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4th Annual Collier Cornhole Tournament.jpg
The Collier Cornhole Tournament held on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nicknames Dummy boards, doghouse, Baggo, dadhole, sacks, beans, or Bags, beanbag
First played Unknown
Contact No
Team members Either doubles or singles
Type Outdoor
Country or region United States and Europe

Cornhole (also known as dummy boards, bean bag toss, dadhole, doghouse, Baggo or bags) is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing bags of corn (or bean bags) at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Play continues until a team or player reaches (or exceeds) the score of 21.

Rules and regulations[edit]

Equipment and court layout[edit]

Cornhole matches are played with two sets of bags, two platforms and two to four players.[1]

There are four bags to a set. Each set should be identifiable from the other; different colors work well. The American Cornhole Organization Official Cornhole Rules call for double-seamed fabric bags measuring 6 by 6 inches (150 by 150 mm) and weighing 15 to 16 ounces (430 to 450 g)[1] Bags should be filled with dried corn kernels. The final weight of the bag may vary due to the material of the bag itself.

Each platform is 2 by 4 feet (0.61 by 1.22 m), with a 6-inch (150 mm) hole centered 9 inches (230 mm) from the top. Each platform should be angled with the top edge of the playing surface 12 inches (300 mm) above the ground, and the bottom edge 3–4 inches (76–102 mm) above the ground. A regular court places the holes 33 feet (10 m) apart, or 27 feet (8.2 m) between the bottoms of the platforms. Shorter distances can be used when younger players are participating or there is not sufficient room.[1]

Bags are tossed from the pitcher's box, which is the rectangular area directly to the left or right of a platform. The bottom of the platform forms the foul line. Players may not step over the foul line while pitching.[1]


Cornhole being played during a pre-game tailgate at Texas A&M University–Commerce

Cornhole matches are broken down into innings or frames of play.[1] During each frame, every player throws four bags. A player may deliver the bag from either the left or right pitcher's box, but, in any one inning, all bags must be delivered from the same pitcher's box. It is possible that both players can throw from the same pitcher's box. Also, the player gets a three-foot box to throw in. Each player must deliver the bag within twenty seconds. The time starts when the player steps onto the pitcher's box with the intention of pitching. The player who scored in the preceding inning pitches first in the next inning. If neither pitcher scores, the contestant or team who pitched last in the preceding inning pitches first in the next inning. Note: No foot can land past the front of the board until the corn bag leaves the hand, otherwise the point does not count. At the end of the round there is a 10-second window to allow beans to fall within the bag, possibly allowing additional points.

A typical cornhole board, with two colors of bag

Cornhole can be played as either doubles or singles. In doubles play, four players split into two teams. One member from each team pitches from one cornhole platform and the other members pitch from the other. The first side of players alternate pitching bags until both players have thrown all four of their bags, then the players pitching from the opposing cornhole board continue to alternate in the same manner until all four of their bags are delivered and the inning or frame is completed. In singles play, two players play against each other. Delivery is handled in the same manner as doubles play. Both contestants pitch from the same cornhole platform and alternate their pitches until all of their bags have been pitched, completing the inning or frame.[2]


In order to score, the bags must either be tossed into the hole or land on the board. A bag that falls through the hole is worth a value of three points. The bag can be tossed directly into the hole, slide into the hole, or be knocked into the hole by another bag. A bag that lands on the board and is still on the board at the end of the inning is worth one point. If a bag touches the ground and comes to rest on the board, it is removed from the board prior to continuation of play and not worth any points. Usually, cancellation scoring is used. In one version of cancellation scoring, bags that fall in the hole and bags that land on the board that are pitched by opponents during an inning cancel each other out. For example, if one team lands two bags in the hole and one on the board for seven points, and the other team lands one in the hole and two on the board for five points, the first team's score would be three, and the second team's score would be one. This is because both teams had at least one bag land in the hole, cancelling three points, and one bag on the board, cancelling one point, for a total of four points cancelled from each team. Another example would be if one team gets one in the hole and the other team gets three on the board, no points would be cancelled and both teams would receive three points.[3] In case of a tie, the team who ties the game, must go first.[2]

In another common version of cancellation scoring, the total score for each team for the inning is totalled each round, and then the difference of the two scores is awarded to the team with the higher score. It is thus only possible for one team to score points each inning. For example, if one team lands two bags in the hole and one on the board for 7 points, and the other team lands one bag in the hole and two on the board for 5 points, 5 points from the round would cancel out, and the first team would thus score 2 points. Because only one team can score points in each inning, it is impossible for teams to reach or exceed 21 points in the same inning, and therefore ties are impossible. Although, while playing with this method, players who have already reached 21 points can, in any way, discard their bag so they do not exceed their 21 points.

A cornhole match is played until the first player or team reaches twenty-one points at the completion of an inning. The winning team does not need to win by two or more points.[2]

An uncommon version of scoring also includes a 2-point option. A bag is worth 2 points if it is on the board and hanging over the hole, but has not fallen through the hole.

Other scoring variations require one team to earn exactly twenty-one points to win. If a team's score exceeds 21 after any inning, the result differs among various house rules. Options include that the team must return to fifteen points, that the team must return to their prior score, that the team must return to their prior score and deduct one point from that score, and that the team must return to their prior score and deduct from that the number of points they scored in the most recent inning. In some variations, if a team's score goes over 21 three times before their opponents reach or exceed 21, they win the match.


