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It's the Super Bowl of the game known as cornhole, and it's taking place in Ventura County

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Cory Ballard of Fillmore is one of the top ranked cornhole players in California. He's taking part in the 2022 ThrowDown event at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

More than 1,000 teams from across country taking part in what's called world's largest cornhole event; ESPN, CBS Sports providing TV coverage.

Maybe you’ve played cornhole at a party, or a college football tailgate event. It’s the game with deep Midwest roots, in which you try to toss a bag through a board with a hole in it. The first one to get to 21 points wins.

This weekend, the Super Bowl of cornhole is taking place in Ventura County. It’s being called the world’s largest cornhole festival. There’s a thousand teams from around the country competing, and TV coverage on ESPN, and the CBS Sports Cable network.

John Karayan is the owner of Spencer Makenzie's Fish Company, which sponsors the event at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. It’s called the Throw Down Cornhole Festival. Karayan says what started with a few dozen cornhole players in 2010 has exploded in popularity.

"Cornhole wasn't on the West Coast...there was just a handful of people playing it in Ventura," said Karayan. The event started with a few dozen players, and $100 in prize money. This year, there's $350,000 in prize money available

This year the professional American Cornhole League is managing the event. "We've seen tremendous growth in the last few years," said Fred Boucherle, who's the league’s Chief Operating Officer. "We're now on CBS Sports Network, CBS, and ESPN."

One of the nation’s top ranked cornhole players is from Ventura County, and will be competing this weekend.

Corey Ballard of Fillmore just recently competed in the cornhole world championships, where he placed 42nd out of 825 competitors. "The biggest overall thing is the will to win...the competitive drive...and practice is everything," said Ballard.

The 20-year-old recently quit his job to compete in the sport full time.

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The cornhole festival at the Ventura County Fairgrounds also gives anyone who wants the chance to play cornhole, and even have a shot at winning prizes.

The sport even has its own language, with terms for play like airmail, jumper, and the term cornfusion. That term is used when players or teams can't agree on scoring.

Karayan said the festival has it’s turned into a project which takes have half a year to organize. But, he’s tried to turn the event into more than something you watch. Besides the pros who are competing, there are areas for everyone to play cornhole. There's also a music festival, food and drink.

The Throw Down Cornhole Festival takes place Friday through Sunday at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.