The game of cornhole is pretty simple. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to learn the terminology is also lacking in complexity. For example, if you toss the bag through the hole, you have successfully learned how to throw a cornhole.
Since a cornhole earns the most points, players are obviously drawn to mastering the technique of throwing a cornhole. However, being able to throw a cornhole consistently requires a certain finesse.
Practice Makes Perfect
Players have different preferences in the game, from which way they like to stand to which cornhole bag filling is superior.
These inclinations develop over time. As you practice, experiment with the following techniques to see what works for you.
Remember that consistency is key for throwing a cornhole; once you find what works, be sure to stick with it.
There are multiple ways to toss the bags. No matter which way you prefer to throw, you should remember to hold your form. If you have poor form, then your bags will not fly straight and steady.
Just as bowlers with poor form usually get gutter balls, cornhole players with poor form regularly miss the board completely.
Pay attention to your body as you practice throwing. For example, if you consistently curve to the right, check your body’s motion to determine what is causing the bag to veer off.
You may also want to enlist a seasoned player to watch you toss so that he or she can give you tips to improve cornhole tossing form.
With proper form, your bags should arc slightly during the toss. The ideal arc will take the bag from your hand to the board with a gentle slide upon contact.
If you have too much arc, your bag is more likely to go off course due to longer air time. Plus, it will not slide well if it does make contact with the board.
If you have too little arc, chances are that your bag will simply flop into the grass or even slide off of the board.
Mentioned in the previous tip, the slide factor is important if you want to throw a cornhole. Most cornholes happen as a result of the bag sliding into the hole, not from the bag landing exactly in the hole.
Your bag’s ability to slide depends on factors such as the board material and the bag’s filling. If you are playing with a new cornhole set, you may want to throw a few practice bags to get used to the different materials.
Remember that you can adjust your form slightly to compensate, but you should not make major alterations to your technique.
The benefits of holding another bag in your non-throwing hand as a counterweight is greatly contested in the cornhole community.
Some players find that holding a second bag in the non-throwing hand messes up their form. What happens when you toss your last bag? You don’t have one left to hold!
Other players find that a counterweight increases their accuracy. They actually bring an extra (fifth) bag to hold during the last toss.
5. Bag Blockage
After the first or second toss, chances are there will be bags on the board blocking the hole. This will reduce your ability to use the aforementioned slide technique.
If this is the case, you have two options. You can push your opponent’s bag in the hole by sliding your bag in. Once both bags go in, the points are neutralized. Or, you can choose to throw your bag over the blockage into the hole like a basketball going into the net.
You may want to use bag blockage to your advantage by using your own bags to block the hole. That way your opponent will face the same dilemma and may end up pushing your bags in without being able to neutralize the points.
Also, being the first to throw slightly reduces your chances of being on the receiving end of a bag blockage attempt.
6. Rinse and Repeat
Throwing a cornhole every time is a difficult task, but getting your bag in the hole most of the time is a reasonable goal. Doing so requires a bit of research and lots of practice.
Remember that you should practice as you play, so be sure to have good form while practicing. Every time you throw a bag, you refine your muscle memory, and you want to be sure that your muscles are learning properly.
7. Get Better Gear
The cornhole equipment you use could be affecting your toss.
Boards need to have a smooth, polished finish to ensure the bags slide. If your board has become warped or the surface is rough, you need an upgrade. And if you get a new set of boards, you should obviously get them from us!
Over time, corn-filled bags become lighter. The dust leaks, changing the feel of the bags. If you’ve had yours for a while, you might need new bags that are standardized in weight. Naturally, you should check out the selection of bags we have available.
Do you have any other recommendations that will help readers throw a cornhole consistently?
There is no question about it; cornhole is one of the best games ever invented. If you are just figuring that out, you have a lot to learn! For starters, you’ll need to know how to play cornhole.
A Technical Caveat
There are several official organizations that have made it their mission to standardize cornhole play. Technically, these are just suggested guidelines; they are an attempt to keep things consistent.
While you are welcome to follow the hard-and-fast rules of how to play cornhole, everyone knows this great game can be adjusted every once in a while to better suit those playing.
You’ll need to start somewhere, though, so let’s give you the official cornhole rules!
Get the Equipment
To play cornhole, you’ll need two simple pieces of equipment: boards and bags.
