Monday, November 30, 2009

Other Backyard Games

Cornhole/bean bags is not the only popular backyard game that people enjoy. There are a few others that have come about, but not nearly as competitive as cornhole. Bocce ball, ladder golf, washers, and yard darts are a few that I will talk about among many others.

Bocce ball is a fun game that can be played with more than 2 people. In this game players each have 2 like-colored balls that they roll or throw. A smaller ball is thrown first as a target for the players. The object is to toss your balls so it is the closest one to the small one.

Ladder golf is a newer game that involves tossing a rope with a golf ball on each end onto a "ladder" of PVC pipe. There are two or three "steps" that you can trow the rope onto, each being worth a different number of points. The object is to toss the rope to make it land on one of the steps by wrapping around it. The golf balls attached to the rope help it wrap around the pipe.

Washers is another game more similar to cornhole, but instead of throwing bags you use washers. The box is about 20 feet away and has a pipe in the center that you try to throw the washers into. It is worth 1 point if the washer lands in the box, and 3 points for in the pipe. Each player gets 3 washers and the game is played to 21.

Lawn darts is another fun backyard game, even though it is now banned. The game involves lofting large darts into the air toward a hoop lying on the ground about 20 feet away. The goal is to get the dart to stick into the ground inside of the hoop. this game is not sold anymore because of the danger involved.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Business of Cornhole

If you plan to run your own business around the game of cornhole, there are a few things to consider. Whether you build and sell boards, bags, and accessories, or run leagues and tournaments, all the different aspects of running a normal business apply to a cornhole business as well.

First you should decide how much time and effort you want to put into the business. Is this going to be a hobby of building and selling boards or a full-blown mass production business? There is not a whole lot of money to be made in running a cornhole business- the customer base is somewhat small. Many people find that building and selling boards as a hobby is the best way to go. You do not have to invest everything into it, just some time on the weekends. Many people like to make individual orders and paint custom designs on their boards. Many examples of this can be seen in the forum in the gallery.

If you plan on running leagues or tournaments, it is recommended that you know some of the local players before you start. Getting the word out is difficult when there are usually a select few people who will actually join your league or tournament. Playing in tournaments frequently helps you get to know some of the local players who may register for your tournament or league. Planning is a big part of how successful your league or tournament will turn out. Your business plan will determine the costs involved, how much money teams will pay, and how much you will earn. League managers and tournament directors develop many different ways of managing their operation, so being involved in different types of tournaments or leagues will help you decide on which is the best fit for you.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ACO Turkeyhole: Social Tournaments

Chicago will also hold a big social event for the average players in Illinois. The event will consist of three tournaments for a total cost of only $20 per player! Hopefully this event will bring together all the players in the Chicagoland area provide a good time of beers and bags for all that attend. Details of the event are shown below:

REGISTRATION: Socials - 8:30AM to 9:30AM with play beginning at 10:00AM to 5:00PM

$20.00 per player pre-registered on or before NOVEMBER 25th ($40.00 registration at door only if space is still available)

  • Limited space first come first served.
  • The event will reward the top four teams or players for each tournament with small cash payouts and prizes (determined by overall participation)
  • Walkups welcome day of event. Walkups can buy into individual tournaments for $20.00 each.
    Tournament Number One - DOUBLES - you bring your partner
    Tournament Number Two - SINGLES - you against the world (players carrying a SCR will be seeded in this tournament before non SCR carrying players)
    Tournament Number Three - LUCK OF DRAW - you play with the partner you're randomly drawn
  • Open to all players - NO ACO-PROS or SEMI-PROS
  • SPECIAL OFFER FREE PLAY OFFER ONLY available only by calling Eric Hinerman at 888.563.2002 or Jeremy Allen at 219-712-2018 and purchasing a $19.95 membership - PLAY FOR FREE IN CHICAGO SOCIALS - you must order your membership via a call in to either of these two ACO Agents

    KEY NOTES THIS EVENT IS INDOORS ON 80,000 sq ft of ASTRO TURF Beer, pop and food will be made available at the event. Players will have the opportunity to purchase a skill challenge, membership and Airmail ticket for $35.00 day of the event. Space will be limited so this is a first come first serve basis.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ACO Turkeyhole: Competitive Doubles

The Turkeyhole event will also involve a competitive doubles tournament in a select few of these cities. Competitive doubles will be held in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, and Louisville, and Chicago will be the only city with Social tournaments. To keep these tournaments competitive, the ACO does not allow two pro-caliber players on the same team. Pros and semi-pros may play together in these types of tournaments. Details of Competitive Doubles are shown below:

$50.00 per team pre-registration on or before NOVEMBER 25th ($80.00 registration at door only if space is still available).We have space available to handle up to 250 teams in Chicago. The event will pay the top four teams with less than 60 teams and the top eight teams with more than 60 teams registered. (Top 4 team payout will be 50% First / 30% Second / 10% Third & Fourth) (Top 8 Team Payout will be 40% First / 20% Second / 10% Top 4 / 5% Top 8 Finish)!


Open to all players - NO TWO ACO-PROS allowed on same team. ROUND ROBIN (only teams winning their round robin bracket advance to the bracket challenge, with a guaranteed minimum of 16 teams advancing into the bracket challenge. If we are short 16 teams advancing we look at overall round robin records to pull in additional teams with a team shoot at accuring for sudden death selection.)

