of working with them, as they’ve incorporated some eerily familiar functionality into their own tournaments, and have rolled out a version of Switcholio they call ACL Swap.
If you’re among the few who aren’t familiar with Scoreholio, you should at least download the app for their free digital scoreboard.
Cornhole Bag Preference
Finally, the info you’ve probably most been looking forward to — a quantified, ranked, impartial list of which bagmakers cornhole players love the most. Needless to say there are a LOT of bagmakers, out there, so I’ve only presented here the top ten. No big surprises, in my opinion: AllCornhole and Reynolds are the two of the most established and most well-respected makers of cornhole bags across the country, and BG and Ultra each have large followings of their own, and the cornhole world has gone kinda gaga for hot new bagmaker Killshots this year.
Note that breaking down the data by geography indicates some clear differences in bag preference by state. For example, among respondents from Michigan AllCornhole didn’t even make the podium, with Michigan-based Killshots was #1, Reynolds from nearby Ohio 2nd, and MuthaShuckas (a pretty well-known bag made in Michigan that didn’t crack the top ten) in 3rd.
The results are skewed a little bit by us crazy Californians, who love supporting our local folks like Ultra, Scoreholio and Draggin, but the only effect that excluding California responses has is that Local Bags climbs past California-based Scoreholio (which is new to the bag game and I’m sure got a boost from the strong brand awareness of their app) and Draggin’ Bags.
There you have it, the results of our first survey! I’m pretty excited because 800+ respondents yields some pretty trustworthy data, acknowledging the audience. I look forward to conducting and sharing the results of more surveys in the future.
But what do you think? Any suggestions for improving our process or results? What else would you like to know? Sound off in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.