10 Frequently Asked Cornhole Questions: Cornhole Spacing for Boards, Rules, Bags, Cornhole Scoring & More

Posted by Bill Manos on

Fun, competitive, enjoyable, popular, entertaining. These are a few of the terms you might use when describing the game of cornhole. Cornhole is becoming one of the most played games across the country. 

It's an easy and accessible game that anyone can play regardless of age, skill level, and experience. Whether it's a tailgate, a party, the backyard, a bar, or a cornhole tournament, this game keeps your guests entertained and the fun flowing. 

There are many common questions about the game of cornhole, from the different types of bags to what the correct distance should be between your cornhole boards.

In this article, we will answer the top ten frequently asked questions about playing cornhole:

  1. What is the official name of the game?
  2. What are the official specs for a tournament cornhole board?
  3. What kind of cornhole bags are available?
  4. What is regulation cornhole spacing for boards?
  5. What score do you need to win a game of cornhole?
  6. What counts as a scored point?
  7. What counts as a “foul bag” during game play?
  8. Are there different size cornhole boards?
  9. What are the best surfaces to play on?
  10. Can I leave my cornhole boards in the rain?

cornhole boards and cornhole bags

1. What is the official name of the game?

This is a question that gets asked very often due to the fact there are many different names associated with the game. Cornhole, bean bag toss, bags, baggo, and tailgate toss are just a few of the names you might hear used.

However, the most widely accepted name of the game is cornhole. If you take a look at the volume of searches used between all of these different names, you can see that cornhole is by far the most popular used term. 

That being said, people in different locations of the country prefer to use different names. Take a look at the chart below to see the trend in these different search terms. The blue line represents the search term "cornhole."

other name for cornhole

2. What are the official specs for a tournament cornhole board? 

When it comes to the top of a cornhole board, it is stated that the dimensions should consist of a hardwood plywood playing surface, measuring 47.5” to 48” x 23.5” to 24”. The tops of cornhole boards should be somewhere between ½” to ¾” in thickness.

As far as the regulation weight of cornhole boards go, each board should weigh no less than 25 lbs. The diameter of the hole on the board should be 6” and centered 9” from the top of the board as well as centered from each side edge. The hole should be routed and smooth so bags do not tear or rip as they slide into it. 

The front of the cornhole board should be 3” to 4” from the ground surface, whereas the back of the board should be close to 12” from the ground. Playing surfaces should be finished and sanded to a nice smooth texture. There should be little to no blemishes in the wood or surface that may disrupt or distort gameplay.

3. What kind of cornhole bags are available on the market?

As far as cornhole bags go, there are a few different options. Most cornhole bags have a few things in common though. A large majority of the cornhole bags available use a duck cloth material for the exterior of the bag. There are two types of fills often used: either corn-fill or a resin-fill. 

Cornhole was originally played with corn-filled bags: that's where the name comes from. These bags are often made of a duck cloth exterior and one of the more inexpensive bags on the market. 

Resin-filled bags are almost identical to the corn-filled bag. These bags contain small plastic pellets. These pellets do not break down over time like corn might and can get wet with no problem. 

All-weather pro-style cornhole bags are often considered to be the best bags available on the market. These pro bags are a two-sided bag that allows you to change up your style of game play. One side uses a cotton twill for optimal sliding capabilities. The other side is made up of a microfiber suede so you can more easily stick your bag on the board. 

Reynolds Bags are another version of bags that A LOT of the pros use for their cornhole game. There are seven different styles of Reynolds bags available. Pro Edge, Pro Edge Speed, Pro Touch, Pro Excel, Pro Advantage, Pro X, and Victory. Each of these bags gives you a different style of play! 

 

4. What are proper cornhole board distances? 

The regulation distance for a set of cornhole boards should be 27 feet. This measurement goes from the front of one board to the front of the other. As far as measuring cornhole distances before playing, you have a few different options. 

