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USA Cornhole

1 Jul, 2020

By: Kevin Warner
An Interview with Kevin Warner, Executive Director

USA Cornhole was organized as the national governing body for the sport of cornhole in the United States. Its mission is to govern, sanction and standardize the sport of cornhole through a series of state, regional, and national competitions while uniting the cornhole community by encouraging participation from all ages, genders, and economic backgrounds. Ultimately, the vision of USA Cornhole is the inclusion of the sport in the Olympic Games, as well as to be a leader in the international growth of the sport.

Sports Destination Management: USA Cornhole has some very well-defined ambitions, including the Olympics. How are you accomplishing those?

Kevin Warner: We know that it’s something that is going to take time, and we don’t see it taking any less than eight to ten years, and maybe longer. I’m currently working with the USOPC to gain official recognition from them.

SDM: Are there federations in other countries?

Warner: Currently, the U.S. is the only country that has set up a national federation per the rules of the International Olympic Committee and other organizations that govern the international structure of sports. USA Cornhole and a soon-to-be-launched International Cornhole Federation will be working together to assist other nations in setting up their national cornhole federations.

SDM: Outside of the U.S., where are you seeing cornhole played?

Warner: Germany is a fairly fluent with cornhole. There are teams in Sweden, Ireland, Italy and several other locations around Europe. Canada has teams, as does Australia and Japan. In particular, it is popular where there are military bases – a lot of the play in Germany started there, for example.

SDM: What kinds of strides has USA Cornhole made to raise the profile of the sport?

Warner: We have a contract with NBC Sports, which is going to televise some of our competitions this year. The first event is the USA Cornhole Club Championships, held in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the Bayfront Convention Center. We had planned to start earlier; in fact, we had a tournament planned for Memorial Day weekend. It was set up for New York City and was going to be the USA Forces event, with teams of military and first responders competing on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid; unfortunately, that had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus but we’re hoping to do it next year.

SDM: So the Club Championships are the first official event?

Warner: Yes, but we have been hosting virtual tournaments during the time people were in quarantine.

SDM: When do you anticipate naming a national team and what would be the details of that?

Warner:The National Championships will be held October 17 and 18 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. NBC Sports will be giving three and a half hours of coverage to that and we’ll be naming the national team there. We’ll have Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. All told, we’ll have eight people on the U.S. national team.

SDM: What is the demographic like for the sport?

Warner: It’s about 75 percent men, 25 percent women. We have players of all different age groups, which is really great to see.

SDM: Is membership club-based or individual-based?

Warner: It’s both, actually.

SDM: Where do you go from here?

Warner: It is a misconception that we are just another league – we don’t have weekly events or a point system. We have specific goals like club growth and the growth of the sport in general. We’re not going to be giving out millions of dollars or even thousands of dollars. Our goal is to grow the overall game and work on someday making it an Olympic sport. SDM

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