Official Cornhole Rules for Playing Against Friends, Family and Foes

Official Cornhole Rules

There are several different ways to play cornhole, sometimes referred to as corn toss, bean bag toss or Baggo. I am going to show you three variations of the game, and help you pick the perfect style for the occasion.

The basics are always the same. You’re trying to throw a bean bag (or a bag of corn, if you’re authentic) into a hole in the rectangular board. That is worth 3 points. If you toss the bag and land on the board, that is 1 point. Off the board is worth nothing. That is a dark feeling my friend, but we’ve all been there.

Players alternate shots, and points are scored once all players have thrown all their shots, which is referred to as the end of an inning.

Let’s look at a few variations of the remaining rules.

Foes: Tournament Rules

Check out the diagram below for the official distances according to the American Cornhole Association. That is a detailed outline. Hopefully your brought your tape measure.

You can go here and find pages of rules and regulations. In my opinion, these rules are not reasonable to follow. Cornhole is not this complicated of a game. If you’re in a tournament, follow these rules. Otherwise, I have better ideas.

Friends: Casual Play

If you’re playing Cornhole, chances are your having an epic day. It is the perfect game for tailgating and barbecues. Unlike horseshoes, a bad toss of a bean bag won’t knock anyone out. This means that you are able to play corn hole in crowded areas. Worst case, you just knock food off of the table. That is a small price to pay for Cornhole.

When playing with friends, I don’t recommend trying to play at a standard distance apart. As long as you keep the distance consistent, the game is still fair from a closer distance. In fact, from a closer distance you are likely to have quicker games. This can be a great way to play for beginners.

I would recommend playing from around 20 feet – approximately the same distance as the junior line in the field outline above. If you start playing and nobody can score, move the boards closer together. Cornhole is a great game because you can adjust the difficulty of the game to fit the players skill. This means anyone can be good at Cornhole – they just have to move a little closer!

You can also allow certain players handicaps, meaning they can throw the bag from a shorter distance. While this might sound a little embarrassing, this can be a great way for the very young or very old to play the game.

Speaking of old people, that brings me to the final style of play.

Family Cornhole Rules

This is the most free form and dangerous style of play. Hopefully Cornhole will be the needed distraction that prevents another family blowup.

Just like with friends, you should customize your game.

Do you like your family? Move the boards closer together, let grandma shoot from 5 feet away, and have a great time.

Don’t like your family? Play by the tournament rules outlined above, possibly adding another 10 feet. This distance will make it hard for everyone to bicker at each other. Bonus points if you bring your own mini-cooler with some beers.

Hopefully this guide will help you find the right Cornhole rules for you. Enjoy and good luck!

Written by
Former athlete, family man, self-proclaimed blogger, award winning event owner, and champion of all things sports.

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