Tournament Rules

(adopted from the American Cornhole Organization) (americancornhole.com)

  • Length of Game

    • Play to 21

      • Cancellation scoring

  • Scoring:

    • Definitions:

      • “Woody” – Refers to any cornhole bag that has been pitched and remains on the cornhole board playing surface at the conclusion of the frame.

      • “Cornhole” – Refers to any cornhole bag that has been pitched and passes through the cornhole board hole at any time within the frame.

      • “Foul Bags” – Refers to any cornhole bag that has not been determined as a “woody” or “cornhole”, or was designated a foul bag as the result of rules violation.

        • Designated Foul Bags:

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

            • Any bag not pitched within the 15 second time limit.

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

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

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

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

    • Method:

      • Cancellation Scoring: The approved method of scoring for the sport of cornhole is “cancellation” scoring. In cancellation scoring, the points of one player cancel out the points of their opponent. Using this method, only one player/team can score in each frame.

        • Woody: Each woody is worth one (1) point

        • Cornhole: Each cornhole is worth three (3) points

      • Example:

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

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

        • 7 points – 2 points = Red scores 5 points for that frame

  • Other General Rules

    • Moving Cornhole Boards and Bags:

      • A player can only straighten cornhole boards in between frames and with the approval of their opponent. An Official may be called to determine re-placement if a discrepancy is in question.

      • A player may only cross the foul line and approach the opposite board during a frame under three (3) circumstances:

        • 1. A timeout has been called

        • 2. To Rake bags piled inside the cornhole board hole

        • 3. To Sweep bags (that are considered foul bags) from the playing surface

    • Timeouts

      • Each player or team is allowed two 1 minute time outs per game.

      • A player may only call a time out when it is his/her turn to pitch.

      • Both players may walk to the other boards to examine bag position during the time out.

      • Players may not touch the cornhole bags or boards during a timeout.

      • Important Note: Official time outs may be granted in the case of a busted cornhole bag, equipment malfunctions, or other circumstances at the discretion of the Official. A player will not be charged for time out.

    • Raking Cornhole Bags

      • If bags become piled inside the cornhole board hole and may interfere or obstruct with the next pitch or if there is question as to whether a cornhole bag would have naturally fallen through the hole, a player may request to “rake” the cornhole bags that have fallen inside the hole. To request a rake, the player must audibly ask.

      • One or both players may walk to the other board and rake the bags from under the board (one player raking and one player watching.)

      • A spectator may be called to rake the bags if both players agree.

      • An official may be called to rake the bags if a discrepancy is in question.

      • Anytime 4 cornhole bags have entered the hole or piled bags are visible in the hole a player may request a “rake” and will not be charged a time-out.

      • Important note: During raking, all efforts should be made to leave bags on the playing surface undisrupted, in their natural state, and to leave bags that may hang on the rim of the hole from falling inside the hole unnaturally. If a bag is resting on a piled bag, and unavoidably falls into the hole as a result of raking, then it shall be counted as a “cornhole.”

    • Sweeping Cornhole Bags

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

      • If a player pitches a foul bag which affects any bags in play, their opponent has the option of returning all cornhole bags to their original position on the playing surface or leaving all bags as they are.

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