Virtual cornhole tournaments attract national competition

SCV resident and co-founder of the Scoreholio app, has been hosting online cornhole tournaments. Photo courtesy Sheri Budhu
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The Santa Clarita Valley, much like towns across the United States, has a group of devoted cornhole competitors. One local league even has 150 players.

So when residents were encouraged to stay at home due to concerns of coronavirus, they were left without a hobby they loved.

Ben Budhu, co-creator of the Scorholio app, which is used to score cornhole tournaments, had a solution. He and his business partner, Nick Coninto, had a solution.

“We send out a Zoom,” Budhu said, referencing a video conferencing app. “Everybody downloads Zoom on their phone and they set it up behind their own set of cornhole boards … and all 32 people are playing.”

Budhu hosted the first virtual cornhole tournament on Tuesday. Eight people took part. On Wednesday, there were 12 people and on Thursday there were 26. In Friday’s tournament, the most recent one, Budhu had to put a cap on the number of people who could play at 32.

Cornhole competitors from Southern and Northern California as well as states like Mississippi and Idaho have joined in.

SCV resident and Scoreholio co-founder Ben Budhu uses Zoom to host online cornhole tournaments. Photo courtesy Sheri Budhu

“It’s a lot of fun,” Budhu said. “I think a lot of people are just trying to do anything to get their mind off it or keep part of their normal routine. I think we’re giving it to them.”

In a physical tournament, tablets sit behind the cornhole boards to record the score. In the virtual games, Budhu has to rely on people verbally reporting their scores so that he can properly record them.

Thus far, all of the games have been fair. And there’s always the option of video replay as the Zoom videos stream to the Scoreholio Facebook page, a resource that Budhu has taken advantage of to grow the virtual tournaments.

“Because we have such huge following in the cornhole world, a lot of people are just clamoring,” he said. “They all want to be able to run it themselves, which is what we’re trying to get to, the end goal.”

Budhu, in partnership with Coninto, had plenty of fundraisers planned in the SCV for spring. Because of coronavirus concerns, all have been canceled. In place of the fundraisers, the two plan on hosting more virtual cornhole tournaments, possibly even two per day.

“We play four rounds and go into single elimination,” Budhu said. “We have three winners already so we’re thinking if we get up to 12 winners, we’ll have a championship battle.”

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