The game of cornhole has been around for quite some time. The discussion of when the game started is not one that can be easily decided by facts. Some would say the game started with some college students in the Midwest. Others would say cornhole started in medieval times when Sir Lancelot was pitching rocks at a well. Not sure if there will ever be an answer to that question.
The sport however did start in the Midwest in 2006 when an enterprising young man decided enough was enough. He was tired of playing cornhole one way at his neighbors and another way at the local bar cornhole league. He thought it was time to introduce standards into the game so that all things wee equal no matter where cornhole was played.
Cornhole is two 2' x 4' boards with a 6" hole cutout in each board. Boards are inverted, and placed approximately 27' apart. Two or four players can play. Each player gets four 6" square bags filled with corn or resin beads. The object is to throw the bags into the hole or at least land it on the board. The first team/player to reach 21 or above wins. Landing a bag in the hole scores 3 points, on the board is worth 1 point. A player cancels the opponents points by throwing matching bags.
Imagine players playing for money, across the country, as professional cornhole players. It's true. There is even a professional cornhole tournament to determine the King of Cornhole, each year, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first King was crowned in 2006.
At this level of play, the game is more serious and is no longer considered just a backyard game. There is a governing body of the sport of cornhole, the ACO, that sanctions cornhole sport equipment and establishes cornhole sport rules to make sure all competitors play with the same sport standards.
The boards are places 27' apart exactly. Bag are 6" square and filled with a resin compound - not corn, and the board thickness is 5/8" thick not more or not less. A player must throw from the same side of the board and cannot change that position throughout the game. These standards are in place so that the professional player can concentrate on the skill of the sport and not the inconsistencies of a particular tournament, boards, or bags.
What are the Rules you need to know about Cornhole?
The rules of Cornhole were developed and governed by the American Cornhole Organization. It is the largest and most well organized regulators of its type for the game of cornhole. The organization has pushed to regulate the sizes of cornhole sets to make them standard across all playing opportunities and also to make sure that tournaments are using the same set of rules.
The rules specify that the equipment to be used for the game. They must consist of two slanted boards which measure 2' x 4' each. The board must be elevated such that it measures 12" high at one end. At this end a 6" hole is cut into the board. The boards are usually 5/8" thick and made from high quality plywood. To protect the wood and ensure a smooth surface the board is usually coated with several coats of UV finish or poly coat. For competitive play boards must be constructed of wood but recreational boards can be found made from plastic and may be designed to fold in half for easy transport. The game uses 6' x 6' cotton or burlap bags filled with corn or a resin. Each bag is designed to weigh approximately 16 ounces.
For tournament and league play, boards are placed 27 feet apart. However for amateur play, the boards may be places 24 feet apart and even 20 feet apart for Junior play. A typical backyard game the distance isn't really measured and boards are often set closer together for elderly players or young children.
The game can be played as either singles or doubles format. In single player format, players compete against another player. They both pitch from the same board. Then alternate ends of the playing field. For doubles the two member teams position themselves at opposite board and alternate their throws.
Get out there and have fun.