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How to Play Cornhole

Do you know how to play cornhole?

I learned to play recently, after my father-in-law made this wonderful cornhole set.



Cornhole is an easy and fun camping game for the whole family.

What is cornhole?

The cornhole game is a game of bean bag toss.

If you already know what it is and you just want to learn how to play, click here.

Cornhole differs from the bean bag toss games I played as a child in several ways:

  • It uses 2 slanted boards, each with a single hole.
  • The "bean bags" are solidly filled with feed corn and are quite heavy.
  • There are strict rules.
  • There's a standardized scoring system.




Cornhole is a great family camping game

Here's why:

Everyone can play together.

Anyone who can pick up a bean bag and throw or drop it in a hole can learn how to play cornhole.

Even the youngest family members can join in.

There is enough challenge to keep the big kids and the adults happy.


You can play anywhere.

Just bring along the boards and beanbags and set them up in your campsite.


You can play right away

The basic rules are simple. Learning to play takes no time at all.

The more you play, the better you get - but you'll have fun the very first time you try.




How to play cornhole

If you want to get serious about how to play cornhole, visit the American Cornhole Association to learn the official rules.

If you're not concerned about the official details, read on!


You'll need

  • 2 cornhole boards
  • 8 corn bags (4 of one color and 4 of another)
  • a fairly flat playing area

If you don't have a talented father-in-law like I do, you'll have to make one yourself, or purchase one. Here are the best cornhole games I could find.



Getting ready

  • Set up the cornhole boards facing one another. In an official game, they will be 30 feet apart. You decide how far is appropriate for your group of players.
  • Put 4 corn bags (all the same color) beside each board.

  • Decide on teams. It's nice to put an adult and a child - or an older child and a younger one - on each team.
  • It's fun to come up with team names! (I'll call the teams A and B for now.)
  • Decide which team will go first. (How about the team with the youngest player?) 
  • Decide which player on each team will go first.



Playing

  • Team A's first player stands beside their cornhole board and tosses a bag at the hole in the opposite board.

  • Team B's first player stands beside their cornhole board and tosses a bag at the other board.

  • The second player on team A has a turn.

  • The second player on team B has a turn.

  • The first player on team A has another turn.
  • Continue taking turns in this way until all of the bags have been thrown.


Keeping score

You don't have to keep score unless you want to. Sometimes we enjoy just throwing the bags and seeing how we do.

If you do decide to keep score, here's how:

A bag that goes completely through the hole scores 3 points.

A bag that lands on the board - whether completely on the board or hanging partway through the hole - scores 1 point.

cornhole game with bag on board


A bag that touches the ground in any way does not score.

  • Add up each team's score.
  • Subtract the lower score from the higher score to get the points for that round.
  • The team with the higher score keeps those points and goes first in the next round.
  • The team that first reaches 21 points is the winner.


Scoring example

Team A scored 8 points.

Team B scored 5 points.

8 - 5 = 3

Team A gets 3 points.

Team B gets no points.

Team A goes first in the next round.




Modifying the game

Of course, you can change any of these rules to suit your family.

Maybe the younger players will need to stand closer to the target.

Maybe the very youngest will need to stand right beside the target!

Maybe one team will get a handicap of 10 points.

When you're camping, the most important rule is that everyone has fun!


Looking for another great campsite game?

These ones are fun, too!

Ladderball

Washer Toss

Bocce


Now that you know how to play cornhole, click here to learn about lots more fun camping games.


Please visit The Camping Family home page for lots of ideas about camping food, camping safety, and fun camping activities.





               

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