OWENSBORO, KY. (WEHT) – With almost 600 people in action this weekend at the Owensboro Convention Center as part of the American Cornhole Organization’s biggest major competition of the year. Players from more than 15 states were in attendance.

“There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes,” ACO founder & president Frank Geers said. “There’s a lot of natural people out there who are just gifted at this sport, at this game but even those people anymore to stay in touch with the level this game has thrown. you have to be practicing almost everyday,” he added.

Players are working to earn points in their division in hopes of qualifying for the world championships. One of the players is a past champion Allen Wingham who has traveled the country taking part in competitions.

“I’ve been retired for a year and a half so at times me and my wife, she loves watching me so we just travel where we want to,” Wingham explained. “I have boards set up at home so they stay up at all times so about everyday I try to go down and throw for a while. I mean I’ve taken off a little bit here and there and I started missing the competition and missing the people so it is fun to come out and see everybody.”

Dave Kirk with “Visit Owensboro” says this event is also a big opportunity for the city of Owensboro.

“We have so many people who are coming from outside Owensboro who are staying at our hotels they’re eating in our restaurants, they’re going to our bars and shops and they’re filling their cars up with gas,” Kirk explained. “Things like that, that people don’t even think about so to have that many people spending outside money in Owensboro is just a wonderful thing.”

The family aspect the ACO brings is what organization leaders say help this event be what it is today.

“We talk about this amongst ourselves and amongst the groups that are here,” Geers said. “We refer to ourselves as the ACO family. That’s true, as you walk into these places there’s men and women husbands and wives with their children so the whole family is engaged in this environment.”