Guides Cornhole FAQ

Published on February 6th, 2014 | by Spencer

Cornhole FAQ

Why is it called “cornhole”?
Sometime, the bags are filled with corn seed. Plus, the object is the get the bags into the hole on the board. Hence, “cornhole.” Other folks call the game “bags” or “bag toss.”

When and where did cornhole start?
No one knows for sure. Some say the Blackhawk Indians of Illinois invented the game. Others claim medieval Germany is the source. Either way, the modern version of cornhole really got started in the 1990s. College tailgate parties were the first places that the game began showing up.

How many people can play cornhole?
Two or four. Singles play is two players, and doubles play is four players on teams of two.

What is the distance between cornhole boards?
The front edges of the boards should be 27 feet apart for official play. For children or older folks, it’s fine to move them closer.

How big is the hole in the cornhole board?
It has a diameter of 6 inches, and is centered 9 inches from the back end of the board.

Which team goes first in cornhole?
A coin toss works just fine. After the first toss, players alternate throwing bags until all eight are on the other end of the court.

What is the object of the game of cornhole?
To outscore the opponent; Games normally go to 21.

How is cornhole scored?
If the bag goes into the hole, either on its own or pushed by a later throw, it counts as three points. On the board counts as one, while off the board is zero. There are also two scoring variations: “Cancellation” scoring involves cancelling out bags with the same score. “Accumulation” scoring ignores what the opposing player has done. Naturally, a game scored cancellation style often lasts longer.

How long does a game of cornhole last?
That depends on the skill levels of the players and the scoring method. A pair of beginners may need a long time to finish the game, while seasoned professionals might need only 10 or 15 minutes.

How big are the cornhole boards?
Usually, a cornhole board measures 47.5 inches long and 23.5 inches wide. The back of the board needs to be elevated off the ground 12 inches.

Where do I stand when I toss the cornhole bags?
On both sides of each board are two pitcher’s boxes. These boxes are 4 x 3 feet in area. Don’t step over the line, or you’ll be called for a foul and the toss won’t count.

What are cornhole bags made of?
Cornhole bags are made of two fabric squares stitched together and filled with corn or beans. The fabric is usually canvas, and the finished bag should measure about 6 x 6 inches.

How much do cornhole bags weigh?
One pound.

What is a “foul bag”?
A foul bag lands on the ground instead of the board. Bags are not allowed to “bounce” off the ground onto the board, either. If you step over the foul line, out of the pitcher’s box, pitch from the wrong box, or basically commit any other rules violation during your throw, the result will be a foul bag no matter where it lands.

How many bags do I need to play cornhole?
Eight, with four of one color and four of another.

Can I play cornhole inside?
Yes, as long as the ceiling is at least 12 feet high and you have a big, open space.

Is there etiquette in cornhole like there is in golf?
Yes. You should be quiet when your opponent is tossing. That rule applies to spectators, too. It’s all part of showing good sportsmanship.

Do I have to follow the cornhole rules strictly?
If you’re just playing with friends in the backyard, there’s no need to follow every last rule. Just be sure that everyone has a good time.

Are there any professional cornhole leagues?
Absolutely. The American Cornhole Association (ACA) and the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) both encourage membership and host tournaments with cash prizes. The ACO is the larger of the two.

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