About King of Cornhole

A Brief History of the King of Cornhole

The King of Cornhole is the title awarded for the Best Cornhole Player in the World.

Creator/founder Matthew Gray thought of the idea for the King of Cornhole in 2002 at a party. It immediately reminded him of a classic television show he watched as a kid called the King of TV Bowling. With the help from Gray’s business partner Doug Hopkins and producer Phill Daniel, the King of Cornhole debuted as a local, weekly television show featuring players competing in a tournament to face the reigning king. Like the classic bowling show, the reigning king had the privilege to only defend the crown in a championship match against the tournament winner and not compete in the tournament.

Shortly after the “Legacy Era,” Gray and Hopkins became partners with American Cornhole, LLC. Gray, Hopkins and American Cornhole president Frank Geers worked to promote the sport of cornhole and transition the King of Cornhole from a weekly series to the featured event of the ACO US Nationals, later to be renamed the ACO World Championships of Cornhole.

There have been many components of the “ACO Era” over the years. Masters Series events became Masters Series Regionals. Signature Series events became Masters Series Majors and Cup tournaments. The Skills Challenge Ranking was changed to a Skill Challenge Rating. CornyForty Rankings became the World Rankings. A Certified Officials program was created. Plus, there was the introduction of the Ranked Players Invitational. All of these components have been a part of a player’s Chase for the Crown to become the world champion King of Cornhole.

Historically, the event had always been in January. In 2013, the decision was made to move the event to July. That summer the King of Cornhole VIII was featured on ESPN’s Kenny Mayne’s Wider World of Sports.

2014 was a time of change leading up to the King of Cornhole IX. Gray and Hopkins left American Cornhole in the fall of 2014. The King of Cornhole field was expanded from 64 players to 128 players and included several winners of the newly created State Championships.