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Regulation Cornhole Distance Rules

Cornhole Distance

You’ve seen this game played a thousand times around your neighborhood, at BBQs and Fourth of July parties. You’ve even played it yourself and enjoyed it a lot, but now you want to have your own board and the first time you go to play, it hits you – you don’t know the proper measurements. This has happened to many players and although a little embarrassing at first, it’s an easy fix. Knowing the correct cornhole distance and measurements will not only ensure a fair game, it will also demonstrate your knowledge of the game. This can be a powerful and effective intimidation tactic when you start throwing those four bags.

Cornhole Distance Rules

Let’s start with the most important and most debated aspect of gameplay. We’ve all been there with our friends, arguing over how far the boards should be placed and from where to measure. This guide will explain all the different measurements you need to know to play a fair game with any type of player.

Regulation Cornhole Board Dimensions And Requirements

Regulation Cornhole Board Dimensions

The board is the star of the show and can be placed in different ways. Here’s what you need to know.

Distance Between The Boards

The simplest answer is that the front of each board must be exactly 27 feet apart from each other. This is standard distance and the measurement used on the best cornhole boards at professional events.

The easiest way to ensure you get the proper distance each time is to measure a string and attach it to one board.

Then you need only to extend that string at the beginning of the game, place the second board and then tuck the string back under the board it’s attached to.

You can also confirm distance and board sizing by measuring from hole to hole. The distance between each edge should be 33 feet and the distance between the back edges should be 45 feet.

Ensure your board is the right height by measuring 12 inches above the ground on the backside. The front should be 3 – 4 inches off the ground to lessen the chance of bags bouncing off the ground and onto the board.

Official Distance

If you want to play with the pros, you’ll have to stick to playing at the official distance of 27 feet from the front edge to the front edge. There are other distances you can play from if space is an issue or if you’re playing with kids, which we’ll discuss below.

Playing from the official distance also means you must have space for each pitcher’s box. This will ensure each thrower is tossing from a legal distance and taking turns from each side of the board. More on that later as well.

Regulation Cornhole Boards

Regulation Cornhole Boards

The cornhole boards themselves need to be a specific size as well so you’re not shocked when you show up to your first tournament and realize you’ve been doing it all wrong.

Cornhole is one of few games that you can easily build yourself in your garage. It makes for a great parent/child bonding experience, but you must play by the rules and build an official cornhole board playing surface.

  1. Start by building the top surface, which measures 47.5” to 48” long, 23.5” to 24” wide and ½” thick.
  2. Use some form of plywood to ensure the weight is no less than 25 lbs.
  3. Determine the center of the hole, which should be exactly 12” from the side if your board is exactly 24” wide and 9” from the back.
  4. Lastly, attach the legs so the back edge sits 12” off the ground and the front edge at least 3” but not more than 4” off the ground. This ensures the perfect angle to accept cornhole bags. Legs need not be any specific size.

Tailgate Boards And Tailgate Distance

There is an alternative for those who don’t have the space, arm strength or desire to play at the official length. The tailgate version is designed to fit smaller spaces and still keep the integrity of the game alive.

The major difference is the distance between the front edges.

In tailgate mode, you measure 24 feet from the front edge to the front edge. The board itself is also smaller, measuring only three feet or 36 inches long but still two feet wide.

This is great for fitting in smaller playing spaces and for easier storage and transportation. This is where it gets its name from since it’s easy to take it to tailgate parties near and far.

Tailgate boards should still measure 12 inches off the ground in the back and between 3 – 4 inches off the ground in the front.

Where Is The Foul Line?

The foul line is an imaginary line that extends the front edge of the cornhole board perpendicular to the throwing direction. This holds true for both official and tailgate versions of the game.

If any part of your foot breaks the plane of the foul line, your shot does not count and you do not get to re-throw. The bag thrown is removed from play and any points will not count.

Distance For Juniors And Seniors

Cornhole is a game that is truly for all ages, but there are pre-determined measurements for our loved ones, either younger or older. Since we want everyone to be included, the foul line for juniors and seniors is moved up to 21 feet away from the front edge of the opposing cornhole board.

Identify this line using measuring tape so the accuracy can be attested by everyone playing. Mark it by using chalk or two items spaced a few feet apart. This ensures the integrity of the line can be maintained throughout the game.

All other rules are the same, including the foul bag rule, which states that if a player’s foot crosses the line, their bag and subsequent score do not count and they lose their turn.

How to play cornhole? Click here to read the rules.

Regulation Cornhole Bag Requirements

Regulation Cornhole Bag Requirements

Although less cumbersome than the requirements for cornhole boards, cornhole bags are still strictly regulated. If you plan to play in tournaments, then make sure you practice with official and legal pitching bags.

There are two recommended fillers to make the best cornhole bags, one being corn, as you may have guessed. The other is plastic resin. No matter the contents, each bag must weigh between 15 – 16 ounces.

You can easily make your own cornhole bags as well. They’re made up of two pieces of fabric: canvas, twill or synthetic suede. These two pieces should be 6 inches by 6 inches and double stitched together.

