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How to Play Cornhole? Cornhole Rules & Tips

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Cornhole is a game that is very much similar to horseshoes. The difference is that you have to use a wooden platform and bags of corn kernel instead of metal arcs and stakes.

In this game, players have to throw the corn bags in the wooden cornhole platform. They score points according to the place the bag lands. As the primary goal of this game is to toss corn bags, the game is also known as corn toss.

It is estimated that the game had originated in the 14th century in Germany. About a century later, the people of Kentucky restored the game by naming it cornhole.

Cornhole is a fun game for all ages of players. In this article, we will guide you through the rules, concepts of cornhole, and how to play the game itself.

Court Layout

The cornhole court consists of two cornhole boards, a pitcher’s box, and foul lines. There is a specific distance between two cornhole boards.

Dimensions of the Court

The court on which cornhole is played has to be a 40-45 feet long and 8-10 feet wide rectangular area. There are two cornhole platforms, pitcher’s box and foul lines mapped in the area.

Pitcher’s Box

The pitcher’s box is the area from where the players have to stand while throwing the cornhole bag. This box is parallel with the board and is present on both sides of the board. Its 4 feet in length and 3 feet wide.

Foul Lines

The foul lines are imaginary lines between two cornhole platforms. There are two types of foul lines, according to the players.

For adult players, the foul lines are 27 feet, which means that the cornhole boards must be positioned 27 feet apart from one another. For junior players, those who are 12 and under, the foul lines have to be 12-15 feet.

Game Equipment

Here are the requirements for playing a game of cornhole.

  • 2 cornhole board.
  • 2 sets of cornhole bags (4 in each set)

Cornhole Board

The cornhole board is where you need to throw the corn bags. It is usually wooden. This board’s measurements should be 48-inches in length, 24-inches in width, and ½-inches in height.

The board must be raised 12-inches from the ground to the highest point of the deck. The hole in the cornhole platform must have a 3-inch radius. The center of the hole should have a 9-inch distance from the top and 12-inch lengths from both sides of the board.

Cornhole bags

Both sides use two sets of cornhole bags, where each set contains four bags, making a total of 8 bags. To make it easier to differentiate, the two sets come in different colors.

Each bag is a perfect square, measuring 6-inches in length and width, with a weight of about 16 ounces. The bags are filled with 1-pound of a whole corn kernel. Make sure the bags can handle abuse and are durable.

How to Play Cornhole

Cornhole is a fun and exciting game to play. It is a great time-killer and a suitable activity for people of all physical capabilities and ages.

If you are a newcomer and want to learn how to play this game, the following section of the article is for you.

Playing modes of the Game

A game of cornhole lasts two innings. Players have to toss all their bags in an inning for the round to be over.

Cornhole can be played in the form of singles or doubles. Each of these forms differs according to the number of players. Other than that, the fundamental rules are the same.

  • Playing Singles

Two players go up against each other in a game of singles. Throughout the game, the players remain in their own lane. They will have to toss the bags by alternating turns. After an inning ends, the player walks along their lane to the opposite board, takes count of the score, and resumes play from there.

This is the traditional way of playing cornhole. It creates a sense of competition between the two players, which makes for a very exciting game.

  • Playing Doubles

When it comes to doubles, two duos compete against each other. That means a total of four players take part in the game. Each team will have to remain in their own lane.

In doubles, players would have to play by alternating turns or from opposite pitches in each innings. If they play by alternating turns, both the players remain more engaged with the game. In the case of the alternate innings method, it is more preferred.

In an inning, one teammate will pitch while the other will count the points. After the inning is over, they will swap roles, and the counting player will pitch while the other player would count the scores.

Scoring System

In a cornhole game, the player scores if he can throw corn bags on the platform itself. Scores are counted depending on the point of landing. “Cancellation” is the method of scoring in cornhole. In this method, the score of one player is canceled out by the other. This makes it so that only one player can score in an inning.

A brief overview of the scoring system is given below for your convenience

  • If the bag lands anywhere on the board but doesn’t touch the ground, the player earns 1 point.
  • If the bag hangs around the edge of the hole but doesn’t go in, the player earns 2 points.
  • The player receives a full 3 point if the bag goes through the hole.
  • If the bag lands on the ground or is in contact with any other bag that is on the ground, no points are earned. Instead, we consider that a foul.
  • The first team to score 21 points win.

Rotation of Players During Pitching

In a cornhole match, the player who scored in the previous inning will have to pitch in the following inning first. If neither player scored during the last inning, the player who pitched first would pitch first again in the next inning. This system is called the rotation of pitch.

Position of Players During Pitching

The players must be in proper position before pitching a bag. If they are out of place, then their tossed bags will not be counted and would instead be counted as a foul bag.

The positions of players during pitching are

  • When pitching, the player must not cross the pitcher’s box and the foul line.
  • All of the player’s bags must be tossed from his assigned box.
  • An under-hand release motion must be used when releasing the bag during pitching.
  • If the player violates these rules, then it would be considered foul play.

Fouls

Similar to other outdoor games, cornhole has its own set of rules regarding foul play. If a player violates any rule of the game, it is considered a foul or foul bag. In this case, the bag thrown in that turn must be removed from the playing field immediately after the play, and the game continues.

A player or the judge calls out foul bag rule violation after they spot one. Some of the rules of declaring a foul are

  • If the player throws the bag leaving or stepping out of the pitcher’s box, it is a foul.
  • If the player touches the foul line, then it is considered a foul.
  • Bags must be pitched within a 20 second time limit. If not done in time, it is a foul.
  • It is a foul if the other bags are pitched from a different pitcher’s box other than the box from where the first bag is tossed.
  • If the tossed bag touches the ground and then bounces on to the board, it will not be counted and would be considered foul play.

(Read More: How to play spikeball, How to play tetherball, How to play ring toss game, How to play ladder ball, How to play kickball, How to play horseshoes, How to play croquet, How to play cornhole

Final Thoughts

Despite how it may seem at first, cornhole is a fun and exciting game. Since people of all ages and physical conditions can play it without any issue, you are guaranteed to have a good time with your friends and family.

It might not be one of the most popular games out there, but it’s one of the most fun ones. The game is also very portable, which makes it more accessible to any player.

This article should hook you up with all the essential knowledge regarding the game cornhole, including the rules, equipment, and layout of the playing field. We hope our article is useful and will help you get started with the game.

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