Cornhole is the latest entertainment sensation to sweep the nation.  As evidence, just try going to a tailgate party or backyard BBQ and avoid the flying bags.

But unbeknownst to some, cornhole is a highly competitive game.  There are associations and clubs that sponsor official cornhole tournaments.  And these tournaments are no laughing matter.  There are official rules that govern just about every aspect of the game.  Official cornhole board builders have specific guidelines that pertain to materials and construction.  Cornhole bags must abide by size, weight, and filling-material regulations.  Game play, etiquette, and scoring rules don’t avoid inspection either.

However, the rules associated with game play and scoring is where the entertaining and competitive worlds collide.  It is a bit difficult to take a game seriously when it utilizes such absurdly descriptive phrases and overly attentive regulations!

Cornhole

There’s a rule for that.

If you enter the pitcher’s box with the intention to pitch, you must deliver the bag within 20 seconds.  And, you can pitch from either the left box or the right.  But you can’t change boxes in the middle of an inning.  If a bag hits the ground and then lands on the board, it must be removed before play continues and no points are awarded.  In one variation of scoring, a team must earn exactly 21 points.  If a team exceeds 21, they must return to 15 points and resume play.

As if that isn’t enough, wait until you hear some of the terminology.  For starters, the game can be called cornhole, corn toss, bean bag toss, bags or…baggo.

Situations that affect scoring have their own terms.  A Cow Pie lands on the board and earns one point.  A bag that falls into the hole and earns three points is a Cornhole or Drano (yes, a reference to the sink-clog-clearing product).  A player who earns four cornholes in an inning has scored a Gusher, Jumanji, Double Deuces, or Catorce.  However, a Leprechaun is when all four bags land on the board but not a single one goes through the hole.  When a player sinks all four bags in a row, they have earned a Romanyk.  A second Romanyk in the following inning is a Menage a Manyk.  If a game has progressed to the 11-0 mark, the game is considered a Skunk, Whitewash, or Shutout and terminates immediately.

Of course, there are phrases that describe the location and delivery of a bag too.  A Backstop is a bag that passes the cornhole but doesn’t fall of the back of the board, thus creating a backboard for other bags.  A Dirty Bag is on the ground or hanging off the board and touching the ground.  A Dirty Roll Up hits the ground before landing on the board.  If a bag is on the lip of the hole, it is referred to as a Hanger or Shook.  A Shucker strikes an opposing player’s bag and knocks it off the board.  A bag that strikes another bag and causes it to jump into the hole is called…shocker…a Jumper.  A Hammer is the last bag tossed each inning.

Have no fear.  If there is Cornfusion, there is usually Police (cornhole referee) on hand to settle all disputes.

So as you can see, the game of cornhole offers a little something for everyone.  What other game has such specific rules that offer both competition structure and giggle-inducing entertainment?!

John Flatebo was part of the team that came up with this hilarious video about the cornhole game. He loves that every aspect of cornhole is funny – the name, the rules, everything!