One thing you can do is use a tape measure. This will give you the most accurate bag toss distance compared to other methods. Some cornhole boards come with a string that is attached so you can measure it out quickly and efficiently. 

If you are looking to quickly measure out your boards, you can walk it out in paces. Approximately 9-10 paces should get you to roughly 27 feet. Obviously this can be a little more or a little less depending on how long your paces are. 

5. What score do you need to win a game of cornhole? 

This is a question that people often have. The answer really depends on where you are playing your cornhole game. Official tournament rules state that the first player to score 21 points wins the game. This rule is used in tournaments to make sure rounds don't take too long.

As you may have noticed, many "backyard" players will enforce a rule where you cannot go over the score of 21. You must hit exactly 21 to win the game, and if you go over you are penalized and go back to a score such as 15. 

So, all-in-all, if you're playing by official tournament rules, it's first to 21. If you're playing a cornhole game in someone's backyard, it really just goes off whatever the host decides. Watch the video below for more scoring FAQs.

6. What counts as a scored point? 

As far as what kind of throws count as points, it is pretty simple.

  • Bags that land inside of the cornhole board hole are worth 3 points.
  • Bags that land cleanly on the board are worth 1 point.
  • Bags that hit the ground before landing on the board do not count.
  • Likewise, bags that are hanging inside of the cornhole hole (hangers), but do not go all the way through only count as 1 point. 

Watch the video below for some cornhole tips.

7. What counts as a "foul bag" during game play? 

There are a few different scenarios where you might be called for a "foul bag." One scenario is when you step over the throwing "line." Official rules state that the line is made up from the front edge of the cornhole board. You cannot throw past this line or you will be called for a foul. 

Another situation you might be called for a foul is if you throw your bags from the wrong side of the cornhole board. Each player is assigned their side for throwing during a game of cornhole and must stay on that side. 

As we mentioned in the last question, if your bag hits the ground and bounces up on the board it is also considered a foul bag. 

8. Are there different size cornhole boards? 

Yes, there are a few different sizes of cornhole boards available, such as tournament (or regulation) boards and tailgate boards. 

Tournament size cornhole boards are your most popular cornhole boards. Most of the time when you see a set of cornhole boards, they are tournament size. These boards are the official boards that are used in tournaments and are regulation size.


Tailgate size cornhole boards are a bit smaller than the tournament boards. The reason they are called tailgate boards is due to the fact they are easier to transport than a bigger board and are often used during tailgates because of their accessibility. 

At Slick Woody’s our cornhole boards come in tailgate and regulation sizes, with differing build styles.

9. What are the best surfaces to play on? 

cornhole game in grass

This is a great question that has a few different answers. Grass and sand are the most often used surface when playing a game of cornhole. Both of these surfaces make for a great, comfortable playing surface that is also gentle on your bags.

Asphalt and other hard surfaces are also commonly used. The main disadvantage with these hard surfaces is the wear and tear they have on your bags over time. 

10. Can I leave my cornhole boards in the rain? 

The age-old question: "Can I leave my boards in the rain?" The answer to this question is yes and no. Yes, you can leave your boards in the rain a few times and they will be fine. But we do not recommend doing this for a prolonged period of time. 

Cornhole boards are made from wood, and just like many wood products, they will warp over time if they get too wet. We do not recommend leaving your boards in the rain, but if it happens occasionally, and you have a high quality cornhole board, they should be fine. 

Conclusion

With the popularity of cornhole growing at such a consistent rate around the country, it's a great idea to understand some of the rules and regulations surrounding the game. Many homes, parties, bars, and other venues now have sets of cornhole boards to keep their guests entertained. Having some base knowledge about the game can serve you for a lifetime. 

Hopefully by sharing the answers to many of these commonly asked questions, we were able to bring you some value. Next time you're playing a game of cornhole or have any questions about the game, be sure to refer to this FAQ guide. Now get out there and toss some bags! 

Looking for a set of cornhole boards or cornhole bags? Check out Slick Woody's Cornhole Co.