I’m not usually one to brag, but what the heck. I’m proud of the fact that in 2008, my husband and I were just one win away from the championship title during an intense ladder golf tournament benefiting a local nonprofit organization. One win away. That win could’ve been my “One Moment in Time” (according to Whitney Houston). So close!
I can’t remember how many teams signed up that day, but I do know we had only played the game once prior to the tournament. I knew I had to throw two balls connected by a piece of rope, “bolas,” onto a three-runged ladder, each rung with different point totals.
As the day went on, we just kept winning and advancing to the next round, winning and advancing, until it became almost a joke. (No one was more surprised that me!) My husband played the entire tournament with our then-one-year-old Adam strapped to his back in a Kelty backpack, earning us the fitting nickname of “Team Baby.” (Maybe Adam was our secret weapon? We haven’t played that well since then.)
Just as our parents had horse shoes and jarts (aka lawn darts, remember those crazy dangerous things?!); our generation has ladder golf and “bags.”
And tournaments. Lots of tournaments.
I haven’t competed in an official tournament since the “Team Baby” excitement five years ago, but I still love to play any type of lawn game with family and friends. For awhile I was all about ladder golf, but in recent years I’ve been more about the bean bag toss. You play the game by taking turns throwing bags (sometimes filled with corn, thus the nickname “corn hole”) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores three points, while one on the platform scores a point. Play continues until a team or player reaches the score of 21. My younger brother brings his bean bag game to most family functions lately, and while I definitely have plenty of room for improvement, I still have a blast playing.
If you’re pretty good at playing bags (or you just, ya know, have fun playing), you can take part in a double elimination bean bag tournament this Saturday, Aug. 17 as part of the city of Vadnais Heights’ Annual Heritage Days celebration. The tournament—held at Community Park, 641 County Road F, Vadnais Heights—is open to all ages, all you need is a partner and the $20 entrance fee. The first 48 teams will be accepted into the tournament. Check-in is from noon to 1 p.m., with play beginning at 2 p.m.
In addition to the bean bag tournament, the Heritage Days community festival, from Aug. 14-18, includes a parade, a juggling show, a performance by Tim Mahoney, fireworks, and much more.
If you decide to sign up for the tournament, I wish you the best of luck as you strive for your very own “One Moment in Time.”
You might surprise yourself and keep advancing to the next round … even without wearing a baby in a backpack.