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Regulation Cornhole Rules – An Accurate, But Flexible Guideline

There are a few different variations of rules that people play with, and to be honest as long as everyone is playing by the same rules it really doesn’t matter if you tweak them slightly to your preference, but it is nice to have an “official cornhole rules’ list, that you can fall back on if you are playing in a big group and everyone has their own ideas.

In this article I am just going to focus on the game play rules and regulation and not the regulation of the equipment, which i have in other CornholeTips articles and i recommend you follow as well to enjoy the game to its fullest. I’m assuming if you are looking up cornhole rules and regulations, you have already got your boards and bags, and just want to play.

Setting up Your Cornhole Boards

The official distance between your cornhole boards should be 27ft from the front of the board, giving you 33ft between the holes on your boards. The front of your cornhole board acts as your pitching line to stand at when throwing, and is 30ft to the hole you are aiming at on the adjacent board. If junior, rookie, or senior players are participating, you can mark out a line at 21ft for them to throw from if all players are in agreement.

(Cornholetips – if you cut a string or small rope to 27ft then you can use it to measure the distance from the front of your boards so your throwing distance is always accurate. I even screw a small hook on the front of one board so you can hook your rope and pull it tight to set your other board if you are setting up alone. It is much easier than using a tape or trying to pace it out every time and is easy to pack around with your cornhole boards and bags.)

 

Game Play – (2 – 4 players)

  1. Play will start at one end with two opposing players, each with their 4 matching cornhole bags. (Players can determine who throws first or second with coin flip, rock, paper, scissors, etc.)
  2. The opposing players will alternate throwing until all 8 cornhole bags have been thrown and then a score count will happen.
  3. If playing doubles, the other two players will then play a round throwing the bags from their cornhole board. If playing singles the two players will walk back and forth from each cornhole board throwing their cornhole bags. The player or team who scored points last will always start the following round.
  4. This will continue until a player or team reaches or exceeds 21 points, declaring them the winner.

 

Scoring

A cornhole bag that goes through the hole is worth 3 points, and a cornhole bag that comes to rest on the cornhole board (if hanging off the side, it cannot be touching the ground) is worth 1 point. Any other bag on the ground is worth 0.

Standard scoring: Each player or team will add up the total of their 4 cornhole bags in the hole or on the cornhole board. The team or player with more points, will subtract the points acquired from the team or player with fewer points, and that will be the winning team or players score that round. In standard scoring, only the one winning team per round gets points. If no points are scored, or if the same amount of points are scored, then it is a draw and no point are awarded.

Cancellation scoring: In cancellation scoring, the cornhole bags in the hole are added up separately from the bags on the cornhole board. The players can first cancel all the cornhole bags that have been equally achieved by the opposing team on the board, and then cancel the cornhole bags equally achieved in the hole. After cancellation, the team with cornhole bags left on the board will be awarded 1 point per bag, and also the team or player left with cornhole bags remaining in the hole will get 3 points per bag. If no bags remain after cancellation or no points were earned in the round, it is a draw and no points are awarded. In cancellation scoring, both teams or players can get points in the same round.

 

In Game Rules

  • any interference of an opposing player during throws will automatically result in a re throw.
  • if the game is tied at 21 at the end of a round, the game will continue until the tie is broken at the end of a round declaring a winner.
  • if a player steps over the pitch line during the throw, the cornhole bag will be considered foul and removed for the duration of the round.
  • if a cornhole bag makes contact with the ground or any other non-human obstacle before it comes to rest on the cornhole board or in hole, it will be considered foul and removed for the duration of the round.
  • if any player or team removes cornhole bags at the end of a round before a score is agreed upon, it will make all of that player or teams cornhole bags foul and automatically removed for that round.
  • a player is allowed to throw from either side of the cornhole board and alternate sides on different rounds, but once they have picked a side for a round, all 4 cornhole bags must be thrown from that side.
  • any cornhole bag on the cornhole board that is knocked off by another thrown cornhole bag, will remain off the cornhole board for the duration of the round.

 

Have Fun!

These are just guidelines to follow that are recognized by the ACA (American Cornhole Association) and can easily be changed if agreed upon by all players.  I recommend if you are just learning or starting to play cornhole, to bring your boards 7 to 10 feet closer until you get comfortable throwing the cornhole bags, because the game can be frustrating if your just learning from the full distance. At the end of the day, play however you want to and get creative!

 

If you have any question please leave them below, and I will be happy to help you out.

 

 

 

 

James

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