CORNHOLE RULES

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The tournament will be a double-elimination bracket.

Cash prizes will be distributed to the winning team.  Value of cash prize is subject to the amount of paid entrants.

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Teams must be comprised of doubles.  Teams compete against other teams where each team has two players, also known as team partners. So in doubles there are 4 players in total – 2 versus 2. Each player of a team pitches bags from opposite platform, but on the same side. So at one cornhole platform, on each side, there is a player from different team. Each cornhole team should have 4 bags in one color.

Each team must stay in the same lane in which they started the first round. They can not change lanes during the entire game.

You are only allowed to throw a beanbag underhand. Any overhand, above the head, or two hand release is consider to be a foul.

If there are too many bags already inside the hole making it impossible for another bag to fall into the hole, player may ask for bags to be raked out of the board, so that other bags can fall into the hole as well. It’s important that during a rake neither of the bags that are currently on board surface are moved. Even those that are hanging in the hole edge can not be moved. If bag accidentally falls into the hole during a rake, it’s calculated as a 3 point strike.  Raking may only be performed by the court judge.

At the beginning, a coin flip decides who goes first. Subsequently, the team with the best record has the honor to throw first.

Bags are thrown alternately until players have thrown all 8 bags (4 per each player).

First, the players at one platform alternately throw bags while players on the opposite platform keep the score. In the next round they switch sides. Now the ones that were keeping the score throw bags, and the others that were throwing the bags now keep the score.

Game is divided into rounds. Each round ends once all available bags are thrown. After each round, scoring is calculated and added to the overall scoring board.

Player must throw using the same arm during whole game, unless it’s a medical injury so he/she needs to switch hands.

Each contestant has maximum of 20 seconds to throw a bag. The time starts once a player has entered the pitching box.

Each player must remain in their pitcher box when pitching a bag. If a players steps out of the pitching box while throwing a bag it’s considered as a foul. In that case team of the player who caused the foul gets 0 points for that bag pitch and if the bag landed on a board it should be immediately removed.

If you are playing on a cornhole tournament, a common sense rule is that you can not vocally disturb opponents or distract them in any way. If it happens, you will receive a warning from the tournament judge. If you continue to distract opponents, you will be disqualified.

This is the list of rule violations that should result in bag being removed from the court. Off course any bag that is removed doesn’t carry any points. Tournament judge or contestant can report any of the following rule violations:

  • Player stepped on or crossed the foul line before tossing a bag
  • Corn bag was thrown 20 seconds after stepping into the pitching box or when it was players turn. It results in player being out of turn
  • Player changed pitching box in the same round
  • Bag on the board surface that is touching the ground is a foul bag and carries 0 points
  • If a corn bag ends anywhere but on the cornhole board (example: tree, lawn or on other objects) it’s considered to be a foul bag and also carries 0 points
  • If a corn bag accidentally falls out of player’s hand when a bag wasn’t being tossed then it’s not considered to be a foul. However if a bag was dropped after the swing then it’s a foul bag. Again, foul bag carries zero points and should be removed immediately
  • If a bag hits the ground first and then jumps onto the cornhole board it’s considered to be a foul bag

SCORING RULES

The game is played until one team reaches or exceeds 21 points. Team who first reaches 21 points wins.

Scoring is calculated at the end of each round.

Round (or frame) is considered to be completed once all corhhole bags are thrown.

Scoring breakdown:

  • Bag goes directly in the hole = 3 points
  • Bag was on the surface and ended in the hole after being hit by another bag = 3 points
  • Bag stays on cornhole board surface  = 1 point
  • Bag is almost in the hole (hanging a bit in) = 1 point
  • Bag hanging on the edge of a cornhole board but not touching the ground = 1 point
  • Bag is on the board but is touching the ground (this bag needs to be removed before continuing the game) = 0 points
  • Also if a bag is on the board but is touching a bag that is already off the surface = 0 points
    But there is one exception to this. If a bag that is off the surface can be removed with another bag then the bag that was previously touching the bag that was on the surface is not touching it anymore. So 1 point goes to the hanging bag.

Foul bags – cancellation of scoring when a player breaks a rule. Foul bags simply don’t carry any points. Basically if a bag is not in the hole or on the board (while not touching the ground) it is considered to be foul bag and gets 0 points. If a bag is touching the ground but still on the surface board, if it’s not on the board at all and if the players has stepped on a foul line the bag is considered to be foul! If a foul bag moved non-foul bag into foul zone (for example off the board), the bag that was previously non-foul should be returned to original position and the foul bag needs to be removed.

Once all the bags are thrown, the round ends.

Round score = Score of the highest scoring team – Score of the lowest scoring team

Example: Team A scores 7 – Team B scores 5 = Team A adds 2 points to the overall score.

Team with the highest score adds the point difference to the total game score.

Round winner has an honor to throw first in the next round.

If the round score is equal, then the team who was previously throwing first continues to do so in the next round.

The type of scoring method is called cancellation scoring. This means that in each round only one player/team can get points added to the overall game score. Points of one team cancel the points of opponents score. So only the difference is added to the overall game score.

It’s suggested that scoring board is always visible to both teams and that score is updated after each throw and round. You should keep an eye on the score board, especially on tournaments.

Pitching Out of Turn:

If a player pitches out of turn at any time during a frame, their pitch will be considered a Foul Bag and swept from the playing surface.

If the out-of-turn bag affects any bags in play, their opponent has the option of returning all cornhole bags to their original position on the playing surface or leaving all bags as they are.

If the error is not discovered until after two (2) cornhole bags have been pitched, the frame shall continue and be score accordingly.

If no agreement can be reached, a Certified Official shall be called. The Certified Official shall either determine the scoring or void the inning and order it to be repitched.

Touching the bags before the Frame is complete:

If any bags in scoring positions (woodies or cornholes) are touched by a player, whether intentionally or unintentionally, before all bags during the frame are pitched, the frame is over.

The offending team (team who touches the bags) forfeits all remaining bags and tallies the score for the bags they have already thrown during the frame

The non-offending team tallies 12 points as if they had thrown 4 cornholes during the frame.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 12 pts are NOT automatically added the overall score(scoreboard). The 12 pts are only used within this specific frame before cancellation.

If a player spots irregularities during a tournament, the player can approach the scorer to resolve an issue. Otherwise if the scoring issue can’t be resolved so that both teams are satisfied, a tournament judge must be called to give the final decision.

Court regulations

The court will be set up by the tournament judge.  There is to be no alteration to any court, except by the tournament judge. 

Players must not cross the foul line (front of board) when tossing a bag.  If the player crosses this line, the toss is disqualified.  The bag cannot be re-thrown.

When tossing, it is the tossing player's responsibility to assure they are within the Pitcher's Box.  The Pitcher's Box is a 4' x 3' box on the player's side of the board.  Both feet must be within this area. 

Rule Determinations

The tournament judge is the final determination of the rules.  Any discrepancies within these rules will be evaluated solely by the tournament judge at his/her own discretion in an effort to the essence of the written rules.  Any argument with the tournament judge will be grounds for termination. 

The tournament judge has full authority to disqualify any player or any team at any time, for any reason.

Any rule not specifically address is intended to mirror the rules of the American Cornhole Organization (ACO).