Teams making it out of the Round Robin will be seeded based on their current team total for a "SCR" Score, teams without a current "SCR" Score will be randomly seeded after the " teams with a "SCR" have been seeded. All non Round Robin teams advancing to the Bracket Challenge will be seeded last but will be seeded based on SCR, no SCR format.

Monday, November 23, 2009

ACO Turkeyhole: Top Gun Singles

The last American Cornhole Master Series event of the year is on November 28, 2009. This is the last chance for ACO Corny Forty players to earn points toward their seeding in the king of cornhole tournament in Las Vegas and improve their ranking on the Corny Forty list. Top Gun events will be held in Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; Charlotte, NC; Louisville, KY; and Virginia Beach, VA. Top players in various states will be able to move up in the money list by winning points based on where they finish in the tournament. Details of Top Gun Singles are shown below:

  • All players guaranteed four games against up to four different players.
  • Open to all ACO Pros, Semi Pros, and any amateur wanting to see how they stack up against the best.
  • Tournament format is two step process.
  • ROUND ROBIN (maximum of 16 players make the cut to move forward depending on total participation)
  • Players making it out of the Round Robin will be seeded based on their current "SCR" Score and finish in the Round Robin, players without a current "SCR" Score will be randomly seeded after the "SCR" Score players have been seeded.
  • BRACKET CHALLENGE (Best two out of three moves forward)
  • 80% Cash Payout to top 4 players – payout based on participation- Total Payout will breakdown as follows 1st Place = 50% / 2nd Place = 30% / 3rd & 4th = 10%
If you have any questions concerning this event, visist the American Cornhole website at or call 1-888-563-2002

Sunday, November 22, 2009

American Cornhole's "Corny Forty"

The American Cornhole Organization (ACO) has taken the role of developing competitive cornhole tournaments for all the serious players out there. They have come up with a ranking system to help seed players in these tournaments and another ranking system that keeps track of the players' performance in the tournaments. The Corny Forty consists of the top 40 players in the nation based on their tournament performance.

The ACO's pro tour revolves around its Master Series tournaments. There are six singles (1 on 1) tournaments in the Master Series that allow players to accumulate points based on where they finish in the tournament. The higher they place, the more points they earn during the season. These points are added to the players Skills Challenge Ranking (SCR) score to determine the total Corny Forty points the player has so far. To get an SCR score, a player throws 13 rounds of four bags and adds up the total points.

The top 40 players at the end of the year are automatically qualified for the King of Cornhole event in Las Vegas. Another 24 players will be able to qualify to complete the 64-player bracket in a qualifier tournament before the main event. This is the most competitive singles tournament on the planet, and with more competitive players than ever, anyone has a chance to win it this year. Someone will be looking to end Matt Guy's winning streak (3 in a row) at this event. This event becomes more competitive every year with new players coming out from various states and making a name for themselves.

At the end of the year after all the Master Series events are finished, the Corny Forty rankings and money list standings are final. A $10,000+ pot is paid out to the top 40 players at the end of the year. Player earnings are based on their final ranking in the Corny Forty.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Much Spin and Angle?

Most cornhole players seem to spin the bag as they throw these days, but is there a difference between having a lot of rotation on the bag or not? Also, how does the angle at which the bag flies affect the way the bag lands or reacts on the board. These are questions that many professional cornhole players are able to answer and implement into the way they play.

Spinning the bag allows it to sail through the air more smoothly and work against the force of the wind in outdoor play. The more you spin it, the easier it is to negate the effect of the wind. However, sometimes no matter how much you spin the bag, the wind may be too powerful and blow it out of the sky. Putting more spin on your bag has another advantage that others may not be aware of. If you ever play in a tournament that uses brand new bags, this may be useful. New bags are usually very stiff and the corners can get stuck on the hole. Spinning the bag more can help force the bag into the hole and prevent the corners from getting stuck. It can also help the bag slide through a narrow lane of other bags on the board.

The angle of the bag can affect the way it lands on the board. For the most part, bags will slide straight forward if the bag is somewhat "flat" in the air. Depending on the type of boards and bags you use, you may be able to lean the bag on a certain angle so it curves to the left or right when it lands on the board. This is a bit difficult to explain, but when the left half of the bag is higher in the air than the right side, the bag will make a small jump to the left when it hits the board. Conversely, if the bag leans to the right it will jump to the right. This is an excellent shot to have in your arsenal when your opponent tries to block the hole.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shape of Bags?

I was thinking about the game of cornhole a few days ago, and asked myself a question. Why do we throw square bags into a circular hole? It does not really make sense to me, especially when the bags get stuck on the hole with the corners sometimes. It probably has happened to every one of you at one point, usually with a brand new set of bags.

You may have seen circular bags before, but they are not very common at all. I doubt tht any of the big maufacturers make them. It is the kind of thing that you would make at home and try out for yourself. I have played with these types of bags before, and there really isn't much of a difference in the way the bags feel. However, it does change gameplay a bit. The corners on regular bags can be used to "grab" onto other bags and drag them in when near the hole. When circle bags are hanging over the hole there is less to grab onto.

