Everything You Need To Know About Cornhole

 

Cornhole has gained much popularity as a socially distant game in this pandemic time. It has conquered all tailgating parties and backyard barbeques everywhere. Many versions of this game, like corn toss, soft horseshoes, bean bag, or bean toss, are played all over America. 

But to your surprise, it is not only a backyard game but is also recognized by three official organizations – American Cornhole League (ACL), the American Cornhole Organization (ACO), and the American Cornhole Association (ACA). These organizations conduct tournaments in the Cornhole game in the U.S. market. 

Origin Of Cornhole

The origin of this game is not clear. Some say it comes from China, while some say it is from Germany. If we talk about the United States, both Kentucky and Ohio claim to be the originator of this game. Honestly, this game has gained popularity in the last 10 to 15 years. At that time, cornhole began to appear in trendy bars in the Northeast and later became a frequent favorite game at parties and weddings. In 2017, after striking a deal with ESPN, this game officially came mainstream. From then, it has been turned into a viable professional sport by ACL. 

What Is A Cornhole?

Now let’s see how to play the game. It is pretty simple. According to official rules and regulations, cornhole players alternately throw bean bags onto an angled platform with a hole drilled on them at the far end. The platforms are 27 feet apart from each other. The player shoots from the “pitcher box” next to the opponent’s board. If a bag lands on the board, the player gains one point. If the bag passes through the hole, he earns three points. The first team to achieve 21 points wins.

Cornhole Court Layout

Like almost all other games, cornhole is played in its own “court.” The full size of the corn hole court must be 45 feet long and at least 10 feet wide. The field shall be set in the north to south direction to avoid the sun’s interference and enjoy the game better. If you are playing under a tent or indoors, there shall be a clearance of at least 12 feet high for tossing.

  • Foul Lines: The imaginary lines that move along the front of the bean bag board are called foul lines. These are at a distance of 30 feet far from the contender’s hole in their board.  But this distance changes to 21 feet if teenagers or children are playing. So in the case of younger players playing, it proves beneficial to mark foul lines. 
  • Pitcher’s Zones: The area for pitching is generally of the identical size as a cornhole board. This area is present on both sides of the bean bag board. The area is 4 feet by 3 feet; the player must stay within these dimensions for the roll to count.
  • More Than One Cornhole Games: Each board shall be distanced from each other at least 10 to 12 feet if you plan to play multiple games. 

Equipment Required

There are two significant pieces of equipment used in this game: cornhole bags and cornhole board. Both of them have their dimensions and rules. 

  • Cornhole Boards

Majorly there are two types of boards available in the market – tailgate size and regulation board. The prescribed size of the regulation board is 2 x 4 feet, and the tailgate board is 2 x 3 feet. The size of the cornhole board does not affect the cornhole rules, but the strategy will change according to the surface area of ​​the board. 

The tailgate size board is usually for parties, whereas the regulation size is for ESPN-level professional games. Always prefer the heavy wooden board over lighter portable ones. It shall weigh around 26 pounds each because the weight stabilizes the cross beam and minimizes bounces. The surface shall be smooth and lacquered to minimize drags. You must paint high gloss latex paint on the surface to make it smoother for bags to slide but not glide. 

  • Cornhole Bags

This game is not played with ordinary bean bags; cornhole bags have their unique dimensions. The cornhole bag should have durable fabric, and the size should be 6.25 square inches. The weight of each bag should be 14 to 16 ounces. The material should be in color, which players can easily spot during the game.

Usually, most of the boards have their bags, but a set of double-sided resin or plastic pellet-filled bags takes the game to another level. The double-sided bag is necessary for strategy. The bag should have one sticky side to stick to the cornhole board and block the opponent’s shot. The other side should have a decent glide to slide directly into the hole. You can also make one at home by cutting a 12-inch canvas into two equal squares. Then, fill the bag with corn feed (2 cups) and carefully double stitch on all of its four sides. 

Strategy

Like in any other game, this game also requires planning and strategizing to win. It takes patience, level of skill, consistency, and determination to conquer this game truly. Of course, anyone can throw a bag and hope to win, but professionals know that there are plenty of strategies involved (and usually a little drinking) to dominate the game.

  • Stance

It is crucial to figure out what stance works well for you. You don’t get to choose the side of the board, but you can always choose between being a stander (the one to stay at the place during toss) or a stepper (which takes forward and backward steps). You can prefer to be any of the two as stance is your grounding in this game.

  • Throw

The best throw is the throw of a flat bag. You can control the landing of the bag and the speed of the throw. You can learn to spin and throw a flat bag with a consistent pace on the same trajectory with good practice. The grip is essential for spinning bags. The wrist movement should be minimum. There are many other kinds of throws in this game also. 

Bottom Line

Success in any game requires consistent practice and faith. To master this game, watch the pros, learn from them, make new strategies and keep practicing. Although some players prefer drinking to level up their game, you don’t need to. Bring this game to one of your next family or friend gatherings, and have a blast!