Regulation Cornhole Boards: Size vs Construction vs Materials

Posted by Danny Evans on

Slick Woodys Americana Regulation size Cornhole Board


GO BIG OR GO HOME...right? Not necessarily. I know we’re used to hearing that, but when you’re considering cornhole boards, it may be just the opposite. In fact, it could be possible that the big ones have to stay home.

Ever since the first time I played cornhole, almost 15 years ago, I was hooked. And personally, I’m a regulation size board only kind of guy. However, there are pro and cons to each style of cornhole board sets. It’s important to identify what’s essential to you, so you can make an informed buying decision.

In this article, I’m going to discuss the various regulation sizes and some of the pros and cons of each kind of cornhole board sets.

To get an overview of boards, check out this blog entitled "The Seven Most Asked Questions about Cornhole Boards".

Regulation Size (2’x4’) vs. Tailgate Size (2’x3’)

When it comes to any type of competition, there is always a standard. There are usually rules and equipment that must meet certain requirements to be considered regulation. In this case there are a couple of governing bodies that will provide this information (American Cornhole Organization or American Cornhole Association).

Regulation size cornhole board

The requirements of regulation-size cornhole boards are as follows:

  • Board tops must measure 4 feet in length and 2 feet in width.
  • Board tops must be made of at least ½” thick plywood.
  • The hole in the board top must be six inches in diameter and be centered nine inches from the top and 12 inches from each side of the board top edges.
  • The front of the cornhole board must be  2-1/2” inches from bottom to top and be at near a 90-degree angle to the board face.
  • The back of the cornhole board must be 12 inches from the ground to the highest point of the board and be at a 90-degree angle to the board face.
  • The cornhole board playing surface must be finished and/or sanded to a very smooth texture, and there must not be any imperfections in the board that would disrupt play.
rules of cornhole button

Pros and Cons Of Regulation Size Cornhole Boards

Pros

The best thing about playing on regulation size cornhole boards is that you know you’re playing the real thing. If you’re an ultra competitive person, and you like to be the best at everything you do, then you have to go for a regulation set.

It’s kind of like an adjustable basketball hoop. You can lower the rim to whatever height you want so you can make yourself feel better about your game, or you can leave the rim at 10 feet so you can practice and get better at the official height where you know you’ll be measured.

Most people that play cornhole prefer to play on regulation style boards. So that means if you have them, then you’ll most likely be a crowd pleaser at your backyard parties. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t it stink when you’re hanging out and something comes up in conversation like, “I love to play horseshoes! Do you have a set? Do you want to play?” And you’re like, “Yeah I got some shoes… let’s get a game going.” Then you go to your garage and you whip out your cheap set of horseshoes that are plastic and have no weight, and the stake is so weak you can’t barely get in the ground. That’s called…. a party foul.

Typically, a regulation style cornhole set will be built sturdier. Most of the time (believe me, not all the time) a regulation set will be made with decent materials. This means they should last a bit longer than the smaller ones. One of the main reasons the smaller sizes were invented was to create a lighter and less expensive product. Usually to meet those requirements, you will find yourself with an inferior product. To find out more about this particular topic check out How Much Does A Cornhole Set Cost?

Cons

The cons are quite simple: With a regulation size set you will take up a bit more space, and the boards are generally heavier and more challenging to transport. You’ll need to make space for your cornhole boards in your garage or shed, and you may have to carry them one at a time because they can weigh 20-40 lbs each depending on the manufacturer.

And nothing is more annoying than if you have a smaller vehicle to take you to the tailgate party, and you can’t fit your boards in your ride. Super frustrating!

Why Would Anyone Want Tailgate Size Cornhole Boards?

Tailgate size cornhole board

Some people, unlike the group mentioned above, aren’t very competitive and really just like to do activities for the heck of it.

Back to the basketball analogy... This type of person will play a pick-up game of hoops with a volleyball because it just doesn’t matter to them. They are just as content using any type of ball because it’s usually not about winning and losing - it’s about just playing the game and socializing. That’s where, what I call, tailgate size cornhole boards fit in. They are a great alternative for people who are interested in the social side of the game more than anything else.

Unlike regulation size cornhole boards, there are no real specifications for any other size. Generally though, when speaking about tailgate size cornhole boards, you’re talking about boards that are 3 feet in length and 2 feet in width and meet most of the other criteria of the regulation boards.

What You Would and Wouldn’t Like About Tailgate Size Cornhole Boards

These boards are best for storage and transport. They take up less space and are significantly lighter than regulation boards.

Sometimes they are made slim enough to fit in the front seat of a car with you. Slick Woody’s has a tailgate style that actually fits together and comes with an easy-carry bag. Doesn’t get any easier than that for easy transport!

The cost of a 3’ x 2’ cornhole set is usually less than a regulation set. Because it is lighter and smaller, it can be made for less. You have to watch though because sometimes with the 3’ x 2’ bag toss game, you will get an inferior product.

This category of cornhole boards was mainly created for manufacturers to make sets in volume (many times overseas) and offer them at a lower price point and with a cheaper shipping rate. Obviously the smaller and lighter the package, the less expensive the shipping cost, which can be a deciding factor for some buyers.

The Real Deal

Circling back to what we talked about earlier, if you want to have the baddest set of boards and you want to be completely legit when you talk about your cornhole game, you’ll always find yourself back at the regulation size cornhole boards.

It’s going to be a small investment though, so be prepared to spend a couple hundy on a real deal set. If you get them at the right place, it will be totally worth it! You want to make sure you go to a manufacturer that is well respected in the industry and doesn’t have many bad reviews. Good luck and happy holin’!

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