Circular bags would be harder to sew as well. The size would be hard to make consistent by hand for a consistent feel. I think if these bags did catch on, it would be a good part of business for whatever company decided to manufacture them.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Any New Ideas?

Anybody out there think of any new things related to the game of cornhole? Ways to play, rules, products or anything? Everytime I think of something new I end up finding it has already been done by someone else. I usually come across these things on the internet on other bean bag websites or forums. Check out some of these other blogs for some of my ideas:

For example, I thought it would be cool to have a set that you could play on in the water. I am not talking about a set of boards for your swimming pool. Instead, it would be a set that you can bring to the beach. I later saw a set like this online, but I do not think you can actually bring it into one or two feet of water. Of course, this would require the use of different materials than wood and corn. Some kind of plastic would work for the boards, but I am not sure what the bags can be made of so they can get soaking wet. Any ideas?

One of the hardest parts of this idea is to make the boards stable while taking a beating from waves, and keeping them lightweight and portable. One way to keep them steady is to have a heavy base to connect the board to, but this makes it less portable. Also, a set of augers could dig into the ground as a base for the boards to connect to, although it would be harder to level out the boards to the correct angle.

This all seems like a lot of trouble just to play cornhole in the water, maybe I will have to wait for someone else to think of the design so I can buy a set for myself! I think it would be a big hit for those who go to the beach a lot or own waterfront property.

Feel free to post your own ideas in the comments box below.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Backyard Barkeep

You may have seen a few different types of "score towers" as we call them in the cornhole world. I looked around at a few different products that are available out there to try to find the best. After comparing the ones I have seen and actually used in tournaments, I decided that my favorite score tower is the Backyard Barkeep. There were a few reasons why I chose this product over the rest.

First, I looked at the score-keeping aspect of each product. The Backyard Barkeep has a simple design with a scorecard and two clips to mark the score. Most score towers use this design, and I find it to be the easiest to use. Sometimes it is hard to see the score from the other end, but this holds true for just about every product.

Next, I looked at the overall quality of each score tower. The Backyard Barkeep has a very sturdy design, made entirely of metal, and is able to stand up on nearly any surface. One of the key advantages of this product is the removable metal base. Without the base, you can press the product into the ground by pushing on a small platform above the metal stake. For hard surfaces such as concrete, slide the stake onto the heavy metal base to keep it level and sturdy.

The Backyard Barkeep includes extra built-in perks like cupholders and bottle openers. Each stand has two cupholders that can hold just about anything (yes of course it holds beer, why else would such a product be invented!?!?). There are two bottle openers on each stand as well to accomodate the thirstiest of players.

After carefully analyzing product after product, I decided that this one was the best... especially for the price. Two stands without the metal bases amount to $40; add only $10 for a metal base. for more info on this product visit

Monday, October 26, 2009

State vs State

Now that the game of cornhole has been catching on across the country, there are a lot of good players emerging from various states. Sooner or later players will be able to compete against other players from different states in some kind of team competition. For example, a team of players from Indiana can compete against a team from Ohio. This might help spread the game and get more people to play competitive cornhole. It would be a good way to bring in more money from organizations that can sponsor each team. Players can have team uniforms that indicate where the team is from if they wanted to.

As for actual competition, teams can compete in both singles and doubles matches. They can play a certain number of games at each event, and the team that wins the majority of the games would win the event. I guess one team would have to travel far in order to play at the other team's home court; maybe they could meet somewhere in the middle.

The game will have to continue to grow in order to get enough teams to compete, so far there are only a few states that seem to be very serious about cornhole!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hustlin' in the New Sport

Hustling is found in many bar sports like billiards and darts, and you can be sure to find gamblers just about anywhere. Cornhole is becoming a popular new bar sport where people play for money or drinks. Players will usually put down five or ten dollars a game, or sometimes a lot more. Where money can be earned by playing a game, you are sure to come about some hustlers. If you are a good player among stankers who like to gamble, you can easily drink free for the night. If you are playing for just cold hard cash, you can probably take home enough for a tank of gas (and drink free for the night!). However if you are an average player, watch out for those that always seem to give you a close game and always beat you. They might be "sandbagging" a little just so you will play them again. Hustlers like to keep it close to make their opponents feel like they have a chance to win. Their goal is to make the other team say "man we were so close, we can take them."

Many believe this to be unethical behavior, even if the other team does not care about losing a couple bucks. Maybe a less "deceiving" way to play for money is to let the other team know you are good, and spot them a few points before taking their money, lol. There is really no fair way to hustle, but playing for cash or drinks is so much more exciting, isn't it? Most people will disagree on this, but one thing I noticed is that it makes you try a lot harder to win the game. Obviously this is because you have something to lose, but this can actually make you a better player too. Playing under pressure is one of the best ways to prepare for a tournament, and playing cash games may be one of the best ways to play under pressure.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Difference Between Bags

There are many things that can affect the way the game is played, and even performance. One of these things is the type of bags that are used in gameplay. Different players are used to using different types of bags. Whether it is the set they have at home or the ones they use at the bar, every player has a preference.

The type of bag you use affects the way you play. Players get used to the size, shape, and weight of the bags they use. These properties of bean bags reflect the way the player pitches the bag, and changes the way they throw. Of course, the type or set of boards you play on will affect the way you throw the bag as well. For the purpose of this article, I will discuss how the type of bags you play with can affect the way you pitch your game.

