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Finding family-friendly activities can be a challenge when it’s blisteringly hot outside. Once going swimming, shopping at the mall or taking in a movie gets old, try a new event that offers interactive fun for people of all ages by bringing the outdoors in.
The first annual Backyard Games Day on Saturday, June 17 encourages families with multiple generations to spend quality time together during Father’s Day weekend.
KB Kornhole Games owner Todd Kisicki started the event because he saw a need for more indoor, family-friendly activities in Arizona in the summer.
“I know with taking my three-year old swimming, by the time mid-June comes around, swimming is going to get boring. I want something else to do with my child,” Kisicki said.
The event will offer popular lawn and board games, including cornhole beanbag toss boards, giant Jenga, Pole-ish Horseshoes Frisbee, ball pong, giant dominoes, giant Connect 4, a washers-toss game, giant checkers and a Rollers disc-rolling activity.
A 5-and-under kids zone will have inflatables and a maze for younger children.
During the event, older children and adults can take part in immersive activities such as a 25-foot climbing wall, obstacle courses, a jousting activity and football toss.
At the center of the festivities will be the AZ State Cornhole Championships, a tournament for more social to advanced players.
The tournament is broken down into different divisions for beginning-level, intermediate and advanced players.
It is run according to regulations used by the national American Cornhole League, with each game played to 21 points.
The advanced players and teams will compete in a double elimination tournament, while the social divisions will play three pool play games before going into a single-elimination format.
A number of top players and teams from last year, including doubles champion Doug Zafft, will return to compete in this year’s tournament.
Zafft, who used to swim competitively, said the social and competitive aspects of cornhole drew him to the sport.
Strategy often comes into play during higher-level tournaments. One popular maneuver involves players sacrificing points and positioning their bags on the board in a way that makes scoring harder for their opponents.
“A good block is just a few inches in front of the hole. It basically comes down to execution, how well you can make bags stop in front of the hole. If it’s too far right or left, then they’re going to go right past it, and your blocker is now a dead bag,” Zafft said.
Zafft said to be more competitive in cornhole, players need to use a “flat” throwing motion.
“You throw the bag flat and put a little spin on it. When it lands, it’s not going to dart left or right…It lands flat, and you know it’s going to slide straight,” Zafft said.
In addition to the backyard games and tournament, the event will have more than 60 vintage and handmade vendors from Front Porch Pickins, a market dedicated to repurposed, vintage, homemade items.
Non-profit pet rescue, anti-bullying and foster children organizations will also be at the event.
Backyard Games Day
When: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, June 17.
Where: Equidome, WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale.
Admission: $8 online presale admission, $10 at the door, free admission for kids 12 and under, $4-$8 presale all-inclusive game bracelets for children up to 12 years old, $5-$10 at the door for bracelets, $5 per car parking fee.
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