Tournament Rules

CORNHOLE BOARDS, BAGS AND SET UP
  • Amateur Boards will be positioned 27’ from the front edge to front edge of the board.

  • Family Boards will be positioned 20’ from the front edge to front edge of the board.

  • Regulation bags will be supplied for all players.

  • Cornhole Pitchers Boxes will be 4’ x 3’ area at each end of the court and on both sides of each board; four (4) boxes in all.

  • Cornhole Foul Lines will be the front edge of the cornhole board.

 

RULES OF PLAY

A. Length of Games

The games shall be played to twenty-one (21) points. The first team to reach, or exceed, that amount at the conclusion of a frame is the winner.

 

B. Terminology

  • Bag-in-the-Count Woody: any cornhole bag that has been pitched and remains on the cornhole board playing surface at the conclusion of the frame.

  • Bag-in-the-Hole Cornhole: any cornhole bag that has been pitched and passes through the cornhole board hole at any time within the frame.

  • any cornhole bag that is not considered a woody or a cornhole. A foul bag is any bag that meets any of the following criteria:

  • Any bag pitched without at least one foot completely inside the pitcher’s box at the time of release

  • Any bag that was thrown when the player foot fouls

  • Any bag not pitched within the 15 second time limit

  • A bag pitched from a different pitcher’s box than their designated pitcher’s box

  • Any bag that contacted the court or the ground before coming to rest on the playing surface

  • Any bag that comes to rest touching the ground and the board.

  • Any bag which struck a previously defined object such as a tree limb, wire.

  • Family Boards are meant for at least one child under the age of 12 and their partner (who may be an adult).

 

C. Value of the Bag

  •   Each woody is worth one (1) point

  •   Each cornhole is worth three (3) points

  • Foul Bag: Is worth zero (0) points and refers to any bag that has not been determined as Bag-in-the-Count or Bag-in-the-Hole or was designated a foul bag because of rules violation.

 

D. Play of the Game (Doubles)

Every match is broken down into frames of play. During a frame of play, each player must pitch all four of their bags, and it is never completed until all players pitch all four.

  • Team A competes against Team B – each team is comprised of two (2) people.

  • Each team will stay in their designated lane for the whole game.

  • Players at one board will alternate pitching bags until each player has pitched all (4) of their bags.

  • Players at the other board will take score and resume pitching back to the other cornhole board.

 

E. Scoring

Amateur Division Cancellation Scoring: The points of the winner in each frame cancel out the points of their opponent. Using this method, only one team can score in each frame. Add up the totals and subtract the lesser score from the higher.  First team to reach or exceed 21 points at the conclusion of a given frame is the winner.

Example:

Red achieves one (1) woody and two (2) cornholes during the frame (7 total pts)

Blue achieves two (2) woodies and zero (0) cornholes during the frame (2 total pts)

7 points – 2 points = Red scores 5 points for that frame (Blue scores 0)

Family Division Straight Cumulative Scoring: The points of each team is recorded and accumulates each frame. Using this method, both teams can score in each frame.

Example:

Red achieves one (1) woody and two (2) cornholes during the frame (7 total pts)

Blue achieves two (2) woodies and zero (0) cornholes during the frame (2 total pts)

Red scores 7 points for that frame and Blue scores 2 points for that frame

 

F. Recording the Score

  • No cornhole bags shall be moved before the scoring is determined.

  • Players are always encouraged to pay close attention to the score. Players may call upon the Official between frames if there is any discrepancy about the correct score.

 

G. Beginning Play

A coin-toss will determine the team that will choose their bag color and pitch first.

Additionally, the coin toss is used to determine which team selects one of the following options:

1.  Choose the lane assignments

• If option #1 is selected, the coin toss winner chooses their lane and takes their positions in the Pitcher’s boxes, then the opposing team chooses their own Pitcher’s boxes to determine head-to-head match-ups.