Every player can agree to expect each bag in a given set to feel the same, so why do some feel different than others at some tournaments? This can be one of the most aggravating things that can happen to a competitive player while at a tournament, and it seems to happen too often. Individuals that play in tournaments frequently are able to feel these differences in size, weight, and shape quite easily. These players know that lighter bags should be thrown harder or spun more to cut through the wind. Heavy bags are not affected by the wind as much. Bags that have a different feel in shape or weight usually have a corn fill and tend to break down over time, causing the difference in feel.

Bean bags can also vary in the materials used to make them. The type of cloth used can affect the shape and feel of the bag. It can also cause the bag to either slide or stick on the board when a player pitches. So what type is best? It all depends on what the players are used to, and bean bags will continue to be made differently until a very detailed set of specifications is made standard.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Play during the Winter!

So just because it is getting cold outside and the snow will start falling soon, you are just gonna give up pitching bags and wait for the Spring to bring the warmth back to your game? You can't give up that easily! I am sure you can find a place somewhere that has a set of boards you can play on while it is cold outside. If not, what is stopping you from talking to a local bar/restaurant about setting up a league, tournament, or just a set of boxes to play on?

Summer is long time away to pick up where you left off in your cornhole game. If you are a serious player, you might find yourself falling behind once those summer tournaments start to kick off. Those players in the sunny-year-round states are going to catch up quicker than you think! And they will probably start traveling to your state and beat you at your home court!

If you are an average player, this is the perfect time to practice up for the big summer tournaments. Cornhole is really a simple game of repetition and accuracy that can be mastered in no time at all. Of course, if you want to be the best you will have to play in a few tournaments where you can play the best players. The best players in the country have been playing tournaments for a few years now. As the sport becomes more competitive, players are trying to play as often as possible to maintain and improve their game. So it is time for all of us to do the same: play more, spread the game, and become part of the development of this game into a national sport. More and more great players are popping up from around the country, and in my opinion... the best are yet to come.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fix Your Bouncy Boards

Have you built a set of boards that seem to bounce every time you hit the middle of the board? There is a way to fix this problem without taking the set apart, and it is rather easy. You can simply use a two by four as a cross-brace underneath the box. Many builders use this in the design of their boards. The board should be placed about half-way in between the hole and the bottom of the board. This design fixes the bounce-effect very well, no matter what type of boards you have. It works for three foot and four foot boards alike.

One way to prevent this from the start is to use a thicker surface board. Most people seem to use half-inch plywood in the construction of their boards. Half-inch plywood does allow the bags to bounce, but it also depends on the quality of wood and how well the set is put together. I would recommend using something a bit thicker than half-inch plywood. 3/4 inch plywood works and almost allows for no bounce at all. The ACO uses something in between (5/8" with a small cross-brace), and it seems to reduce the bounce a lot.

In my opinion, I think it is better to allow the bag to bounce a little bit. It can be a useful shot if your opponent's bag is right in front of the hole. Sometimes you can bounce right over it and make it in the hole without moving the other bag. Bouncy boards require more accuracy because there is not as much leeway for an inaccurate shot.

Monday, October 12, 2009

In My Opinion...

How big will the sport of cornhole actually get? If it becomes a competitive sport aired on television, what would it be like? Would the rules change at all? How would the sport be organized? I'll give you an idea of what I think the sport will be developed into during the next couple of years.

First of all, I think right now that the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) has a major grip on the sport, and therefore the best chance of bringing it to television. At this stage, I think it all comes down to the money and sponsors. Whatever organizations are able to bring in the most prize money through sponsorships, etc. will end up being the big players in controlling where the game ends up. However, it also depends on the planning and structure that the "pro" players are involved in now. Right now, the ACO is really the only organization that recognizes the best players in the country, and the players seem to like the way the ACO is running things... for the most part.

There are a couple "cracks" in the way things are going right now, but you have to expect that in the development of a entire new sport. So let's say the ACO does become the governing body of the sport and organizes a Pro Tour. Right now they have a lot going for them in terms of developing a way to rank players and have them compete against each other. However, there have been a few complaints about the way tournaments are operated and such. I am certain that all the little problems with the way the rankings and tournaments are structured will be sorted out by the ACO soon because they seem to listen to what the players want.

I believe that the future of competitive bean bags will be similar to the way the ACO does now. Players will earn points in a series of single-elimination tournaments throughout the year, and be ranked based on the points they earn.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cornhole Nationals

The biggest event in cornhole is coming up soon to end this season of the American Cornhole Organization's Master Series. It is the Cornhole Nationals in Las Vegas on January 28-30, 2010. This event is the Super Bowl of cornhole and will feature some of the best players across the country competing in singles and doubles events. This weekend-long event will be located at the Orleans Hotel which is only a few minutes from the Las Vegas strip. Here is a schedule of some of the activities taking place that weekend.

January 28th:

There will be a luck of the draw tournament, airmail challenge, board challenge, and consecutive pitch challenge. This is a prelude to the competitive tournaments on the following days.

