Corn Hole Games
Seeing as how we recently reviewed three different corn hole sets, we thought it best to discuss some of the rules, games, and scoring involved. Corn hole is a fairly simple game to play and keep score, but it’s hard to excel as it requires a deft touch and a steady hand. What we love about corn hole as well are what we love about all the games we talk about here: those that are fun, easy to play, and are accessible to everyone.
We’ll cover all the necessary points, including court dimensions, scoring rules, and any gameplay rules that may pop up. At the end of the day we always recommend taking these things with a grain of salt and finding the rules and regulations that work best for you and those you’re playing with. Should you choose to enter tournament play at any point it’s nice to have the rules on hand, but I don’t foresee this situation coming up too often. The most important aspect of playing games is being able to have fun, so work with the rules and make the game as stringent or loose as you prefer. We’re just here to tell you what they are, not enforce them. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about the game of corn hole.
Getting the proper court setup for corn hole is paramount to playing the game by the book. According to the American Cornhole Association (ACA) a court of official size must be 10 feet wide and at least 45 feet long. The pitcher’s boxes, which lie at either side of the corn hole boards, must be four feet by three feet and the pitcher shall remain there throughout the course of the game.
The official size of the corn hole board is going to be 48” by 24”. This should be already taken care of for you if you purchase a set. If you build your own, these are easy guidelines to follow.
That’s about all you need to know there. Should you not be able to make the distance of 45 feet work in your own yard do your best to come as close to it as possible. As we said, you can alter the rules and regulations to your liking if something doesn’t quite work.
Now the scoring for corn hole is a very simple process. A beanbag thrown in-the-hole is worth a value of three points. A beanbag that does not initially go through the hole but is knocked in by another bag or freak act of nature also counts as three points. Any bag that lands on the board but not in the hole (known as being “in-the-count”) counts as one point. Should a bag come in contact with the ground first or any other impediment not on the board itself is a foul and does not count. Said bag should also be removed from the board immediately.
Traditionally, the game is played to 21 points with the winner not required to win by two. There are a few scoring variations as well:
- A game can never end in the middle of an inning; all bean bags must be thrown. The team with the highest score, even if both exceed 21, will be declared the winner;
- If the game is tied at 21 (or more), extra innings shall be played. The team with the most points at the end of the extra(s) will be declared the winner;
- If one team scores seven or more points in one inning and the opposition fails to register any points, this is called a “Skunk” and the team who scored seven or more points wins the match.
Whether you want to play cancellation scoring (where points cancel- if each team has one in-the-hole, neither team gets any points) or score calculation (where all points count towards the total) is completely up to you. Should you choose to play cancellation scoring we highly recommend that you lower the score from 21 to something more attainable, like 11. Playing to 21 is open to discussion as well. If there are a lot of people waiting around for their turn to play we recommend you lower the score so everyone has a chance; just our two cents.
The ACA also recommends keeping a high standard of personal conduct during the course of gameplay. With this, we disagree. It’s a fun game and we fully endorse heckling and messing with your opponents as much as possible.
Corn hole is great game to play, and is easy to set up and have fun anywhere. It’s always good to have a grasp of the rules going in, but we want to ensure you’re playing for fun. Take the rules and bend them to what suits you best. Enjoy the company the surrounds you and do your best to win.