Official Cornhole Board Dimensions

Cornhole Board Dimensions Explained

Cornhole is a source of entertainment for family and friends of all ages. It can be found at any harvest festival or spring family outing and usually brings back fond memories of hot summer days or gorgeous fall colors. But, while this can be, and usually is, a bonding experience, anyone who has played cornhole knows that it can just as easily turn into a battle of rules. So, we hope to avoid some cornhole drama by explaining the proper rules of this game and the standard dimensions of a cornhole board and court.

The history of cornhole:

There are about as many theories and speculations about the origin of cornhole as there are opinions about world politics. While the real origin of cornhole might remain a mystery, in the United States the most accepted theory is that it started about 15 years ago in Cincinnati, Ohio, spreading through the United States to become one of today’s most popular games.

Another theory states that a German farmer invented the game centuries ago and then brought it to the United States. Others credit a Kentucky farmer in the 1800s with the invention of this game.

Whoever invented it or however it originated, the fact remains that it became one of the most popular entertainment sports in our society.

A few eager cornhole fans even saw the need to create the American Cornhole Association (ACA) that now represents the largest cornhole association in the United States. One of the main purposes of the ACA is to “establish and promote consensus for an official set of rules of Cornhole / Corn Toss that can be used to standardize tournament play around the Country.”

Why is this game so popular?

It is portable, simple and very entertaining for young and old alike. Anyone can fit a cornhole board in the trunk of their car and take it for a weekend of camping or just a simple outing. The ACA hits the nail on the head by declaring that “Horseshoes require a sand pit and are hard for the kids to pitch, lawn darts require a lawn and hasn’t been seen since the 70’s, ring toss was made for children and bean bags are for wimps; Cornhole is the game for everyone!’’

Official rules for cornhole or corn toss:

· The court: should be leveled and rectangular with a minimum of 10 feet wide and 45 feet long.

· The pitcher’s box: Anyone who has ever played cornhole knows that this is one of the major topics of debate in cornhole. Where should you stand and how far can you bend? According to the ACA the pitcher’s box is a rectangle of 4 feet by 3 feet parallel to and on each side of the box in which the pitcher has to stand when throwing the beanbags.

· Multiple courts: what if everyone wants to play? If you are playing on multiple courts at the same time these courts must have at least 10 feet of distance between them to ensure a safe and undisrupted game.

· Indoor Courts: this is a solution for the rainy days. The same rules apply to indoor courts as do to outdoor courts with the added requirement that the closest vertical obstruction must be no closer than 12 feet.

Official cornhole board dimensions: the board must be a 48” by 24” plywood rectangular platform. While many players opt for plastic boards or other materials that might be cheaper or easier to carry, any ACA sanctioned game must be played on a plywood board since there can be a noticeable difference between the different materials.

The front of the cornhole board must be 2-1/2” from bottom to top and be at a 90-degree angle.

The back of the cornhole board must be 12” from bottom to top and also be at a 90-degree angle

· The hole: this is without a doubt the most important part of any cornhole game, since whoever is able to toss the bag into the hole scores three points for his or her team. The hole must have a diameter of 6” and be placed 12 inches from each side of the board and 9 inches from the top.

· Closed board: The most popular boards nowadays are portable ones with open, foldable sides. While this is acceptable for any game played for fun, ACA sanctioned games are played with closed boards to avoid beanbags being tossed under the board from the sides instead of through the hole. This becomes an issue for games played at night or late afternoon when daylight and visibility decreases.

The rules:

The beauty of this game is that it can be played in singles or doubles, giving it the flexibility that many other games lack. If played in singles it’s one opponent against the other, pretty straight forward. If played in doubles two players on Team A compete against two players on Team B. Each team member stands on one board, facing his/her other team member on the opposite board.

Every cornhole match is broken down into innings and all 4 corn bags must be pitched during each inning of play by each contestant.

Doubles: the contestants standing on one side pitch all bags (4 each, so 8 in total for each side) always alternating after each pitch. Once all bags have been thrown the contestants on the other side do the same thing.

Singles: Same rules! Both contestants stand on one side, throwing the bags onto the board on the opposite side. The inning is complete when all four bags have been pitched.

Scoring:

Cancellation scoring is perhaps the most frustrating, yet interesting rule in cornhole. During each inning the bags in the hole or bags on the board cancel each other out and only non-cancelled bags are counted at the end of an inning.

A bag in the hole (hole-in) is worth 3 points and a bag on the board (in-the-count) is worth 1 point.

Game over:

The game is over when one team reaches or exceeds 21 points. However, the game can never end in the middle of an inning, thus, the game continues until the opposite team has pitched all 4 bags.

In the case of a tie the game continues until one team gets more points at the end of an inning.

Happy Tossing!

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