January 29th:

A qualifier singles event for the King of Cornhole and competitve and Pro doubles event will take place. The top 24 finishers of the qualifier event will advance to the king of cornhole tournament. Players choose to either play in the competitve doubles (no two ACO pros on a team) or the Pro doubles (any two players).

January 30th:

The King of Cornhole main event and a few sudden death tournaments on the last day. Previous three-peat champion Matt Guy will look to add another win under his belt.

Visit to get more information on this event and sign up for the greatest cornhole event of the year! It is a great opportunity to meet and compete with the best players in the world.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I was looking around on the web and I found another blog about cornhole! I do not know why I have not seen it before, it has been around since 2008, but it is a cool site to visit. The author blogs about news, events, and tournaments going on in the cornhole world. Most recently, there were a few posts about the World Championships of Cornhole in Evansville, IN. This was one of the biggest cornhole events of the year with over 100 teams in attendance.

It is good to see that others are trying to spread the word about the game. People are doing it in different ways using all kinds of media. Whether it is on the internet, radio, television, newspapers, or magazines, people found a reason to write about cornhole. It starts with the events. Perhaps 95% of articles and blogs are written about cornhole events, tournaments, and fundraisers that take place across the country. Blogs at are the same way. Almost every post is about a cornhole event that took place somewhere, and had an impact on many people. Other posts were written to provide information on where to buy products, for those that are new to the game and confused by all the standards, specs, and rules.

I would expect to see many more blogs like come about within the next few years. With the increasing popularity of the game, more events and tournaments are going to take place and more people will become addicted to the game. Hopefully it will become as popular as bowling or billiards, so we could eventually see it on ESPN someday., may we pave the way for future blogs and articles that will soon arise and flood the internet with great cornhole literature for all those bean bag enthusiasts out there!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

About Hole Magazine

It used to be difficult to find articles, news, and blogs about cornhole, but now that the game is becoming more familiar to the average American you can find it all over the web. You might think that the game is so simple that we run out of things to write about, but there are always new things happening in the cornhole world. With the increasing popularity of the game new forums arose such as Hole Magazine. Since then, Hole Magazine has kept us up to date on what is happening in the cornhole industry across the country.

Hole Magazine is the newest thing to the cornhole world and it delivers all the latest news to cornhole enthusiasts. Whether it's regarding ACO pro tournaments or small fundraisers for a good cause, it gets reported. Articles are written by some of the most die-hard cornhole fans on the planet, so they know what they are talking about. The website is completely jacked with articles, stories, photos, tournaments, and blogs guessed it, CORNHOLE! So how do they have so many things to write about?

Many articles are written about cornhole events across the country that the authors attended. Most of their stories describe how the events draw in more and more people to the game and raise loads of money for charitable organizations. Other articles and blogs are written about new products that hit the market, big tournaments across the nation, and their own opinions or ideas regarding the sport.

What Hole Magazine is doing for the sport is great, and I hope more people follow suit to help promote the game. That is why I do what I do; helping this sport grow is important to me and other cornhole enthusiasts, not only for competitive play, but for the original tailgating scene as well. Cornhole is and always will be the best tailgating game ever played in a football stadium parking lot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top 5 Bags/Cornhole Websites

Here is a list of some of the best websites out there that promote the game of cornhole. The ranking order is loose, but I'll give you some insight to why I like each site and what they have to offer.

1) - This site seems to provide the most discussion about the game along with useful information for those who are new to the game. Building instructions, product reviews, tournament listings, and downloadable brackets are just a few of the resources offered by this site. The key attraction of is the forum, in which newcomers can ask questions and search for answers about the game. I believe many search engine searches bring visitors to this forum for FAQs of the game.

2) - This website is the home of the governing body of the sport of cornhole. The ACO brings together the most competitive players across the country to compete against one another. The website offers a forum in which members discuss the future of the sport, tournaments, products, etc. It also provides the most complete set of rules on the web, a ranking system of the best players in the country, and an online store of the professional-grade products used in ACO competitve tournaments.

3) - This site is the homepage of Hole Magazine, which is a newly published magazine to inform all about the growing sport of cornhole. The website features cornhole-related articles, news, blogs, and more. Visit this site to hear some interesting news going around in the cornhole world.

4) - This is the American Cornhole Association's website. This site is also a good place to find information on how to play the game. The site offers its own set of rules, tournament postings, brackets, and other resources for visitors. Tournament postings are assorted by date, and cover a wide variety of locations in various states.

5) - I had to include another website that promotes the game through tournament postings. This site is great for finding upcoming tournaments in your state. The site also provides rules, board dimensions, and an online store to buy equipment.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New Website

Want to learn more about the sport of cornhole? Visit the new site today! It has tons of information on the game of bean bags. Learn about the different rules of the game, throwing techniques, game strategy, and much more! Become informed about running different types of tournaments and leagues, and visit the tournament search section to find a tournament near you. View the list and descriptions of the best bean bag websites currently on the web. Download brackets for running tournaments; single elimination, double elimination, and any number of teams. Archives of bean bag related articles and previous blog posts from this site will be stored on the site. Look for the website to grow within the next few weeks.