When buying cornhole boards, you’ll have to choose between wood and plastic. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
If you choose wood (the most popular type of cornhole boards), make sure the surface of the board is smooth. Bags need to slide, and that won’t happen if the surface has blemishes.
Regardless of the construction material, the boards will be 48 inches by 24 inches. There will be a six-inch hole in the center of each board that players will aim at. The boards will be slightly elevated in the back to make it easier to hit the target.
Regulation cornhole bags are 6 inches by 6 inches. Cornhole pros are forever arguing about the best cornhole bag filling; your options are corn or plastic pellets. Again, there are pros and cons of each filling, so choose according to your personal preference.
Set Up The Court
Some sports are high maintenance. To play basketball, you need a court with hoops. To play soccer, you need a field with goals.
Fortunately, to play cornhole, all you need is a flat surface. Set up your boards in a parking lot, your backyard, or wherever else you want to play. One small suggestion; put the boards in a north-south layout. This will help avoid interference from the sun.
You will want to make sure there is plenty of space for the pitching boxes. There are four pitching boxes, one on either side of the two boards. These are areas the contestants will toss from.
Lastly, measure out the foul lines. Think of the foul line as an imaginary line that extends parallel to the edge of the cornhole board you’re tossing from. The foul line should be 27 feet from the front edge of the other cornhole board.
Learn the Scoring
There are two ways to earn points while playing cornhole.
A bag that goes through the hole
Any bag that passes through the hole (whether tossed, knocked, or slid there) earns three points. This method of earning points is called a cornhole, bag-in-the-hole, or hole-in.
A bag that lands on the board
Any bag that lands on the board (and doesn’t touch the ground first) earns one point. These are usually called bag-in-the-count by cornhole officials.
A bag that lands anywhere else
If the bag doesn’t pass through the hole or land on the board, it doesn’t earn any points. So basically, any bag that lands on the ground or hits the ground before landing on the board. These tosses are called bag-out-of-the-count.
Choose Your Teams
Cornhole can be played as singles or doubles.
If you play as doubles, one player from each team will stand together behind one of the foul lines. Those two players will alternate tosses until all bags have been played. The other two opponents behind the other foul line will repeat the process. When the inning has finished (when all four players have tossed all their bags), the two teams will rotate positions and aim at the other board.
With singles, both players will pitch from the same foul line. The players will alternate until all bags have been tossed. Then, both players will move to aim at the other board.
Here it is; what you’ve been waiting for. How to play cornhole!
To play, simply use an underhand toss to launch the bags (one at a time) at the board. Since sending the bag through the hole earns the most points, your goal should be to throw a cornhole as often as possible.
Players can toss from either pitching box, but they can’t switch places until the inning has ended.
Whoever scored the most points in the preceding inning will be the first to toss in the next inning. If there was a tie or no one scored, the person (or team) who tossed last will toss first.
Play will continue until one player (or team) reaches 21 points. The game cannot end in the middle of the inning though, so the winner might exceed 21 points.
Now that you know how to play cornhole, it is time to get your own customized set. Take a look at what we have available. Clearly, cornhole’s popularity won’t diminish any time soon, so investing in your own high-quality game set is definitely worth it!
Cornhole is also known as corn toss for a good reason: because your tossing strategy is one of the key elements of the game.
If you don’t have a good toss, you won’t score very many points. Cornhole tossing techniques require a bit of study and a lot of practice. We can help you out with techniques, but the practice is up to you!
Basic Steps of the Toss
Like bowling, the game of cornhole is straightforward and requires neither youth nor athleticism nor even sobriety–which is why cornhole drinking games continue to proliferate.
In bowling, knocking as many pins down as possible is the end goal. In corn toss, throwing a cornhole (a cornhole is when the cornhole bag goes through the hole) is your ultimate intention.
There are many different tossing styles in cornhole, which we will discuss in further detail in the next section. For now, however, we want to cover the basic steps that are an integral part of any tossing strategy.
Step 1: Prepare.
Preparing for a toss involves both physical and mental components. Ignore distractions, including your opponent, and focus only on the back of the hole. Set your sights on the hole and do not look away until your bag lands. Your aim rests on your ability to focus on this one point.
Physically, you need to get the bag situated in your throwing hand. Whatever cornhole bag filling your bag has, you want to be sure that the filling is evenly distributed in the bag.
- Place your thumb in the center of the bag
- Curl your index finger around a corner
- Allow your other fingers to support the underside
Step 2: Step.
