Focus on Carlsbad Fall 2020 | Cave Kings Cornhole with Josh Rodriguez

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A few years ago a buddy pulled Josh Rodriguez to a cornhole tournament to play in a social league.

This was hosted by All Sports Best, a local podcast company dedicated to sports and good vibes. To his surprise, they placed fourth. Josh, who is a detective with the Eddy County Sheriff Department, greatly appreciated the benefits of the game which balances low-impact play, strategy, and camaraderie. Josh remembers that early tournament fondly, “I really enjoyed it [cornhole] and fell in love with it.” After a few tournaments, Josh earned the top spot in the social league in Albuquerque hosted by Duke City Cornhole. Inspired by this victory, Josh set out to bring tournament-style cornhole play to Southeastern New Mexico.

Enter Josh’s league, Cave Kings Cornhole, offering social and competitive league tournaments for adults. Josh plans to offer a new youth league for kids as young as fourth and fifth grade. Tournament styles vary. There are singles tournaments with as many as 67 competitors, doubles tournaments with as many as 50 teams, and a style called Switcholio where individuals are paired with new partners for every match.

Cave Kings
cave kings double

The game means more now than ever as stress levels are on the rise due to the pandemic state of the world. Cornhole is an easy game for any individual to pick up, but it’s also a game that takes time to master. Game defense and the art of blocking a hole takes practice and skill. The balance of straight forward rules, coupled with the subtleties of game strategy, means cornhole is an ideal way to unwind. The game allows stressed minds the opportunity to focus on simple rules while enjoying some friendly competition. Josh mentions that many new folks to the game can be intimidated, but he insists that there is no need.

Cornhole is a family-friendly, easy-going activity. Josh encourages everyone to come out and give it a try! The Cave Kings play weekly at Jump N’ Play in Carlsbad after 5 pm. He expresses his gratitude to Jump N’ Play for hosting and for Yum Yum Yogurt, located in Jump N’ Play, for staying open late to provide refreshments for cornhole players. In compliance with current orders from the state, players wear masks and practice social distancing. Even the rules of cornhole are conducive to contactless experience which the CDC recommends. For example, pitchers throw all four of their bags before walking to the opposite board to retrieve their bags.

Cave Kings Tourney
Cave Kings Tournament

If you’d like to join the Cave Kings, contact Josh through the Cave Kings Cornhole Facebook page. If you’d like to practice tossing a few bags from the comfort of your own space before trying a league or a tournament, Josh suggests contacting ENM Wood & Designs, LLC to commission a cornhole board of your own. Check out their Facebook page for details and contact information. He thanks the local community for all their support. Josh attributes the success of the league to the unwavering support of his fiancée, Greta Leos, and family hosting and playing the game he’s most passionate about.

The American Cornhole League Rules

PLAY OF THE GAME

Every match is broken down into innings of play. During an inning of play, each player must pitch all four of his/her bags. An inning is never completed until all players pitch all four of his/her bags.

SINGLES CORNHOLE MATCHES

  • Two single players compete against one another until a single winner is determined.
  • Both players stay in their designated lane for the whole game.
  • Players start the game at the headboard and will alternate pitching bags until each player has pitched all four of his/her bags.
  • Players then walk to the end of their lane to the other court, take score, and resume pitching back to the other board.
  • The top of an inning is completed when the first player pitches all four bags; the bottom of the inning is completed when the remaining player pitches all four bags.

SCORING

The approved method of scoring for the sport of cornhole is “cancellation” scoring. In cancellation scoring, the points of one player cancel out the points of their opponent. Using this method, only one player/team can score in each inning.

  • Bag In-The-Count (Woody): Any bag which comes to rest anywhere on top of the board. Each is worth one (1) point.
  • Bag In-The-Hole (Cornhole): Any bag which is thrown through the hole or knocked through the hole by another bag. Each is worth three (3) points.
  • Foul Bags: Any bag that has not been determined as Bag In-The-Count or Bag In-The-Hole or was designated a foul bag as the result of rules violation.
Cave King Playing

Article written by Kaity Hirst and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2020 Fall edition.

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