Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Spencer
Distractions and Player Conduct
Good sportsmanship is an important part of cornhole, especially in competitive tournaments. Players should refrain from excessive noise, heckling or trash talking. Players should also avoid disturbing noises or movements while a competitor is pitching. Rules of good conduct apply to spectators as well. Spectators may cheer, but shouldn’t heckle players or attempt to distract pitchers during their motion.
Friendly, backyard games naturally have more relaxed rules—or no rules at all, depending on the host. When staging a casual, neighborhood match, be sure all players understand the house rules before the games begin.
Tournament hosts have the option of enforcing further rules, including dress codes. At ACO-sanctioned events, cut-offs and sleeveless shirts are prohibited, and shoes must be closed-toe. Professional ACO jerseys may be required at elite tournaments. The ACO may also choose to ban cell phone use for players and officials at sanctioned events. All tournament-specific rules must be distributed to players before the games begin.
Food and Drink Etiquette
Friendly, backyard cornhole matches are somehow incomplete without drinks and food. Casual players are free to imbibe adult beverages while tossing bags. The only definite no-no is to leave a drink on the board. A cold drink on a hot day is going to leave a wet spot on the playing surface. In a worst-case scenario, a spilled drink makes a sticky mess of the board and suspends play until the surface is cleaned and dried. Some designers have actually introduced boards with drink holders built in underneath the playing surface. Food can pose a similar problem; your playing partner won’t appreciate your getting ketchup or hamburger grease all over the bags.
At official, ACO-sanctioned events, the particular venue decides whether to allow alcoholic beverages. Likewise, tobacco products may be prohibited at competitions. At any rate, food and drink should never enter the playing area. Typically, a designated drink area is established for players to share.
In the backyard or in the park, you can make a cornhole game as relaxed or serious as you like. However, professional events always demand players be on their best behavior. Heckling, disruptions, or any form of disrespect for other players is not tolerated at sanctioned events. This includes ringing cell phones and loud talking. In addition, the decisions of judges or officials are always final. If a player demonstrates unsportsmanlike behavior, he or she may receive one warning before being disqualified. On the other hand, a serious violation may result in immediate disqualification.