While the step is optional, many seasoned players use it knowing that the real power in your toss comes from the legs, not the arms.
As you bring back your throwing arm, take a step with the opposite leg. This is called your plant leg. The other leg that remains stationary should extend behind your body slightly so as to keep you balanced during the entire throw.
Step 3: Swing.
Your arm’s swing should be gentle. You do not want to chuck the bag at the board; this almost always results with the bag missing its mark by a long shot.
Instead, think about tossing the bag gently. You want the bag to drop on the board from afar.
Your arm swing speed is equally important. It will take time to gage the right speed for your arm, but once you figure it out use that speed for every toss. It is a rookie mistake to overcompensate for a short miss by adjusting arm speed. If your bag seems to fall short, give your next toss more leg push while keeping your arm speed constant.
Step 4: Release.
Your release timing is crucial for the success of your shot. Release too soon and your bag will flop in the grass. Release too late and you could bean someone in the head who is standing behind you.
The general rule of thumb for release timing is to let go when your arm is at a 90 degree angle with your armpit and is even with your shoulder.
If the board is full of bags blocking the hole, you will want to add an arch to your toss in hopes that you will slip your bag through the hole without bringing any of your opponent’s bags with you.
To get an arch, release slightly later than usual but do not forget to add an extra thrust with your legs to compensate for lost momentum.
Step 5: Spin.
Adding a spin to your bag will help it slide across the surface of the board, hopefully causing it to spiral neatly into the hole.
Creating spin on your bag is relatively easy and is achieved with a bit of practice. Hold the bag as instructed in Step 1 and when you release it, flip your fingers slightly. The secret to adding spin is all in the fingers.
Step 6: Follow-through.
Maintain your focus on the back of the hole even after the bag has left your fingers and hold your position for a full second. This helps your aim and balance, and creates muscle memory, which will improve your next throw. They key to throwing a cornhole is consistency. Once you find what works, don’t change!
Different Tossing Styles
Now that you have the steps of the tried-and-true basic toss down, you may want to experiment with other cornhole tossing techniques.
The variety of ways you can toss a bag are nearly endless, so this list is by no means complete. However, it should give you a pretty good idea of new techniques to experiment with in the future.
- Sling Toss: Pinch the bag in a corner using your thumb and index finger. Bring your arm back and sling the bag at the board using an underhand throw. This motion should add a back spin to the bag.
- Frisbee Toss: Pinch the bag in a corner using your thumb and index finger. Turn your body sideways, throwing arm toward the board and throwing hand cocked back as if you were throwing a frisbee. Release your arm in a sideways motion with the bag aimed at the board.
- Overhand Toss: Hold the bag and throw it at the board as if it were a baseball. As such, your toss should be either overhand or side arm. This throw takes a lot of practice to gain the consistency of other techniques, but it can still be quite effective.
- Jump Toss: Hold the bag in your throwing hand and use your non-throwing hand to line up the shot as you would with a basketball. Use the same motion as shooting a basketball to lob the bag at the board.
- Fold Over Toss: Flatten the bag to evenly spread the filling. Then fold the bag in half like a newspaper and hold as you would in a basic toss. Throw underhand to get a solid arch and good distance.
Check Your Equipment
Naturally, the perfect toss is only achievable with the perfect bag.
It is common knowledge that “dust is a must.” But with each toss, you lose a little of the bag’s filling. This means the weight of the bag will change over time. Not only will your toss at the end of the season be different from the one you started with, but the weight of each individual bag could vary.
It might be time to upgrade your bags. Get a new set that allows for consistency throughout all four tosses. Check our selection of cornhole bags. If there is something you want but don’t see listed, let us know. We can customize just about anything!
Do you have any other cornhole tossing techniques that have helped you improve your game? Share them with us.
Shop Cornhole Bags
When was the last time you played cornhole without an alcoholic beverage in your hand? Yeah…that’s what we thought!
Since the beverages are there anyway, why not turn your next cornhole match into a drinking game?
The rules of cornhole are simple, so implementing a drinking game is pretty easy as well. In this post we will explain a few different cornhole drinking games, each of which differs in its buzz potential as well as in who the ideal players are.
Game 1: Steady Sipping
In this version, you play cornhole following the traditional rules. The only change is that for every hole-in your team scores, the opposite team has to take a sip before the game continues.
The buzz potential for this game is mild and gradually acquired. How buzzed you get depends on the skill level of your opponents.
