Cornhole Rules: Scoring | Required Equipments | Match Rules

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Surprisingly, a lot of people have been searching for cornhole rules on the internet a lot. Since I stumbled on this information, I decided to write a detailed article with all the cornhole rules in it.

In this article, I would be showing you almost if not all the cornhole rules you need to know to get started. Before we dive right into the article, I want to tell you what cornhole is.

I know a majority of people that would want to read this article already know what cornhole is. This is simply for those who stumbled on this article without knowing what cornhole is.

Cornhole Rules
Cornhole Rules

Cornhole – What is Cornhole?

Cornhole is a game that is said to have originated in Germany during the fourteenth century. Corn hole has been called a variety of names which includes corn toss, bean bag, bean toss, soft horseshoes, and even Indiana horseshoes.

Cornhole is a fun-filled game that can be played anywhere. It is a game that is played by two teams made up of at least one person. This game is similar to horseshoes except corn bags are used instead of horseshoes.

When playing cornhole, contestants take turns pitching their bags at a cornhole platform until a contestant reaches the score limit which is usually twenty-one points. I would be showing you how the points are calculated for scoring later on in this article.

What Do I Need to Play Cornhole?

Aside from the cornhole rules, you actually need a few types of equipment to get started with playing cornhole. To play cornhole, you’d need a court to play the game on, a cornhole board, and a cornhole bag.

Cornhole Court Layout

This is simply a layout that would determine how far apart to place the cornhole board and the position of contestants during the gameplay.

The dimensions of the court should be a rectangular area of 8-10 feet and at least 40-45 feet long. The court would also need to have two cornhole boards, foul lines, and designated pitcher boxes.

Cornhole Court
Cornhole Court

Cornhole Single Match Rules

These are the standard rules for a cornhole game of single players opposing each other. Every cornhole match is broken into what we call innings of play. During the inning of a play, please note that every player must pitch his/her four bags. The inning cannot be completed until all players pitch all four of their bags.

  • Both players always have to stay in their designated lane for the whole game.
  • Players start the game at the headboard and alternate pitching bags until each player has pitched all four of their bags.
  • Players have to walk to the end of their lanes to the other court, take their score, and resume pitching back to the other board.
  • The top of an inning would be completed when the first player has pitched all his/her four bags. The bottom of the inning is completed when the remaining player pitches all four of his/her bags.

Those are the rule for single cornhole matches.

Cornhole Team Match Rules

In double cornhole matches, two teams consisting of two players each would compete against each other until a winning team is found.

  • Each team must stay in their designated lane until the game is completed.
  • The players at the headboard would alternate pitching bags until each of the players has pitched his or her four bags.
  • The players at the footboard would take score and alternate back to the other board.
  • The top of an inning would be completed when both players pitching from the headboard have pitched all four bags. The bottom of the inning would be completed when the remaining players pitching from the footboard had pitched their four bags.

Those are the team rules for playing cornhole.

Cornhole Scoring Rules

Different people choose their scoring patterns sometimes just for the fun of the game. The approved method of scoring in cornhole is the “cancellation” method.

This is the type of scoring in which the points of one player cancel the points of the other player. Which using this method, only one player or team can score in each inning.

How Scoring Points are Calculated

Here are how the scoring points are calculated in a game of cornhole;

  • Bag In-The-Court (woody): This is any bag that manages to rest anywhere on the board. Each is worth one point.
  • Bag In-The-Hole (cornhole): This type of scoring gives three points to the scorer. This is any bag that is thrown through the hole. Bag In-The-Hole can also be a bag knocked through the hole by another bag.
  • Foul Bags: This is any bag that was designated as foul as a result of rules violation. It is also used to describe any bag that hasn’t been determined “Bag In-The-Hole” or “Bag In-The-Court”.

Those are the scoring rules of cornhole.

Foul Bag (Rule Violations)

These are the rule violations that must be called by a player or assigned judge. The penalty for these rule violations is declaring the bag a foul bag and being removed from the court upon game resumption.

  • A bag that is pitched when the player has made contact with or crossed over the foul line.
  • A bag that is pitched when the player has stepped or started completely outside the pitcher’s box before the bag is released.
  • A bag that is not delivered within the twenty-second time limit.
  • A bag that is pitched from a different pitcher box other than the first one.
  • A bag that touched the court or ground before coming to rest on the board.
  • Any bag that hits a previously defined object (could be a ceiling, wire, or tree limb).
  • A bag was removed from the board before the scoring was determined or agreed upon.
    • The offending team (who touches the bag) would forfeit all the remaining bags and tallies the score of just the bags thrown before the foul was reported.
    • The non-offending team tallies twelve points as if the four bags had been thrown in the hole.
  • Any bag that leaves the player’s hand once the final forward swing of the delivery process has started would count as a pitched bag.
    • A bag that is accidentally dropped by a player before the final forward swing shall not be considered foul and may be picked up to resume play. However, if the opponent wishes to protest, the protest should be made to the official or judge at the time the problem occurs. Note that the judge shall decide the verdict on all protests.

How a Winner is Determined

The winner is determined when one team has reached or surpassed the score limit of twenty-one.

Get the Official Cornhole Rules for ACA Tournaments here.

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