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Jacksonville hosts cornhole competition Friday at Daily’s Place

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Yes, it is possible to be a professional cornhole player.

Just about everyone has played the game at some point, throwing weighted bags of corn kernels into a hole in an inclined board (hence the name “cornhole”). It’s a staple at backyard gatherings and tailgate parties.

For eight players competing in Jacksonville on Friday, however, this is serious business. The American Cornhole League hosts their Pro Shootout Championships at Daily’s Place, and that’s a big deal in the cornhole world.

Three matches are scheduled. The winners of the men’s and women’s singles matches each win $ 20,000, the doubles teams compete for a prize of $ 50,000. The games will be recorded and then broadcast nationwide at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS as an introduction to the Alabama-Florida college football game.

Friday's American Cornhole League competition at Daily's Place will be taped and played Saturday on CBS leading up to the Alabama-Florida college football game.

“People who come out, they’re going to be on national television,” said Trey Ryder, a former gamer who now works as an analyst on ACL shows.

He said there are now around 20 people making a full-time living as professional cornhole players, and one recently signed a six-figure sponsorship deal. The league has 256 professionals competing each year and its player database has over 120,000 entries.

“More and more people are becoming professionals,” he said.

ACL debuted in 2016. Again just this week, it announced that former Georgetown University basketball coach John Thompson III had invested in the league, which signed a broadcast deal with CBS in December.

Friday's competition will feature men's singles, women's singles and doubles championships.

Friday’s competition is the culmination of eight rounds of playoff tournaments, starting in May. A tournament last week in Virginia Beach, Virginia, reduced the number of contestants from eight in each division to just two.

The flagship game will likely be the doubles competition, Ryder said. This match will feature father and son playing in opposing teams. The women’s singles final could be another good one, he said, pitting the reigning singles world champion against the half of the women’s doubles champion team.

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