Chico State students strive to break a Guinness World Record


A player focuses on his target as he winds up for a toss. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

A chance to be a part of history in the Guinness Book of World Records? Some cornhole competition? Free burgers? Chico State students said, ‘Count me in!’

On Friday, Oct. 25, Chico State made its attempt to break the record for most people simultaneously playing cornhole in the same location. This took place in the 85-degree heat at Yolo Fields from 3-5 p.m. With burgers on the grill, cornhole bags in the air, Jonas Brother jams in the background, and the sun beating down on the foreheads of over 360 students, it was a guaranteed good time.

“I don’t know if there’s that many large-scale recreational sporting events with this many participants,” said, director of Chico State Recreational sports, Kendall Ross. “You can go to an athletic event and you’re a spectator, but we were able to accommodate 400 people participating, and that’s huge.”

The event was a success. Words of encouragement were spoken before the tournament began by Trevor Guthrie, Associated Students Government President, and Gayle Hutchinson, CSU Chico President. Additionally, a ceremonial first toss took place in commencement.

Curtis Sicheneder, director of the Wildcat Recreation Center, thought of the idea to break the world record. He attributes his thought to the flood on April 2 that ruined 30% of the basketball floor in the WREC. The basketball floor was below-grade and the university’s insurance found it more reasonable to replace the entire floor. With 70% of the floor left, the WREC decided to make 100 cornhole boards out of the remaining hardwood.

Cornhole players from all levels of experience and backgrounds showed up that afternoon. Some were there to win, while others were there just for the experience.

Participant, Zachariah Winn, signed up as a one-person team. With no prior cornhole experience, Winn learned the rules of the game as he played. He even came early to practice. Despite his last name, he did not win once. He still enjoyed his time and took away some great memories.

Corn Hole in the Fall Heat (Optimized)
Players are in the sun as they aim to win the tournament. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

“I get to to see a lot of people that I don’t normally see, and I met some cool dudes today,” Winn said.

This event was truly unique it brought the Chico State community together and served as a social gathering fit for any student.

“You need not set foot in the WREC today to do this. You need not be a skilled athlete to do this. This is inclusive to everyone,” Sicheneder said.

Undefeated players of today’s tournament will advance to a 25-person tournament on Friday, Nov. 1 at 3 p.m. at Yolo Fields.

The majority of the 400 hundred cornhole boards are being raffled off to students.

“The number of faculty and staff and other folks who offered to buy them is numerous,” Sichender said. “We were asked a hundred times today. But student fees went for this and ultimately, these boards are going to go back to students.”

Aim (Optimized)
Cornhole participant aiming at the target. Photo credit: Mary Vogel

As far as the breaking of the world record goes, many statistics must be counted. The number of people playing on each board and the number of wristbands issued must be factored in.

The WREC staff must then look at footage and submit statistic analysis to Guinness. Guinness will review all aerial footage and received information and then either award or not award Chico State the world record.

Sicheneder mentioned that students and staff will likely not have this answer until mid-Spring.

No university currently holds the record for most people playing cornhole simultaneously. A general community event on the East Coast currently holds the record at 384 people. Chico State’s goal was to have 400 people play cornhole and although there are high chances the the record was broken, the anticipation for springtime starts now.

Karina Cope can be reached at [email protected] or @KarinaICope on Twitter.