2.  Choose their opponent to pitch against (head-to-head)

• If option #2 is selected, the coin toss loser chooses their lane and takes their positions in the Pitcher’s boxes, then the coin toss winner will choose their own Pitcher’s boxes to determine head-to-head match-ups.

In best 2 out of 3 matches, the first pitch and lane assignment options go to the coin toss winner in the first game and to the coin toss loser in the second game. If a third game is necessary, another coin toss will decide who gets the first pitch and lane assignment options

 

H. Pitching Cornhole Bags

  • Players alternate pitching bags(one player at a time) until each player has pitched all (4) of their bags.

  • A player must pitch all (4) cornhole bags from their designated pitcher’s box.

  • Players must pitch the bag with an underhanded release.

  • One foot must be completely within the pitcher’s box at the time of releasing the bag.

  • A player may not touch the ground on or beyond the foul line before their bag has contacted the board at the opposite end of the cornhole court. If a player crosses the foul line prematurely, it will be considered a foot foul.

 

I. Foot Foul

A foot foul is called when a player’s foot touches the ground on or beyond the foul line before their bag has contacted the board at the opposite end of the cornhole court.

Procedure and Penalties for foot fouls:

  • If a foot foul is witnessed by the opponent, they must call a time-out and notify an Official. The player will not be charged for the time-out.

  • An Official will report to the court to observe the game.

  • The Official will alert both players as why they have been called to the court, as a “warning.”

  • If the Official witnesses additional offences, penalties will be as follows:

  • 1st Strike: The player will receive a “1st Strike” and their bag will be declared a dead bag and removed from the playing surface. The non-offending player may choose to replace any affected bags as close to their original position as possible or leave them as they are.

  • 2nd Strike: The player will receive a “2nd Strike” and their bag will be declared a dead bag and removed from the playing surface. The non-offending player may choose to replace any affected bags as close to their original position as possible or leave them as they are.

  • 3rd Strike: The player forfeits their current match on the third offense.

  • NOTE: An Official may also voluntarily officiate the game without a request from players

 

J. Accidental Release

  • Any cornhole bag that leaves a player’s hand once the final step (if taken) and final forward swing of the delivery process has started, shall count as a pitched bag.

  • A cornhole bag that is accidentally dropped by a player before the final step (if taken) and final forward swing has started, shall not be considered a foul bag and may be picked up and pitched.

K. Pitching the Next Frame

  • Competitive Division: the team who scored in the preceding frame will pitch first in the next frame.

  • Novice Division: the team who scored highest in the preceding frame will pitch first in the next frame.

  • If neither team scores (or the score is tied in the Novice Division), the team who pitched first in the preceding frame will retain first pitch in the next frame.

 

L. 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.

 

M. Touching Bags Before 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 pitched during the frame.

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

  • IMPORTANT NOTE FOR COMPETITIVE DIVISION: 12 points are NOT automatically added to the overall score (scoreboard). The 12 points are only used within this specific frame before cancellation.

N. Sweeping Cornhole Bags

  • If a foul bag lands on the playing surface or comes to rest touching the ground and the board, it must be removed immediately.

  • If a player pitches a foul bag which 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.

 

O. Time Limits

A player must pitch each cornhole bag within fifteen (15) seconds of their opponent’s bag coming to rest.

Procedure and Penalties for time violations:

  • Players will be given one warning before enforcing time penalties

  • If a time penalty is witnessed by the opponent, they must call a time-out and notify an Official. The player will not be charged for the time-out.

  • An Official will report to the court to observe the game.

  • The Official will alert both players as why they have been called to the court, as a “warning.”

  • If the Official witnesses additional offenses, penalties will be as follows:

  • 1st Strike: The player will receive a “1st Strike.”

  • 2nd Strike: The player will receive a “2nd Strike”

  • 3rd Strike: The player forfeits their current match on the third offense.

NOTE: An Official may also voluntarily officiate the game without a request from players

  • Exceptions may be made by the Official considering any physical disabilities or difficulties

• If timing cannot be agreed on, the Official will score or negate the frame.