Ever Hear of a Cheating Scandal in Professional Cornhole? It’s Now Being Dubbed ‘BagGate’

It finally, tragically happened.

Professional cornhole has officially joined the sad fraternity of sports leagues that have been rocked to their core by allegations of cheating.

Whether it’s Tim Donaghy, the New England Patriots or the Houston Astros, the “Big Three” North American sports leagues have all had their fair share of scandal and disgrace.

And while cornhole’s stature compared to basketball, football and baseball is negligible, that doesn’t make this scandal any less salacious, especially given the “If I’m going down, I’m taking down everyone else with me” nature of this sordid tale.

The scandal, referred to as “BagGate” by both the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, began at the 2022 American Cornhole League World Championships which took place from the end of July through early August.

This entire ordeal began with nothing more than a mere observation:

“I thought the bags were too thin,” one of the competitors embroiled in the scandal told the Journal.

Turns out Devon Harbaugh, who lodged the initial complaint, was 100 percent correct. The bags that his rivals, Mark Richards and Philip Lopez, were using did not meet the standard regulations set forth by the ACL. Per their official parameters, bags should measure 6 inches by 6 inches when laid flat. Deviations of a quarter inch are allowed, so the dimensions can theoretically range from 5.75 inches to 6.25 inches.

Bags must also weigh between 15.5 and 16.25 ounces, and should have a measured thickness between 1.125 inches and 1.5 inches.

After Harbaugh complained about the bags of Richards and Lopez, those two then flipped it around and claimed Harbaugh was also using bags that didn’t meet regulations.

Richards and Lopez were correct and Harbaugh’s bags also didn’t meet those standard regulations.

“That’s going to create some drama,” ESPN’s cornhole color commentator Mark Pryor astutely noted, according to the Post.

Curiously, that drama wasn’t enough to change anything, perhaps because both teams were found to have violated regulations. An hour delay later, and officials determined that nothing particularly sinister had occurred in the game. At least nothing sinister or intentional enough to mar the championships.

“It’s possible, but I’m pretty confident that (the violations) weren’t intentional,” ACL representative Trey Ryder told the Journal.

Unsurprisingly, all parties involved have ultimately denied that anything untoward had intentionally happened as well. Some had speculated that the bags had shrunk because they were boiled, which is a debated manner in which to help “break” a bag in.

Ultimately, neither Lopez and Richards nor Harbaugh and partner Derrick King won the Pro Doubles division. The team of Jason Rubin and Jordan Power took home first place.

Richards did, however, see some better success at the Pro Singles level, taking home first place and the $10,000 prize attached to it:

And while not much seems to have changed in the immediate aftermath, the ACL acknowledged that changes will be implemented to ensure there’s no sequel to “BagGate.”

“We’ve really had to crack down to make sure that all these bags are to spec,” Ryder told the Journal. “Internally we’ve had to invest more into our compliance.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.