In the future: will be the only website to discuss the strategy of the game. As players become more and more competitive, this game is quickly developing into a sport. Players around the country are reaching pro-status and earning a lot of money by playing in tournaments throughout the year. Players this good know all the tricks of the trade, so why not help the average player become better? All the techniques and strategies used by the pros will be provided on the site for the players to see. Practicing these tips and tricks will help the average player pitch like a pro.

Another goal in the future is to develop a forum for members to discuss strategies, post tournaments, and talk about anything related to this growing sport. Instructional videos and images will be posted to enhance the site, allowing players to see and understand the different types of shots, stances, and strategies discussed on the site. More detailed descriptions of shot types will be made available. A "shot book" of various scenarios will show what type of shot would be best in that scenario. It might sound crazy, but these tips can help you become one of the best players in the country.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to Make Bean Bags

Most bags made from scratch are made out of duck canvas or a similar material. Choose the color of your choice and cut the fabric into (8) 7”x7” squares. I would recommend using bright colors that are easy to see while flying through the air. Of course they will get dirty over time, so I would recommend not using expensive custom designs if you plan on playing outdoors a lot.

The finished product will be 6”x6” once we fill the bags with corn. The bags should be filled so that they weigh nearly a pound each. This is about equivalent to two cups of corn. When you sew the squares together, make sure they are a bit over 6”x6” so they will be the correct size after you fill them. Sew all four sides of the bag except for a small section to fill the bags with feed corn. Make sure you use some heavy duty thread so they will last longer! Before you fill the bags with corn, turn them inside out so the seam is not on the outside of the bag.

When it comes to filling the bag, you can use a variety of products. Most people use feed corn or plastic pellets. The difference between these two is that the pellets are more resistant to rain in case they get wet. However, pellets weigh less than corn and will occupy more space when filling the bag up to one pound. Another difference is that corn will break down over time: the bags start out bulky and tend to bounce, but once they break in they will be “floppy” and land softly.

A funnel can be used to fill the bags if you left a small opening. Fill the bags so that each weighs about a pound. Note that it is important for all the bags to feel the same size and weight, which is the hardest part of the project. More detailed instructions will soon be posted on

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pitching Stance

How are you supposed to stand when pitchig a bag? There is no right or wrong way, everyone seems to do it differently. In this post I will discuss some of the most common types of stances that players use today.

The most common stance is probably the step-shot. In this stance the player steps with their opposite foot while throwing the bag. For example, if the player is right-handed they will step with their left foot as they throw. Some players feel more comfortable stepping with the same side- right hand, right foot. If you choose the step-shot I recommend the opposite foot, but players should choose whatever they are comfortable with. An advantage of this shot is that the legs give the shot some extra power. This comes in handy when throwing an all-day tournament because it keeps the arm from wearing out.

Another common stance involves no step, and can be referred to as the stationary, standstill, or fixed stance. In this stance, the player put their right or left foot forward with the other foot dropped back (similar to the end result of the step-shot). There are a few advantages to this approach. First, it involves less movement of the body; only the arm moves. Also, it brings the player closer to the front of the box. It seems like the boxes are closer together when this stance is used, compared to the step-approach. However, the extra power from the legs is lost in this stance, and more muscle is needed from the arm to get the bag down to the other board.

All in all, it does not really matter what type of stance you use. What really matters is the arm motion. Usually if you can throw a consistently straight bag, you're in good shape. Once you are used to a particular stance, keep it and practice making different types of shots.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Leagues with 4 Player Teams

Many bean bag leagues are ran differently, and most of them are the weekly 2 on 2 matches against other teams in the league. The newest and more attractive types of leagues allow 4 to 6 players on each team with a variety of different games. These leagues typically use the traditional 2 on 2, 1 on 1, and frame games (singles and doubles) mixed for a total of 9 games each night. I thought of a few more ways to play, and even allow all players on the team play at once!

Why not allow the entire team play in one game? Two players from each team would stand at each end of the boards (making it 8 players in all). There can be two ways to score this type of game, one being the traditional scoring to 21 with players from each team alternating turns. I think the better way is to add up the total score of each team after a certain number of innings. Maybe allow each of the four players on each team throw 2 innings, and add up the total points for each team after the 8th inning. It may sound like a 4-person frame game, but the difference is that players from opposing teams are pitching at the same time. This can be referred to as the High Score game.

Perhaps an even better way to do this is having a 2 on 2 High Score game, but have the players on the same team stand on the same side facing the opposing team. Allow Team A to start the game, each player has four bags (8 bags per team), and alternates pitching bags to the other side. The object is to score as many points in each inning as possible, so players are encouraged to knock each other's bags in the hole for a higher team score. Add up the total points for each team after 10 innings to see which team wins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Build or buy a set of boards?

Looking to play the fastest growing game in America, but don't have the equipment? You have two options. You can either buy a set of boards and bags, or build them yourself. If you can't wait to play, then I would recommend buying a set. You might be able to find a set at a local sports store. If not, you might have to shop online. Whatever you do, do not buy those plastic sets they sell in stores. They call it tailgate toss, Baggo, or something like that... but if it is made of plastic, do not buy it!

If you shop online, you should do some homework first. Make sure you buy from a company with good reviews and quick shipping. Many companies will customize the boards for you as well. I personally never bought a set of boards online, but I do know that some boards are better than others. First, you should decide whether you want a slick set of boards or a set that the bags "stick" to. Perhaps the best thing to do is buy a set from a company that runs tournaments using their boards. That way you know exactly what you are going to get. It also shows that the company is involved in the interests of the players, not just building sets and making money.