If your opponents are brand new to cornhole, chances are that you will not be taking many drinks. If you are a pro player it could be fun to play against cornhole newbies, though just remember that the more you score the less likely you are to actually drink. After all, drinking generally does not improve aim for those who are already not great at tossing bags.
Game 2: Competitive Drinking
If you and your friends are feeling slightly more competitive (but still want to remember how the game ends), this version might be a good choice for you.
To play, follow the normal rules of cornhole. After every half inning, you and your teammate need to take one drink for every point scored against you.
Remember that a bag in the hole counts as three points and a bag on the board counts as one point–and you play until a team reaches 21 points.
This means at least one team will take 21 or more drinks, and the other team has the potential to have nearly that many. This game can be played against newbies, though it is likely to be more fun if you and your opponents are evenly matched. There is the potential to get a pretty good buzz going, though of course your buzz level depends on the strength of your beverage.
Game 3: Shots for Shots
With this version, cornhole can start to get really interesting. Play according to the rules described in Game 2—but add this twist.
After drinking the number of points scored against you, clear the board. The last two competing opponents will toss one extra bag. This extra bag is appropriately called the “shot” bag. If the bag goes in the hole, the player up next on the opposing team has to take a shot before continuing play.
Now that shots are involved, the buzz potential just increased greatly–especially if your opponent has a killer toss. You can either invest in buying extra bags to use as designated shot bags or you can simply reuse bags from the previous round.
Game 4: Drinking Baggo
Cornhole drinking games are nothing new, which is why when you are buying cornhole boards you can also buy cornhole drinking bags. We sell customized drinking bags as well as cheap cornhole boards, so check them out before you try playing this last and most lethal version of cornhole.
In this game, you play cornhole following the traditional rules, except you play using customized drinking bags. Each team has four bags as usual, except these bags say drink, chug, shot, and social. Whenever the opposing team gets one of these bags in the hole, you and your teammate have to do whatever the bag says. For the social bag, both teams have to take a drink.
The buzz potential is extreme in this version because it is entirely possible to take a drink, chug, and shot within a five minute time span. If the skill levels of the two teams are mismatched, it is likely one team will get completely wasted while the other team maintains their edge.
Those are our suggestions to add a little more interest to the adult version of cornhole. Do you have any other cornhole drinking games you and your friends have created? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!
Buying Cornhole Boards: Wood or Plastic?
Whether you are an aficionado or a newcomer to the wonderful world of cornhole, one of the most important decisions you will make is actually buying cornhole boards.
The major decision to make when buying cornhole boards is to choose your material. Most boards are made of either wood or plastic, so we are here to break down the pros and cons of both of these materials.
Through much of the history of cornhole, wood boards have been the golden standard.
In official tournaments, wood is still the de facto board material. Most cornhole players prefer wood boards because of the level of control that players have on a wood surface.
Bags do not slide on wood like they do on plastic, which allows players to develop a stronger strategy and technique.
That said, wood boards can have a variety of finishes that affect gameplay. Adding different paint or varnish can either increase or decrease the sliding factor, depending on the type of play that the board owner prefers.
Cornhole fans also tend to prefer wood boards because it is relatively easy to build your own boards with this material. Many people enjoy the process of building and then playing with the set that they made by hand. Though of course you can also purchase high-quality, hand-crafted wood boards too.
If you have an artistic cornhole lover on your gift list, a set of ready-to-paint wood board is one of many great cornhole Christmas gifts. You can buy one of our awesome unpainted sets here.
On the downside, wood boards tend to be a little heavier, so they can be moderately difficult to transport.
They also require a higher degree of care, due to the fact that they are made from natural materials. For example, you can’t leave them out in the elements overnight. However, you can protect your board with a sealant finish to reduce chances of problems later.
On the other hand, plastic boards are preferred by some for convenience reasons. Casual players and those who plan on transporting their boards frequently–such as for camping or for cornhole in gym class–may prefer the lightweight plastic version of cornhole boards because they are more portable.
Plastic boards also tend to fare better when neglected. While wood warps and rots if it gets wet for extended periods of time, plastic boards hold up to the elements.
Like wood boards, a plastic set can be customized—but not much. You can add a sticker or decal, but that’s about it. You can’t get the amazing, detailed artwork that is available for wood boards.