Corn hole bags are recommended to maintain the game’s authenticity. However, there are some pros and cons when compared to their plastic counterparts. Try to use the same ones all the time so you learn how to throw a cornhole bag faster.

Pros

  • Produces fine dust that helps the bag slide
  • Provides less bounce
  • Maintains time-honored tradition of the game

Cons

  • Can attract critters if not careful
  • Will eventually break down within the bag, becoming only dust
  • Cannot let them get wet

Regulation Cornhole Court Dimensions And Layout

Regulation Cornhole Court Dimensions

Cornhole tournaments can be one of the highlights of summer. Having all your friends and family over for some heated gameplay is a sure way to spice up an afternoon. To avoid any discrepancies and keep the focus on the action, use these guidelines when setting up your arena.

One cornhole court consists of two boards so only one game takes place within it. A court measures 45 feet long and 4 feet on either side, measured from the middle of the hole. If playing indoors, you will also need 12 feet of clearance above.

Distance Between Cornhole Courts

Setting up your cornhole courts or lanes is just as important as the boards themselves. You want each player to have equal and unobstructed space to toss their bean bags. Ensure 10 feet separate the edge of each pitcher’s box, which is 3 feet wide alongside the board.

How Much Room Is Needed For Cornhole?

The room needed for cornhole is a space measuring 45 feet long by 8 feet wide. This is if you want to play your games following the official rules. If you’re playing tailgate style, only 33 feet is required lengthwise, but the same width recommendations should be adhered to. Also, ensure you have enough height to toss the bean bags comfortably – 12 feet is recommended.

Cornhole Rules And Gameplay

Cornhole Rules And Gameplay

Once you’ve got your professional cornhole court set up, the real fun begins. There are multiple ways to play depending on who’s playing so be sure you know all the rules before engaging in any high-stakes games.

One On One

In this style, each player competes from the same end on opposite sides of the cornhole board. They will stay on this side for the entirety of the round and throw all four cornhole bags alternating between players.

Players alternate pitching bags until they are gone and then the score is tallied. For the next round, both players throw from the opposite board but stay on the same side of the court

Two On Two

This variation works the same way as one-on-one, where players alternate throws but never switch ends. You will be on the opposite side of your teammate and you will both throw the same color bag but you never have to walk to the other side.

Cornhole Scoring

The cornhole rules stipulate that there are only three outcomes to come from a single toss of a bean bag.

  1. Score 3 points with a “cornhole” which is when the bag passes entirely through the cornhole board hole
  2. Score 1 point a “woody”, which is when the bag lands and stays on the board
  3. Any bags that are not cornhole or a woody are considered “foul bags” and score 0 points

What Counts As A Woody?

A woody counts as 1 point for the player or team that threw it. You can score more than one in a round, but to be considered a woody, the cornhole bags must be on the board and not touching the ground. Even if one is hanging halfway in the hole, it still counts as 1 point.

What Counts As A Foul?

A foul counts as zero points and is considered a foul if not on the board. If a bag is on the side of the board but touching the ground, then that is a foul as well. You can also commit a foul bag by crossing the foul line with your foot.

The Cancellation Method

If cornhole were to have any confusion, here is where it lies. The premise is that only one team may score in any round.

For example,

Team A scores a cornhole and a woody = 4 points

Team B scores three woodies = 3 points

If this is the first round of the game, the total score would be:

Team A = 1 point

Team B = 0 points

Three of Team A’s four points are canceled by the three points being scored by Team B. Just because you make a cornhole doesn’t mean you can add those three points to your total score just yet. Your opponent affects how many of your points you can register, if any.

How To Determine A Cornhole Winner

The most popular format to play is when the first player to reach 21 points is declared the winner. The winning points must be final at the end of the round. If you’re on 18 and you make a cornhole, the match is not over until you finish that round, giving your opponent a chance to match or better the cornhole you made.

Frequently Asked Questions

The official distance for bags is measured from each board’s back, which should be 45 feet (13.7 m). This gives the players plenty of room for the cornhole boards and bags, plus plenty of room to throw. If you’re playing a tournament, you can add a court as long as it’s ten feet (3 m) away running parallel.

A regulation-size cornhole measures six inches (15 cm) in diameter. The center of the hole is placed 9 inches (22 cm) from the top and 12 inches (30 cm) from the side of the board. This holds true for all types of boards, including tailgate boards and at the professional level. Holes should be cut with a keen eye to maintain fair play.

The official distance for bean bag toss is measured from the front edge of one hole to its opposite on the other cornhole board. This should be exactly 33 feet (10 m). You can confirm this official distance and the size of each cornhole playing surface by measuring from the front edge of the board as well; this should be 27 feet (8.2 m).

Conclusion

Cornhole is a fun and competitive game that anyone can enjoy. To keep it that way, everyone must play by the rules and know how to set up a court. That all starts with knowing the correct cornhole distance. Once you do it correctly the first time, you’ll be confident for future games and will be able to tell when someone might be trying to pull a fast one on you.

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