Got some free time on your hands? Build a set for yourself. There are many websites online that give you the specs and directions for building a set of boards. gives a few options of building plans created by people who have built many sets themselves. The forum at this website should give you all the info you need, and answer any questions you may have about building a set of boards. Details regarding wood, paint, tools, decals, and more are under the building/customization section of the forum. Building your own set is cheaper, and it is a fun side project to do at home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Use the Push Shot

As a follow up to the block shot strategy, I will talk about the push shot in detail. When another bag is blocking the hole (preferably your own), you simply try to throw your bag and make them both in the hole. It may seem simple to do, but the difficulty arises when you play on different types of boards. The shot changes from board type to board type, and great players are able to adjust to the different boards they play on.

So how are some boards so different? There are a few ways that affect your shot: slick vs. sticky, and bouncy vs. stable. No matter where you go you are likely to find a combination of two of these four elements. It is easiest to use the push shot on a set of slick, stable boards. The hardest set to use this shot on is a sticky, bouncy set of boards. I will give some tips on using the push shot in each combination of board types.

Slick & Stable:

Perfect conditions for this type of shot, if you throw it straight it is likely to go in. If a regular shot doesn't put it in for you, throw a slightly lower shot with more velocity to get both bags in. Be careful though, some players use too much speed and go straight off the back of the board.

Sticky & Stable:

This shot is similar to the previous one. However, it usually takes more speed to knock both bags in the hole. One recommendation I have is to try to make the bag land just before hitting the other bag instead of letting your bag slide up the board into the other bag. This is good for 2 reasons: 1) You won't have to throw it as low to gain speed (avoids hitting front of box), and 2) You won't have to change your regular shot much (throwing it lower and harder affects some players' accuracy, and brings them out of their rhythm).

Slick & Bouncy:

Perhaps the hardest set of boards to play on. Accuracy here is a must. Different boards have different bounces, so there are two recommended options to avoid the bounce (the center of the board is what you want to avoid). One is to hit the very front of the board and allow the bag to slide up to the hole. The other is to hit the very back of the bag you are trying to knock in to get a soft landing. This is much harder to do, but is a good alternative if you have a hard time hitting the front-end of the board. The hard part of this shot is getting both of the bags to go in. Usually you will knock in the bag you were aiming for, but the one you threw will bounce off the back.

Sticky & Bouncy:

These boards are also hard for this type of shot, but the stickiness of the board usually allows for a more controlled bounce. Again, different boards have different bounces, but the stickiness usually keeps the bag from bouncing as far. As for the push shot, I would recommend aiming toward the back of the bag you are trying to push. One tip is to try landing nearly half of the bag on the board, and the other half on the bag you are trying to push. This allows for a softer landing, less bounce, and more of a chance of getting both bags in the hole.

For more details on how to use this shot, visit the Game Strategy page of

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Game Strategy: Blocking the Hole

Most people think this game is very simple... and it is, but as the common player becomes more competitive, strategy becomes an important part of winning games and tournaments. Some players become so good that they can easily make 3 or 4 bags in the hole every time. When this is the case, the game can go on for a long, long time. Many players find it easier to score by playing defense. But how do you play defense in a game that revolves around a player's offensive skills? No, you do not have your partner at the other end smack the bags right out of the air. Instead, you block the hole with your bag.

Of course, this strategy might not work on all sets of boards. It is difficult to make the bag land in front of the hole on a slick set of boards, so this strategy is recommended for a set of boards than the bags can "stick" to. This strategy also works better when you have the first shot of the round. On the first shot, try to put the bag right in front of the hole so it barely leans over the edge. If it leans into the hole too far, it is easier for your opponent to knock both the bags in on his shot. By leaving it off of the hole more, it requires more accuracy on his part to either knock them both in or go over the top. The best case scenario is that your opponent pushes your bag in the hole, and his bag goes off the board. There are many different possible scenarios that can happen during your opponent's shot, but if they miss, your goal has been met. Further details about alternate scenarios will be soon posted on the strategy page of my website, as well as in future blog posts.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Types of Games

There are a few ways to play bean bags. There is the traditional game to 21, a frame game, and a few other ways to play bean bags. Bean bags allows players to come up with creative ways to keep the game interesting, so come up with your own ideas too!

Traditional 21

The most common game is played to 21 points. 3 points for in the hole, and 1 point for on the board. Opposing team's points cancel out, play straight to 21 or win by 2, etc. Almost everyone knows how to play this way, so I'm not going to get into the details. Check out my website to see the general rules for this game: or look at the ACO's professional standards here:

Frame Game

A frame game is a newer concept brought about by the American Cornhole Organization. It is used to test the skill of a player and rank them among players across the nation. At the same time, this concept can be used in competition where players can throw a frame game heads up. It is really not recommended for backyard play against your friends, but it is a good approach to becoming a better player and keeping track of your progress. Here is the way it works.

