Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Spencer
Cornhole Court Basics
Cornhole Court Layout
A regulation cornhole court consists of a rectangle 8 feet wide and about 40 feet long. The front edges of the boards should be separated by a distance of 27 feet. The holes in the boards will always be 33 feet apart. Beside each board are the pitcher’s boxes, a boxed area that measures 4 x 3 feet. The most important element in this box is the foul line, which aligns with the front of the boards. Pitchers cannot step over this line, or their toss will be ruled a foul. Juniors players have foul lines six feet closer to the target board.
Backyard cornhole courts need firm, level ground. Having one board higher than another may lead to one side enjoying a slight advantage. Also, take sun angle into consideration as you position the boards. A north-south facing court may reduce glare, or at least equalize it among all players. If you’re hosting a small tournament, consider painting lines on the grass so that everyone can see the pitcher’s boxes and foul lines.
Multiple Courts and Buffer Zones
A tournament with more than a few players or teams will require the use of multiple cornhole courts. When these courts have to share space, event organizers must abide by certain rules and guidelines. Adjacent pitcher’s boxes should be separated by a minimum of two feet. That means boards should have at least ten feet of space between them. Apart from the physical closeness, playing with so many other courts nearby can present distractions. Competitors are urged to practice good sportsmanship by keeping their volume down and not interfering with nearby players.
An indoor cornhole court has some advantages over the backyard variety. For one thing, the variables of sun, wind and rain are taken out of the equation. Indoor courts also guarantee smooth, level playing surfaces–no more stanker bags landing in the mud. On the other hand, part of the fun of playing cornhole definitely comes from being outside.
All the standard guidelines for setting up a cornhole court apply equally to indoor courts and outdoor courts. An additional consideration with indoor courts is vertical clearance. Many players enjoy those tall, arching shots that stop dead on the board or swish into the hole. Normal ceilings just won’t accommodate that kind of shotmaking. Therefore, game rules suggest a minimum vertical clearance of 12 feet when playing indoors–of course, more is always better. In fact, professional events sanctioned by the American Cornhole Organization stipulate a clearance of no less than 15 feet.
Hosts have the responsibility of providing cornhole courts that are clean, safe and fair to all competitors. There should be no obstacles placed anywhere between the boards. Players should have enough room behind them and to either side to pitch freely. If debris somehow makes its way onto the court, players should pause the game long enough to remove the distraction.
During competitions, players are forbidden from modifying the boards and bags in any way. Dust or dirt may be wiped off the boards with a dry cloth, but otherwise altering the playing surfaces may result in disqualification.