Plastic boards have a unique feel that is quite different from playing with regulation wood boards. As mentioned above, plastic boards have a higher sliding factor, meaning that your bags may not stay on the plastic as they would on a wood board.
This requires developing a different technique that may frustrate some experienced cornhole players. And if your boards are causing frustration with other players, you might be playing alone!
The decision of wood versus plastic you make when buying cornhole boards is a personal one. Ultimately, you will need to consider the experience you would like to have and the way in which you hope to use your cornhole boards.
Custom Corntoss has a great selection of wood cornhole boards. You might think you want plastic, but you should give wood a try first! Take a look at all the options we have available.
What Makes the Best Filling Material for Cornhole Bags?
In some parts of the country, cornhole goes by the name of bags or baggo. This references one of the crucial elements of the game: the bags!
However, in cornhole, not just any bag will do. Cornhole players tend to prefer one of two materials: either actual corn or plastic pellets.
Which One is Better?
Neither option is “better” for cornhole bag filling as the choice just boils down to personal preference. But before you can buy cornhole bags, you definitely need to decide between corn or plastic pellets.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of corn versus plastic pellet filling material for cornhole bags.
Die-hard corn-filled-bag fans are always quick to point out that the name of the game is CORNhole. They think the only filling should, naturally, be corn. The game originated with corn as the cornhole bag filling and the tradition continues among many players today.
A benefit of the corn filling is that bags must be broken in, which is a process that many players enjoy as they get to know a new cornhole set.
The saying “dust is a must” describes how many players feel about the importance of having bags filled with corn. As the corn in the bags breaks down, it emits a fine dust that affects game play. Fans of corn-filled bags find that the dust helps the bags slide slightly on cornhole game boards and play better overall. The dust offers an authentic cornhole experience, according to some.
On the other hand, corn is a natural material and is therefore more susceptible to decay. If the bag gets dirty, it is nearly impossible to clean because wet corn-filled bags mold easily.
This also means that you cannot leave your bags out in the rain or in the dew overnight. The dampness will quickly ruin your bags.
Similarly, critters may be attracted to corn-filled bags. For this reason you should store your bags in air-tight containers when not in use to protect them from animals and the elements.
Using plastic pellets as cornhole bag filling is another viable option.
Unlike corn, plastic pellets do not break down, mold, or attract critters if neglected. Bags filled with plastic pellets are easy to clean if dirty and can be dried quickly by laying them flat in the sun.
If you plan on holding an annual cornhole event–such as a charity cornhole tournament–plastic pellets may be the way to go. They require little attention to keep them lasting year after year.
In game play, plastic pellet bags play differently than corn-filled bags. While corn-filled bags slide in their dust, plastic pellet bags are more likely to bounce (they don’t slide as much). Using bags with a different material requires players to adjust their technique slightly to account for the difference.
While corn-filled bags need to be broken in and thus acquire personality, the same is not true of plastic pellet-filled bags. The tradeoff of personality is durability, so the choice depends on your preferences and your willingness to take care of your cornhole investment.
The debate will continue about the best filling material for cornhole bags. These are the main arguments on both sides, so let your own preferences determine which material is better for your purposes.
When you purchase cornhole bags from Custom Corntoss, you have the option to select either corn or pellets. Fortunately, we can please everyone—no matter what camp you are in! And if you change your mind later on, you can always come back and try the other option.
Some Cornhole Christmas Gift Ideas
Christmas is coming, and the pressure of holiday shopping is starting to grow in our minds. This year, why not spread the great game of cornhole to everyone on your list? Even if the weather is cold or there is snow on Christmas day, everyone can still bundle up and get out to enjoy their new cornhole Christmas gifts.
Why Should You Give Cornhole Christmas Gifts?
Even if you are not yet a fan of cornhole yourself, consider getting in the spirit of the game while you get in the spirit of the season by giving cornhole Christmas gifts.
Cornhole is a fun outdoor game that can be played by anyone of any physical ability in any season.
Cornhole sets are inexpensive and they are portable, so you can take them to any event. Need more convincing?
Here are four more reasons why you should be giving cornhole Christmas gifts to everyone this year:
1. Easy Maintenance
Not only is cornhole cheap and portable, the game equipment requires little to no maintenance. Once you give someone a cornhole set, they may have it for life.
2. Physical Activity
Playing cornhole counts as exercise! What better way to build up an appetite for Christmas dinner than through a lively game of cornhole?