A frame game consists of a single player throwing a series of 13 frames. The player throws 4 bags per frame, adding up the total points scored in each frame. After one frame is completed, the player walks down to the other board and throws the next frame from that side. The player must walk directly down to the other side (if he/she throws from the right side of the board at one end, he/she must throw from the left side of the board at the other end). After 13 frames are completed, the player adds up the total points from each frame. The goal is to score as many points as possible throughout the 13 frames, the maximum being 156. Compare your score to your friend's or to players across the nation by looking at the player rankings at


Another way of playing, although it is more difficult, is to aim straight for the hole. This game is also a good way to practice your game. Only bags that go straight in the hole (without touching the board) count for points. There are many names for this type of shot...airmail, over-the-top, dunk, etc. You can keep score by adding up the amount of bags made each round or counting each airmail for 3 points. Of course each made bag will slightly touch the board while going into the hole, and it might be hard to tell if the bag bounced in or not. To solve this problem, the ACO has made a set of boxes made particularly for this game. Each box is made up of a hole with only a few inches of board around it, very intimidating at first glance! You can check out this product at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Past, Present, and Future

Many say that the game originated somewhere in Ohio, where the majority of players seem to be. Others say Kentucky, the Oregon Trail, Ireland, whatever. There seems to be no proof that the game originated in any one location. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't really matter where the first game of cornhole was played. The only thing that matters is where the game is now, and where it will be in the future. the game is growing so fast, it is only a matter of time before it becomes an international sport.
I truly hope that this game gets big, REALLY BIG. I can see it growing into a professional sport similar to golf, bowling, or darts. I think it is more closely related to bowling than any other sport. So how do we develop this game into a professional sport? Well, the American Cornhole Organization (ACO) has already taken the first few steps of the process. They managed to draw in many of the best players in the country to compete against each other individually for exceptional amounts of money. It may take a few years, but I can definitely see the ACO becoming the overall governing body of the sport, just as the NFL is to football.
At the same time, we need people all over the country to become aware of the game to begin with. When more and more people play the game, there will be more fans to watch the best players in the world play. Just like any sport it is important to gather a fan base that will support the game of cornhole.

General Rules of Cornhole

Different Bean Bag / Cornhole organizations establish different sets of rules to play the game, especially those that run tournaments. These are the most common rules to play by:


(2) Game Boxes
(8) Bean Bags : 4 of one color and 4 of another color


Place the boxes approximately 30 ft. apart (hole to hole) facing each other on a flat surface. Boxes should be directly across from each other with enough room overhead to throw the bags.


Each player chooses to stand on one side of the box, players cannot stand on the same side to toss. Players alternate tossing each of their 4 bags to the game box on the opposite end. While tossing, players must stay behind the front of the game box to avoid a foot fault. Most tournament directors also require players to remain no more than 3 ft. from the side of the box while tossing.

A bag that lies on the board without touching the ground = 1 point
A bag that goes in the hole at any point in the inning = 3 points A bag that touches the ground at any time does not count for any points

Opposing player's points cancel out (ex: if player A has one bag on the board, and player B has one in the hole, player B gets 2 points)

Gameplay continues until one team reaches 21 points total. Some tournament directors require a team to win by a margin of 2 points or greater. Also, some tournaments establish a "skunk" rule: if one team reaches a certain number of points (usually 11) before the other team scores any points, the game is over.

How to Throw a Flat Bag


In order to be a great bags player, you MUST learn how to throw the bag so that it spins through the air. A horizontal, spinning bag is the key to pitching a consistent game for two reasons. First, putting spin on the bag allows it to "sail" through the air without being affected by the wind. Second, a flat spin allows the bag to land smoothly on the game board, and more importantly continue to move in a straight path once it hits the board. A "flopping" bag seems to bounce in different directions after striking the board, making the player's tosses more inconsistent.

So how do you spin the bag perfectly flat? Many beginners find this to be difficult and give up after a few attempts. It does take some practice, but I have come up with a few tips to help players get the hang of it more quickly.

1) Hold the bag perfectly flat from the start, with your thumb on top of the bag and your other fingers underneath. Most beginners do not bend their wrist inward enough to release the bag horizontally flat (parallel to the ground).

2) Begin the toss with your thumb and fingers pointing directly toward your left (if you're pitching right-handed). Try to keep your fingers pointed in this direction as you move through your backswing. As you move your arm forward, your fingers should point straight forward by the time you release the bag, causing the bag to spin through the air. (Wrist motion is similar to throwing a frisbee)

3) It is important to pitch the bag in a smooth, slow motion. Many players lose control during the transition from the backswing to the frontswing, and go through the entire motion too quickly. Your backswing should be very slow until you begin the frontswing, which should gradually increase in speed until the bag is released.

Check out these instructions on the new site

Monday, August 24, 2009

The New Sport

Bean Bags is one of the fastest growing sports in America. It continues to grow in popularity and becomes more competitive as tournaments and leagues are established nationwide.


Welcome to the Bean Bag Info blog!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Growing Popularity

Bean Bags is growing fast and is not only a Midwest sport anymore. More and more organizations are using bean bag tournaments as a means of fundraising and marketing. The sport is also growing competitively, with an increasing number of tournaments and prize money.

Tournaments have popped up everywhere with prizes amounting to thousands of dollars in cash! Fundraising tournaments raise huge amounts of money for charitable organizations, bringing about a good reputation for the game.