Cornhole, or bean bag toss is one of the most notable American summer games. More often than not you see people playing at a BBQ party, or a tailgate, or even at a bar. If you've never had the opportunity to play a game of your own, but are considering doing so, then this post is for you.

Here is everything that you need to know about cornhole. From fun facts to the rules, we've got you covered. This lawn game can be played by virtually anyone.

Cornhole boards side by side.

A Brief History

There has been a lot of debate on the history of cornhole. In fact, the actual place of origin is unknown. Many believe that the game was invented almost 600 years ago in Germany. There is also the idea that cornhole toss belonged to the Blackhawk tribe. Apparently, they played some variation of the game that used pigs' bladders that were filled with dried beans.

Truthfully, it depends on who you ask. But no official patent was created until 1883 by Heyliger de Windt. It was originally known as 'Parlor Quoits' and used a square hole instead of a circular one on each board.

He then sold the rights to a toy manufacturer in Massachusetts. The game immediately spread, earning a DIY-article in Popular Mechanics. It became quite popular in the Midwest, and, as you can now see, it's everywhere.

Different cornhole boards lined up.

How To Play

You shouldn't be intimidated by cornhole. It is actually a very fun game that is often played during parties in the warm weather. If you want to know the official rules, then you can look to the American Cornhole Association for the latest updates.

Essentially, you are throwing a bag full of corn into a hole on an angled board. If a bag goes through the hole, that counts as three points. If the bag lands on the platform, that is a single point. There are two teams with two people on each team, and the first team to hit twenty-one points wins the game. You can also play the game with solely two players, but four players can be more fun.

According to the ACA, there is a typical court layout that you should follow. This calls for each of the platforms to be across from one another, and 27-feet apart. The pitcher's box is the space on either side of a platform, but not beyond the platform itself. You can step anywhere within that area to throw your bean bag.

The standard cornhole board measures at 48-inches by 24-inches and are made from wood or plywood. You can virtually create whatever designs you'd like on your board, but you should use semi-gloss latex paint. Each bag should also weigh one-pound. It's not too difficult to create your own DIY cornhole set, so give it a try!

An inspirational saying for cornhole players.

Cornhole Terms

There are also a few terms that accompany this famous lawn game. It isn't necessary to know, but it could impress those who have been playing cornhole for quite some time. Below are common terms:

  • A woody, or boarder, is a bag that hits and remains on the board.
  • A cornhole, holer, or a corn in the hole is a bag that goes through the board hole.
  • A 'Dos Cornhole' means throwing two bags in the board hole.
  • A 'holy moly triple cornholy*'* is when you throw three bags in the board hole.
  • The Great Cornholio is a person that throws four bags in the hole. It is also tradition for those present for this game to bow down to this person.
  • 'Get that corn outta my face!' is a statement that is typically used when a person directly counteracts an opponent's attempt at scoring.
  • Corn On The Cob is when a player lays all of their bags on a board.
  • 'Nothin' But Corn' is a statement used when a bag is tossed directly in the board hole without ever touching the board. It is a play on 'Nothin' but net'.
A fun pun for cornhole players on a t-shirt.

Fun Facts

There's A Song

Did you know that there is an unofficial cornhole song? It is literally The Cornhole Song, and it is considered somewhat of an anthem to the game. It's quite interesting; you can listen to it for yourself. But don't feel that this has to play through your entire game. Feel free to throw on a party playlist.

The Game Goes By Many Names

Probably depending on your location, cornhole goes by various different names. People have called it bean bag toss, baggo, bags, bagz, beanbags, corn toss, hillbilly horseshoes, soft horseshoes, tailgate toss, lawn toss, beanbag toss, chuck-o, backyard toss, dummy boards, doghouse, sacks, and probably, still, very many more. These are some of the most common nicknames.

You Can Accessorize

Cornhole is so popular that you can even add accessories to the games. Sometimes people will add LED lights to the mix to spice up the game. Of course, these are not American Cornhole Association regulated, but who cares, as long as you and your friends are having fun. Some people also use sound machines with motion sensors for some flare. There is even a tabletop version of the game that uses mini boards and one-inch bags.

The Cornhole Capital

Did you know that the city of Cincinnati, OH is actually considered the capital of cornhole? Locals there often play cornhole. This is also where the American Cornhole Association was founded. Cornhole the Movie was also filmed there for this particular reason.

There's A Movie

Oh yes, there is a film titled Cornhole the Movie. You read that right! It is a mockumentary style filmed based on, you guessed it, the lovely game of cornhole. It tells the fictional story of four different groups of people attempting to win a national championship. The cast is not very notable, but the fact that this lawn game has garnered itself a movie is pretty fascinating.

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