Waddies Classic tournament to be followed by Practically Hip concert

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Organizers of the annual Waddies Classic are pulling out all the stops for this year’s event, to be held on May 25.

There are more teams, more prize money, a new venue, and new this year, a live concert to wrap up the day.

“I always knew it was a good game,” Andy Speers, one of the creators of the game and tournament, said in a phone interview. 

“But the game seems to have grown across Ontario. We’ve got teams coming from Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington and even from the U.S.”

Waddies is a tossing game similar to corn hole only it has rubber pucks to toss rather than bean bags or other objects. Because of its design, it can be played indoors or out, in just about any kind of weather.

And it’s appropriate for all ages.

Speers and his buddies, all from the Centre Wellington area, came across the game in their teens and have been playing it ever since.

During the pandemic, they decided to manufacture the game and it has taken off.

This will be the third annual Waddies Classic and because organizers had to start a waiting list last year, they decided to move from the Fergus Legion to the Jefferson Elora Community Centre this year.

That means they can accommodate 84 teams, which is a big jump from last year’s 68-team tournament.

Indeed, there were only 10 spots left on April 7 and Speers expects they will sell out in the next few days.

The cost is $100 for a two-person team. Each team is guaranteed four games; those who make it to the playoffs will play more.

There will be food trucks on the premises and a liquor license in the community hall. 

Prestige Interior Solutions is the event sponsor and Wellington Brewery is the beer sponsor. There are several sponsors for each court as well, Speers said.

The first place team wins $1,500; second place is $750, and third place finishers receive $300.

But included in the price of registration are two tickets to the Practically Hip concert that immediately follows the tournament.

“Honestly, this is turning into a ‘don’t miss’ event on people’s calendars,” Speers said. “It’s crazy how quickly this has grown.”

Tickets for the concert only are $20.

Organizers will donate proceeds from the events to The Grove youth hub.

“We played this game at their age. Giving back to youth seems the right thing to do,” Speers said.

Registration begins at 12:30pm on May 25 and tournament play begins at 1pm.

Speers expects the final games will begin around 7pm and be well over before the concert, which begins at 8pm.

“It will be the best $50 you’ll spend all year,” he said. “It’s just a super-fun day.”

Anyone sitting on the fence about playing in the tournament should make their decision quickly because there are only 10 spots left, Speers said.

“It’s the least intimidating tournament you’ll ever be in and the most fun you’ll ever have,” he added.

For more information or to register, visit waddies.ca.