3. Bringing People Together
Cornhole is a group game, so it is an easy way to bond with friends. It also helps break the ice to meet new people. Few people will turn down an invitation to play a round of cornhole.
4. Self-Esteem Booster
There is nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes from watching a bag sail straight into the hole. Cornhole is a game of many small triumphs, and players will enjoy this sensation most of all.
Who Should Receive Cornhole Christmas Gifts?
Cornhole would make a great gift for everyone on your list this year. Read on for cornhole gift ideas for specific people on your list.
Every college and university has a logo and school colors, so why not get a cornhole set with those colors and matching logo? Even after they graduate, college students like their college cornhole set to remind them of the good old days at their alma mater.
Hard-to-Shop-For Family Members
Some people, for whatever reason, are difficult to shop for. If you have one or more people like that in your family or circle of friends, why not get them a cornhole set? Chances are they don’t have one yet and they would appreciate the novelty yet usefulness of the gift.
Giving sports fans a cornhole set almost goes without saying if they don’t already have one. Whether they are tailgating or watching the game from home, cornhole is a great addition to any sporting event.
Kids love having big things to call their own, and young kids will feel a sense of pride and excitement in having their own cornhole boards. It is easy to adapt cornhole for kids, so the set can be used by the whole family.
If your list already has a cornhole fan or two, you could supplement their collection of cornhole sets. Or add to their cornhole experience by giving them ideas of ways to improve cornhole. For example, you could give them a potato launcher to use for launching bags during a game of extreme cornhole.
If your office is doing a gift exchange, why not jazz up the exchange by giving a cornhole game set? You may even end up playing a round in the office.
What Should I Give?
If you are looking for specific Cornhole gift ideas, we have plenty of suggestions for you. A few examples include:
- Customized cornhole boards
- Cornhole bags (camo, glow-in-the-dark, or drinking bags to name a few specialties)
- Gift cards
Cornhole is a great game that can be enjoyed by anyone, which is why is makes such a versatile gift. There are plenty of different kinds of cornhole Christmas gifts, so be creative when imagining cornhole gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Printable Cornhole Tournament Brackets
Running an official cornhole tournament requires more than just having cornhole boards, bags, and a location for the tournament. To make the tournament run smoothly, you also need to have a bracket prepared.
Preparing a bracket is relatively simple and takes only a bit of planning. Follow the steps below to create a cornhole tournament bracket.
1. Decide on Elimination Style
Tournaments can be either single elimination or double elimination. In a single elimination tournament, losing teams are immediately removed from the bracket and do not get a second chance.
This style is also called a knock-out, Olympic system tournament, or single penetration.
Double elimination eliminates teams after the second loss. To arrange a double elimination bracket, create a single elimination bracket, but include a second bracket for the losing teams below the winning team bracket.
Once teams lose in the winning (upper) bracket, they enter the losing (lower) bracket. If a team loses in the lower bracket, they are eliminated.
The elimination style you choose should reflect the number of teams involved in your tournament and the amount of time allotted for playing.
Tournaments with many teams involved or with time constraints should opt for single elimination style. Tournaments involving fewer teams or with more time for play may find that the double elimination style suits their needs better.
2. Create the Brackets
Once you have decided on the elimination style, you can create your bracket to reflect that elimination style. It is helpful to know how many teams will be playing while creating the bracket, but if you do not have an exact guess then estimate. You can either draw your own bracket or find a printable cornhole tournament bracket.
We have three printable cornhole tournament brackets available for free! Select one of the following:
3. Create the Teams
On the day of the tournament, it will be time to pair up the teams. If players in the tournament signed up as teams then you may skip this step.
However, if players have not yet made teams, then allow extra time for this step on the day of the tournament. You can either allow people to choose their partners or mix things up by putting every player’s name in a hat and drawing teams at random.
4. Match up Competing Teams
Now that you have a list of all of your teams, it is time to fill in the bracket.
You can repurpose the hat in step 3 by writing each of the team names down on separate pieces of paper and picking competitors at random. Place the first team’s name on the first blank line, the second team’s name on the second line, and so on until all of the lines are filled.
If you have an odd number of teams then the last team will automatically advance to the next round. This is called a bye and teams matched up with a bye will always advance to the next round.
Ready, Set, Go!
Cornhole is supposed to be a simple game, enjoyed by all. Don’t let your tournament bracket complicate things! Use one of our printable cornhole tournament brackets and you’ll be ready to go!
