Cornhole Game Rules

Official Cornhole Game Rules

There is a new outdoor game sweeping the nation that promises to be around for a while. We no longer see croquet and badminton games occurring in the neighbor’s backyard. Instead, adults everywhere are flashing back to their childhood with a game that resembles something we played years ago. But the truth is this is so much more than that. Cornhole is sweeping the nation. You have probably heard of it but have you ever really looking at the official cornhole game rules? It is way more complicated than just throwing a bean bag at a target. If fact it is a fast paced game with simple rules that you will immediately be addicted to. From the equipment to the rules of play this game promises hours of family fun.

Equipment

The equipment basically consists of two plywood boards with a hole in them and eight bean bags but there are specific specifications for size and weight.

v The plywood playing surface should measure 47.5” to 48” x 23.5” to 24”

v It should be sanded smooth and painted with a latex or other paint that will provide a smooth surface so that the bean bags will slide.

v Each Cornhole board should have one 6” diameter hole cut in it, positioned 9” from the top and centered 12” from the sides.

v The front of the board should be 3” to 4” off the ground with the back of the board 12” inches from the ground.

v The bean bags should be constructed of heavy duty material like canvas, twill, or synthetic suede.

v They should measure 6” x 6” and weigh 15 or 16 ounces.

Court Layout

Now that you have your equipment laying the court out is the next step. The official rules are very specific about board placement but if you’re just playing for fun it might not be necessary to get out the tape measure for exact placement.

v The court itself should be 8 feet wide and 40 feet long. Official rules suggest a clearance of 12 feet so that bags don’t hit anything above the court when thrown.

v Boards should be spaced 27” apart from the front of one board to the front of the other.

v Player’s lanes are on either sides of the board and are 3 feet wide.

v At the end of each lane is a pitchers box that is 4 feet long so you end up with a box that is 4 feet long and 3 feet wide.

v The front edge of the Cornhole board is the foul line.

v One side of the court is designated as the footboard side and the other is the headboard side.

Terminology

Traditionally, the game is played until one player or team reaches 21 points or more at the end of a frame. There are some specific terms that apply to the bags when you are in game play.

v Woody: Any bag that lands on the board but doesn’t go through the hole.

v Cornhole: A bag that goes through the hole at any point during the game.

v Foul Bags: A bag that is determined to be neither a woody nor a Cornhole at the end of a frame. Rules defining foul bags are:

  1. Players must stay behind foul line from the time the bag is pitched until the time it lands.
  2. Player must have a least one foot inside the pitchers box from the time the bag is pitched until it lands.
  3. Any bag that is not pitched within the 12 second time limit.
  4. Bags must not touch the ground before coming to rest on the playing surface even if it is partially on the board.
  5. Bags pitched from the wrong pitcher’s box.
  6. Any bag that touches an overhead surface or object.

Scoring

Cancellation scoring is the method used in the game of Cornhole. This means that the score of one player cancels out the score of another. Only one player can score per frame.

  • Each woody is worth 1 point
  • Each cornhole is worth 3 points

Example:

Player one gets two cornholes and one woody which equals 7 points.

Player two get two cornholes which equals 6 points.

The final of the round gives player one a single point.

The game ends when one player has reached 21 points at the end of a frame.

The Play

The game can be played with two single players or teams of two.

Singles Play:

  • Players choose a lane on either side of the court and stay in that lane for the entire game.
  • Play starts at the headboard with players alternating pitching bags until they are all gone.
  • When all the bags are gone players walk to the other end of the court and take score.
  • Play then resumes with players pitching to the footboard side.
  • The game continues with players switching sides until a score of 21 is reached by one of the players.

Doubles Play:

  • Each team chooses a lane and remains there for the entire game.
  • Players on the headboard side pitch first, alternating turns until the bags are all gone.
  • Players on the footboard side take score then pitch to the headboard side until all the bags are gone.
  • Play continues until one team reaches 21 points.

Additional Rules

  1. Players must pitch underhanded.
  2. The player or team that scores in the previous frame gets to go first in the next frame. If neither player scores then the first pitch stays with the player that pitched first in the previous frame.
  3. A bag is considered to be released if it is let go after the final step and final forward swing is completed. If it is dropped prior to this it does not count.
  4. A bag will be considered foul if a player goes out of turn, however if the mistake is not noted until after two other bags have been thrown play continues as normal.
  5. Players must pitch within 12 seconds of the other player completing their pitch.
  6. Scoring occurs 5 seconds after the final pitch and any bag that moves after that will be scored based on its previous position.
  7. If the bags in the hole become piled up it may be necessary to “rake” them to clear the space under the hole.
  8. Any foul bag that is touching the board and the ground should be removed immediately.

The game of Cornhole is an exciting new adaptation of an old game that kids have been playing for as long as bean bags have been around. But adapted Cornhole game rules have amped up the fun for adults of all ages.

SHARE IT:

Comments are closed.