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Published September 09 2012

Perham man trying to organize largest beanbag tourney ever

If you go

What: Beanbag tournament

When: Oct. 6-7

Where: The Cactus Restaurant and Bar, 43521 Fort Thunder Road, Perham.

Info: Registration cost for a two-person team is $50, and the deadline to register is Sept. 28. For more information or to register, call (218) 457-0966 or email Solberg at rbsolberg14@gmail.com.

PERHAM, Minn. – Ron Solberg likes to play beanbag.

So much so, in fact, that he’s taken it upon himself to try to organize one of the largest beanbag tournaments in the world.

Solberg has started work on what he hopes will be a 128-team beanbag tournament, which would tie the world record-turnout for a tournament in Arizona, which had the same number of teams.

Solberg and his wife play in a local summer beanbag league for fun, and he realized this summer that for people who want to play in an organized tournament, there just aren’t that many local options.

“I thought, ‘What could we do to hold a tournament where you can compete?’ ” he says. “I want to go big.”

Solberg is also using the tournament as an opportunity to benefit some charities in the Perham area. $10 of every $50 team registration fee will be donated between the Perham Area Pastors’ Association, Kinship/Coats for Kids and the Perham Area Boys and Girls Club.

Then, the remaining money will be awarded as payouts for tournament winners, with first place getting $1,500 (based on a full 128-team turnout), second place getting $1,000 and third place getting $500, along with a few other prizes to be awarded as well.

As of last week, Solberg said he already had about 50 two-person teams registered for the tournament, and that was mostly through word-of-mouth and a little online advertising.

Those 50 teams are mostly local beanbag tossers, Solberg says, but he’s actually had some teams register from places as far away as Idaho, who told him the money involved caught their eye.

“According to them, they don’t see payouts like that anywhere,” he says.

Although getting 128 teams, and 256 participants, signed up might seem a little daunting, Solberg’s hoping that the growing popularity of the tailgate-type sport will help draw in tossers over the next few weeks.

“A lot of bars use beanbag to bring in people,” he says, “so I thought, if they can draw 30-40 people a week, I should be able to get a 128-team tournament.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535