The game described in Heyliger de Windt's 1883 patent for "Parlor Quoits" displays most of the features of the modern game of "cornhole", but with a square hole instead of a round one.[4] Quoits is a game similar to horseshoes, played by throwing steel discs at a metal spike. De Windt's patent followed several earlier "parlor quoits" patents that sought to recreate quoit game-play in an indoor environment. [5] His was the first to use bean-bags and a slanted board with a hole as the target.

He sold the rights to the game to a Massachusetts toy manufacturer that marketed a version of the game under the name "Faba Baga".[6] Unlike the modern game, which has one hole and one size of bags, a "Faba Baga" board had two different-sized holes, worth different point values, and provided each player with one extra-large bag per round, which scored double points.

The West-Side of Cincinnati, Ohio is considered one of the centers of the modern resurgence and renewed popularity of the game; more specifically Harrison, Ohio.[7] It is widely popular at tailgate events throughout the Midwest and has recently become a nationwide favorite, with national championships covered on ESPN.[8]

In 2008[9], a miniature version of Cornhole appeared on tables across the U.S. A play on its original, larger cousin, "Coinhole" uses mini tabletop boards, and quarters in lieu of beanbags. The rules of game play for Coinhole exactly match traditional Cornhole - 3 points are earned for a quarter in the hole and 1 point for a quarter on the board. Unlike Cornhole beanbags, which are thrown directly onto the board, the quarters are bounced off of the surface on which the board sits and then onto the board.[10]


The following is a list of terms commonly used in cornhole:

  • Ace or cow pie: A bag lands on the board, which is worth one point.[11][12]
  • Back door or Dirty Rollup: A cornhole that goes over the top of a blocker and into the hole.[11][12]
  • Backstop: A bag that lands past the cornhole but remains on the board creating a backboard for a slider to knock into without going off the board.[11]
  • Blocker: An ace that lands in front of the hole, essentially blocking the hole from sliders.[11][12]
  • Cornfusion: When players or teams cannot agree on the scoring of a given inning.[11]
  • Cornhole or Drāno: A bag that falls in the hole, which is worth three points.[11] The alternative name is a reference to a trademark, that of a sink clog clearing product.
  • Cornucopia: Achieved when a player throws all four bags into the hole in one inning.
  • Dirty bag: A bag that is on the ground or is hanging off the board touching the ground.[12]
  • Flop: Type of toss that didn’t spin the bag horizontally or vertically. Without rotation or spin.[13]
  • Grasshopper: A bag that bounces off the grass or ground and lands on the board for a point.[12]
  • Screaming Eagle, Eddie The Eagle: A bag that goes beyond the board without hitting the board. Screeching like an eagle is an additionally accepted reaction to making such a mistake.[11][12]
  • Slippery Granny: Scoring three bags in a row on the board only.[11]
  • GRAND BAG, Four Bagger Jumanji, double deuce, Cornholio, Catorce Four Bagger or Four Pack: Four cornholes by a single player in a single round.[11]
  • Trip Dip: When a single player cornholes 3 out of the 4 bags in a single round.
  • Hanger or Shook: An ace on the lip of the hole ready to drop.[11][12]
  • Honors: The team who tosses first, resulting from the team scoring last.[12]
  • Hooker: A bag hitting the board and hooking or curving around a blocker and going in the hole.[11]
  • Jumper: A bag that strikes another bag on the board causing it to jump up into the cornhole.[11]
  • Perrego: When a player refuses to play Baggo because they're intimidated by their competitors.[11]
  • Police: The cornhole referee.[11]
  • Sally or Alvord: A toss that is thrown too weakly and lands on the ground before reaching the board.[11]
  • Shortbag: When a bag lands on the ground just before the cornhole board.[13]
  • Shucker: When a player pitches a bag and it strikes an opposing players bag knocking it off the board.[11]
  • Skunk, whitewash or shutout: A game that, by some rules, ends in an 11–0 score.[11][12]
  • Slider: A cornhole that slides into the hole.[11][12]
  • Swish: A bag that goes directly in the hole without touching the board. More often referred to as 'Airmail'[12]
  • Shotgun: Throwing all your bags at once.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "American Cornhole Organization Official Cornhole Rules". 
  2. ^ a b c "ACA Official Rules of Cornhole". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ De Windt, Heyliger. "US Patent 285,396 - Parlor Quoits". Google Patents. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  5. ^ Jensen-Brown, Peter. "Parlor Quoits, Bean-Bags, and Faba Baga - a History of "Cornhole" (the Game)". Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Jensen-Brown, Peter. "Parlor Quoits, Bean-Bags, and Faba Baga - a History of "Cornhole" (the Game)". Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog. Retrieved 11 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Russell, Shannon (2002-07-14). "World's best-kept secret". Enquirer. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "American Cornhole Championships X". ESPN. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Coinhole™ Quarter Cornhole Quarter Hole Board Corn Hole". Retrieved 2017-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Coinhole™ Rules - Mini Cornhole with Quarters - not a drinking game". Retrieved 2017-06-01. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Cornhole Lingo". Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved 2008-09-16. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Shauna Scott Rhone. "By any name, game's appeal spreading quickly". Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  13. ^ a b "Cornhole Terminology". Retrieved 2016-02-28.