Cornhole Rules - Based on the ACA ruleset!
Pitchers Box The pitcher's box is the rectangle 4 ft by 3 ft at each end of the court, parallel and on both sides of Cornhole platforms. Each contestant must remain in the pitchers box while pitching the corn bag.
Foul Lines There are two sets of foul lines: Open adult play and junior play. The open adult play foul lines shall be defined as an imaginary line 30 ft. from the beginning of the hole in the opposite Cornhole platform. For Cornhole / Corn Toss sets that meet ACA specifications, this foul line will be parallel to the front of the cornhole platform. The junior play foul lines shall be defined as an imaginary line 21 ft. from the beginning of the hole in the opposite cornhole platform. See the diagram above.
Pitching Distances All open adult contestants shall pitch from the pitcher's box behind the 30 foot foul lines. Physically impaired adults or seniors may, if agreed by all contestants, observe the 21 foot foul lines. Junior contestants may pitch from any place, but must observe the 21 foot foul lines.
General Game Play
Singles or Doubles Play Cornhole / Corn Toss can be played as doubles or singles. In doubles play two contestants are partners against another team of two contestants; in singles play a contestant competes against another contestant. In doubles play, one member of each team pitches from one cornhole platform and the other members pitch from the other cornhole platform. In singles play, both contestants pitch from the same cornhole platform. All other rules are basically the same for doubles or singles play.
Innings Every Cornhole / Corn Toss match is broken down into innings of play. During each inning of play each contestant must pitch all four corn bags.
Corn Bag In-The-Hole A corn bag in-the-hole (or Hole-In) is a corn bag which is thrown through the hole in the cornhole platform or otherwise comes to rest inside the cornhole platform (knocked in by another player or an act of God). A corn bag in-the-hole has a value of three points.
Corn Bag In-The-Count A corn bag that is not in-the-hole but lands with any portion of the corn bag resting on the cornhole platform is in-the-count. A corn bag in-the-count has a value of one point. For a corn bag to be in-the-count, it must not touch the ground or any other portion of the court prior to coming to rest on the cornhole platform. If a corn bag touches the ground before coming to rest on the cornhole platform, it is a foul and must be removed from the cornhole platform prior to the continuation of play.
Corn Bag Out-Of-The-Count A corn bag which comes to rest anywhere except in-the-count or in-the-hole is out-of-the-count and has no scoring value. A corn bag which is declared to be a foul is considered to be out-of-the-count (no matter where it comes to rest) and must be removed from the cornhole surface prior to the continuation of play.
Scoring is calculated as follows (Cancellation Scoring)
1. The points of both contestants are calculated for hole-ins and in-the-count corn bags.
2. The points of the lowest scoring contestant for hole-in corn bags are subtracted from the points of the highest scoring contestant for hole-in corn bags. The result is the hole-in score for the highest scoring contestant. The hole-in score for the lowest scoring contestant is zero.
3. The points of the lowest scoring contestant for in-the-count corn bags are subtracted from the points of the highest scoring contestant for in-the-count corn bags. The result is the in-the-count score for the highest scoring contestant. The in-the-count score for the lowest scoring contestant is zero.
4. The hole-in score for each contestant is added to the in-the-count score for each contestant to derive the recorded score for the inning.
5. In this manner hole-in and in-the-count corn bags from each contestant or team of contestants are cancelled out and only non cancelled corn bags are counted in the score.
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Pitching the Bags
In doubles play, the first side of contestants alternate pitching corn bags until they have thrown all four corn bags, then the remaining contestant (pitching from the other cornhole platform) continue to alternate in the same manner until all four corn bags are delivered and the inning completed. Delivery in singles play is handled in the same manner (but from the same platform) with each of the two contestants alternating their pitching of corn bags until all four corn bags have been pitched completing the inning.
A contestant may deliver the corn bag from either the left or right pitchers box (see above) but, in any one inning, all corn bags must be delivered from the same pitcher's box. A contestant shall pitch the entire tournament with the same hand or arm, except in the case of a medical emergency.
Each individual contestant shall deliver the corn bag within 20 seconds. The time shall start when the contestant steps onto the pitcher's box with the intention of pitching.
Pitching rotation The contestant who scored in the preceding inning shall pitch first in the next inning. If neither pitcher scores, the contestant who pitched second (last) in the preceding inning shall pitch first in the next inning.
Pitching position The pitcher must maintain constant contact with the designated pitcher's box (See diagram above) during the entire address and release of the corn bag. The only exception is for junior and physically challenged contestants, who must simply remain completely behind the 21 ft. foul line when the corn bag is released. The opponent, while not pitching, shall stand behind the cornhole platform at least 2 feet to the rear of the contestant who is pitching. After a short distance contestant (junior or physically challenged) pitches first they must return to the cornhole platform if the opponent or any contestant on an adjacent court is a full distance pitcher.
If both contestants use the same pitchers box to deliver their corn bags, the contestant pitching first should cross over to the other pitchers box in front of the cornhole platform and then move to the proper position. As the first contestant is crossing in front the second contestant should be crossing over in back and mounting the pitchers box from the rear. If both contestants use opposite pitchers boxes, the contestant who pitches first should step directly back to the proper position.
Foul Bags A foul corn bag is a corn bag which was delivered in non-compliance with one of the rules of the game. It scores as a corn bag out of the count and is to be removed from the Cornhole / Corn Toss court before any more corn bags are pitched. Corn bags already in the court that have been knocked into foul territory by a foul corn bag should be returned to the scoring area. Additionally, corn bags that are in the count, but are knocked into the hole by a foul corn bag must be returned to their original scoring position.
Winning the Game
The Cornhole / Corn Toss match shall be played until the first team of contestants reaches (or exceeds) 21 points at the completion of an inning. The winning team does not need to win by two or more points.
The Cornhole / Corn Toss match can never end in the middle of an inning. Thus, if a team that pitches first reaches or exceeds 21 points, the game can not end until the other side is allowed to pitch all of their corn bags and the inning is completed.
If the Cornhole / Corn Toss match is tied at 21 or more at the end of an inning, play continues until one team or the other achieves a higher score at the end of an inning and wins the match.
The game shall be played to 21 unless a team scores 7 or more points at the end of an inning before their opponents score any points. It this case the game is a skunk and the team that scores 7 or more points wins the match.