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Official Rules of Cornhole

by
author image Aaron Matthew
A health and fitness writer since 2008, Aaron Matthew specializes in writing about health, fitness and mental performance topics for various websites including LIVESTRONG. He holds a Master of Arts degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University.
Official Rules of Cornhole
Bean bags on top of a cornhole board in the grass. Photo Credit Sarah Page/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Disagreements over a game's rules can turn a fun competition into an argument. Even non-traditional games such, as cornhole, should have rules and regulations clearly defined prior to beginning play. Cornhole, also know as corn toss, is a simple game of tossing bean bags from one end of the playing court towards a board with a small hole cut out of it. Follow a few simple rules and you and your friends and family can enjoy this game together.

Cornhole Court

The American Cornhole Association provides details on official cornhole court dimensions. The distance between the front of each cornhole board is 24 feet for casual games; official tournaments space the boards 27 feet apart. Set the boards up on a flat, level surface. The the front edge of each cornhole board marks the foul line that players must stand behind while tossing their bags.

Boards and Bags

Cornhole boards are made from standard plywood. Official rules from the American Cornhole Association state, cornhole boards need to be 48 inches long by 24 inches wide. The board's hole is 6 inches in diameter and centered 9 inches from the top of the board and 12 inches from each side. Legs on the back of the board lift it up so the top of the board is 12 inches off the ground. All boards are smooth on top and finished with a latex paint to allow the bean bag to slide up the board's surface.

The bean bags you play with consist only of stitched fabric and hard corn kernels. The dimensions for the bag's fabric is 6 inches by 6 inches and they weigh between 14 oz. and 16 oz.

Scoring and Game Play

Cornhole games are played between two teams of one or two players each. When playing two against two, teammates stand at opposite playing boards while singles games have the two competitors throwing from the same side as each other. Players from one board alternate throwing their four bean bags at the board on the opposite end of the court. After each player throws all four bags, scores are added up and the players on the opposite side of the court toss the cornhole bags.

The American Cornhole Association outlines the scoring procedure. A bag that goes through the hole in the board is worth three points, while a bag on the board scores one point. Cornhole uses net scoring--the difference between the team's points for that round--to determine the actual team score for that series of tosses. As an example, if team A had five points worth of bags on the board and team B had three points on the board, team A would score only two points for that round. Games are played until a team reaches 21 total points.

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