If you need any extra cornhole supplies for your tournament, let us know. We have official cornhole boards and bags that are appropriate for any sanctioned tournament. Plus, we have several cornhole sets that are available for rent.
If you’re looking for a definitive history of cornhole here, you’ll probably be sorely disappointed. Not because we don’t want to provide you with one, but because the history of cornhole seems to vary.
There are a number of stories out there–some plausible, others laughable. However, in an attempt to provide you with as complete a history of cornhole as we could, we’ve decided to include them all.
Mr. Matthias Kuepermann
Legend has it that Mr. Kuepermann, a fourteenth century cabinet maker well-known for his carpentry skills, discovered some boys tossing rocks into a ground hog’s hole.
Mr. Kuepermann was concerned for the well-being of the boys selected to fetch the stones at the hole’s edge. He surmised that eventually one of them would get a good head knocking due to the stones flying through the air–and the inaccuracy with which the boys tossing them aimed. Thusly he set about designing a safer game for them to enjoy.
At this time in history, corn was utilized as a weight because it was in great abundance. He noted the bags of corn and determined they’d make a less dangerous projectile for the boards he ultimately designed. Since corn was being tossed into a hole, the name seemed appropriate and stuck.
Native American Roots
Another possibility revolves around ancient civilizations, presumably tribesmen, also tossing rocks into holes. In fact, many American scholars confirm that a game of a very similar nature was played amongst Native Americans in Midwest America. They filled pigs’ bladders with dried beans and competitively tossed them for entertainment–notably the Blackhawk tribe in Illinois. Americans are definitely keen on claiming its origination, which leads us to the most popular storylines.
Cincinnati or Kentucky
Cincinnati natives will assure you that cornhole gets its origin from the Porkapolis (Cincinnati’s nickname). There’s no doubt that it is extremely popular there. However, there’s also no proof that this is where cornhole got its start. The biggest supporting factor goes back to Mr. Matthias Kuepermann’s story, namely because he has some Germanic background and Cincinnati has a large German population.
The story is that German immigrants, having left their beloved homes, brought with them the sport that Kuepermann perfected. They settled in Ohio and reintroduced the game then.
Unfortunately, the people hailing from Kentucky beg to differ. They claim instead that those living in the foothills during pioneer times initiated the game.
Kentuckian claims are supported by the Midwestern farmer story. This says that in the early nineteenth century, Jebediah Magillicutty started the game. However, those in Kentucky find the name cornhole offensive and prefer to refer to it as Hillbilly Horseshoes or Bags. Sadly, just like every other story provided, there is no definitive proof here either.
While we cannot find definitive proof for the origins of cornhole, when cornhole was invented, or where cornhole was invented, we can tell you that its popularity is sweeping the nation.
Bars and pubs are instituting regular cornhole tournaments, people are using cornhole as a marketing event and yes, there’s even cornhole in gym class. The truth is, you cannot escape the phenomenon that is cornhole and our guess is, you don’t want to.
So, what stories have you heard about the history of cornhole? Share them in our comments section. And be sure to check out the historically awesome selection of cornhole essentials available in our online store.
Loving cornhole is very similar to loving apple pie: it’s American, everyone adores it, and there are plenty of different ways to enjoy it.
For instance, have you ever eaten apple pie while enjoying the finer points of Shakespeare or Hemmingway? No? Well neither has anyone, probably.
The fact of the matter is that you could if you wanted to because it’s such a versatile dessert. The metaphor may have gotten a little out of hand there, but regardless, cornhole is awesome. Apple-pie-and-Shakespeare awesome.
It’s versatile, it’s fun, and it can be enjoyed in groups like so many of life’s greatest things. Just because the history of cornhole is shrouded in myth and legend, doesn’t mean your enjoyment of it has to be. The following are four simple ways to improve cornhole beyond its regular enjoyment level.
1. Try shooting at your targets.
Load up an old potato cannon or t-shirt cannon with your beanbag, and make your cornhole improvements even more EXTREME. You know, like the nineties. Everyone likes to reminisce about the nineties, right? Well now’s your chance to talk about gak, Nickelodeon, and grunge while playing the most extreme game of cornhole probably ever.
Think about it, bean bags propelled through the air at the speed of duck hunt, what more could you want?
