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October 2011

“Brotherhood of Bags: Cornholing America”

By | ACO News (from the ACO)

“Paul Nelson’s insightful and entertainment look into the sport of cornhole is now available to the public,” said Matt Gray, Director of TV/Media Development. “Paul and I have worked together over the years, including overcoming the snowy blizzard at last season’s ACO World Championships V (see video). ‘Brotherhood of Bags: Cornholing America’ is great story and is a must watch for cornhole players everywhere.”

Here is the official press release:

Contact: Paul Nelson
Tel: 630-805-2916


Brotherhood of Bags

Highlights the game that millions play but know little about.

The resonant thud of a bag hitting a wooden board has almost become commonplace in many parts of the US. The game being played, known commonly as Bags or Cornhole, is now considered a staple at college campuses, family picnics, tailgating parties, and almost any outdoor social gathering. A newly released independent documentary, Brotherhood of Bags, sheds light on the game that brought the return of social competition to America. Where did this simple game of throwing a bean bag into a hole come from? Why has it become so popular? Should we take this game seriously? The documentary Brotherhood of Bags: Cornholing America addresses these questions as it provides insight into the past-time, follows those who love it and traces the game’s rise from as a rural target game to a national phenomenon.

“I started a documentary about this game because of a personal passion to play it,” said Paul Nelson, Brotherhood of Bags Director/Producer. “The more involved I became with the game and fellow baggers, the more I began to notice similarities between bags and other sports during their infancy.” Nelson points out that opportunities like his are rare. “Could you imagine filming the early baseball or golf associations when those games were just spreading around the country? This is a chance for us to watch the evolution of a sport.”

Nelson, an independent filmmaker as well as Production Manager for Lakeshore Public Television, spent his weekends and vacation days traveling the Midwest playing bags and videotaping the people who make the sport great. He gathered interviews from fans, historians, and business owners along with tournament and backyard action to create a compelling story of a simple game that has brought active competition back to America. Brotherhood of Bags: Cornholing America is that snapshot of the golden hour when a game progresses into a sport.

Interviews include, Frank Geers, President of the American Cornhole Organization; Matt Guy, Five Time King of Cornhole & Gerald Gems, Author of Understanding American Sports; along with a wide selection of players and facilitators. The director of this documentary is available for interviews and also to answer any questions about the film and about the game of Cornhole. Interviews with some of the documentary’s interviewees are also possible. Please direct any inquiries via email to or phone to 630-805-2916.

This program can be seen in the Chicago market on Lakeshore Public Television (WYIN) over the air on 56.1, on Comcast on CH17 in Northwest Indiana and 21 in Illinois, on DirecTV & Dish Network on CH56, and RCN Chicago on CH4.