2. Play a cornhole drinking game.
If you can, try and pick up cheap cornhole boards and customize your bags as necessary. Just about everything is more fun when there’s drinking involved, but try to get the rules sorted out beforehand. Or not. You won’t remember them about halfway through the round anyway– at least not if you’re playing the game right. Try: in the hole, pass the drink to a person of your choosing, miss the hole and the shot’s yours!
3. What about roughhousing throughout the match.
Don’t lie, you’ve always wanted to bat down an opponent’s bag just before it gloriously sinks into the hole. Allowing for defensive moves is a great way to get more energy pumping throughout a match. But wait, there’s more!
Make it a free for all by throwing as many bags at once towards the hole after the round starts. Then all you need is some camo cornhole bags, and you’ll feel right at home in an impromptu Call of Duty setting. If you squint, anyway.
4. Scale every bit of equipment up.
This one might take more finagling on your end, but it would make for some wicked Facebook or Instagram pictures at least. In Voltron (tell me you remember that classic) fashion, gather lots of cornhole boards together into a mega-board, or just build a really really big one. Of course, you’ll also have to construct ultimate bean bags to toss, and there’s no rule saying you can’t use homemade catapults. But, uh, you should definitely consult a catapult expert for that, as a side note.
So thankfully for all of you cornhole enthusiasts out there, there are plenty of ways to improve cornhole that can keep things interesting and a bit off the wall. Keep on being rad, you party-animals.
And if you need any cornhole supplies to make all your wildest gaming dreams come true, let us know. We probably can’t help you with catapult construction, but everything else is within our wheelhouse!
Yes, cornhole in gym class, could be the greatest thing to happen to phys ed.
Cornhole for kids is a revolutionary idea. Teaching cornhole in gym class could change student attitudes completely. Think about it, how many kids (especially in middle and high school) are excited to participate in physical education?
However, they might look forward to cornhole!
What’s the Big Idea?
Actually, the concept is quite simple. There are two elevated platforms (also known as cornhole boards) with holes in them. Teams or individuals take turns tossing bean bags into the holes.
When a bag lands on the board (but doesn’t go through the hole), one point is scored. When it makes it in the hole, that’s a three pointer! Simple, yet challenging.
The concept is readily grasped, so teaching your students won’t be hard. However, the cornhole game dimensions and foul line distances make for an interesting competition.
In addition, the necessity of mastering an underhanded throw (part of the Common Core Curriculum) is crucial to game success. See, cornhole really is educational!
Additional Teaching Opportunities
Let’s face it, today’s students, on the whole, are not in optimal health; therefore, teaching cornhole in gym might instigate change. Consider teaching a series of lessons revolving around recreational activities — activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle but downplay the competitiveness.
There are other games that will help you institute this healthy lifestyle move. Introducing students to recreational activities that serve dual purposes will have a lasting impact. Try adding golf, badminton, ping pong, and bocce ball to your recreational game lessons.
Teachers are usually limited in their funding. That means cornhole is a great addition to your PE lesson planning. A couple of boards and the requisite cornhole bags can be acquired inexpensively.
In addition, parents and administrators won’t be too concerned about the safety of students participating in your cornhole experience. There’s not a lot of room for injury on a cornhole court! Plus, parents won’t have to purchase extra safety equipment for their children to participate. Cornhole truly is a grand idea for PE!
Make Your Own Versions
Eventually the standard mode of play will grow old, even if you’ve alternated between individual and team competition. So, here are some ideas to make cornhole even more entertaining, to spruce up the fun:
- Cornhole Races- This adds a timed element to the competition to get the adrenaline really flowing. Teams will be given a relatively short period of time in which to launch all their bags and sprint to the other side of the field to switch boards. This limits the points scored based on the time allowed for play.
- Cornhole Knockout- In this version, the play area is set up for individual play. However, instead of only playing with four bags, each player has 15-20, and they throw the bags at the same time! The potential for bags colliding midair, or knocking each other off the board, creates a sense of chaos that kids love. Even those on the sidelines will be involved in the action, cheering one another on.
Keep the fun in PE
Today’s kids are so inundated with fast paced, technologically based experiences that getting them excited about PE can sometimes be a challenge. However, staying on top of the newest trends and fads can enable you to make PE fun for them–without their iPods and tablets. Cornhole fits that need as it’s definitely all the rage.
Are you a PE teacher? Are you willing to give this idea a try and introduce cornhole in gym class? Check out our supply of cornhole essentials—boards, bags, and scorekeeping tools. Your students will be happy you did!