Rules For Bean Bag Toss – Everything You Need To Know

Are you a fan of the bean bag toss game or Cornhole? Then this is for you. Today, I will share the most important facts about this game. Its Rules. As you already know, every game has some rules and ethics. So, when someone plays that game, they must comply with the rules.

Rules violation is not a good practice when playing any game. It will lose the marks and affect your sportsmanship and reputation.

So, without further discussion, let’s move to the topic!

rules of bean bag toss

Table of Contents

How Are Rules Created For Bean Bag Toss Game?

The Bean bag toss game is a funny and straightforward game that many people love. If we consider the history of this game, it goes beyond 2003.

There were no official rules for the bean bag toss game during this period. At that time, people play this game anywhere that has enough space. The backyard is a famous spot where a family practices this beautiful game.

But in 2003, Mike Whitton and his sons went for a family gathering. They saw some people playing this fantastic game in that location. However, they realize there are no consistent rules for this game when carefully watched.

As a result, Mike decides to form an association for this game. The American Cornhole Association (ACA), Ohio, is his first step. After several years, his effort succeeded, and 25,000 members across the USA got membership in ACA in 2008.

From that day to the present, ACA works as the official governing body of the bean bag toss games. Also, they set rules and offered a national ranking system.

Now you all know about the lovely story, which helps to prepare these rules. So, let’s check what they prepared.

Rules Of Bean Bag Toss Game

Rule 1: Court Layout


You may need a ground or proper court to play a bean bag toss game.

According to the ACA, a bean bag toss court or cornhole court should have a rectangular area. It should have 10 feet wide and a minimum of 45 long.

Foul Lines

The foul line should draw 27 feet apart from each other. These lines should be parallel to the front of the bean bag toss board.

 However, there are two types of imaginary foul lines. These are;

  1. Open adult play
  2. Junior play

The open adult foul line is a 30 feet long imaginary line on the opposite board starting from the hole’s beginning. The junior play foul line is an that is 21 long. It is also an imaginary line.

Board Direction

It is better to choose the north-south setting for outdoor courts.

The north-south direction can minimize the effect of sunlight. If not, players must feel uncomfortable when sunray directs into their faces and eyes.

Toss Board

The Toss board should place 27 feet apart and touch the foul line.

Pitches Boxes

The pitches boxes are rectangular spaces. Each player should remain in this pitcher’s box while tossing the bean bag. Generally, there are four pitches boxes drawn to play.

The dimensions of these boxes should be 4 feet x 3 feet. Each pitcher’s box should draw parallel on both sides of the bean bag toss board.

Multiple Courts

If you wish to organize a tournament, you definitely need several courts to play a bean bag toss game.

However, the adjacent court should have at least 10 feet to eliminate the disturbances and ensure safety. But if it is possible, mark them 12 feet apart if you have enough space. It is ideal.

Indoor or Covered Courts

The indoor and covered courts regulations are exactly the same as the abovementioned rules.

Rule 2: Tools And Equipment

The American Cornhole Association enforced some rules and standards for the tools and equipment.

Let’s check what they are!


  • Each bean bag toss board should be a 48-inch x 24-inch rectangular shape and made with plywood. The thickness of the board should be at least ½ inch.
  • The cornhole board should have solid wood sides.
  • Also, it should have a very smooth texture and shall not be any blemishes on this wooden surface.

When players toss the bean bags into the board, these blemishes can disrupt their aim.

However, nowadays, people use plastic boards to play bean bag toss games. But there is a considerable difference between wooden and plastic boards.


The Cornhole should have 6 inches in diameter. Also, it should be placed 9 inches from the top edge and 12 inches on each side of the board edges.


Front of the board: The height should be 4 inches from the ground.  

Back of the board: The back of the board should be 12 inches from the ground. Board’s highest point should place at 90 degrees angle.

Bean Bag / Cornhole Bag

  • The double stitch 6 x 6 inches bags are taken to play bean bag toss. The duck canvas is mainly used to prepare these bags.
  • The weight of these bags should be between 14 and 16 ounces.
  • Feed corn was the main filler used to fill these bean bags in the past days. However, due to lack of availability and easiness, ACA allows using of plastic pellets for bean bags.
bean bag toss rules

Rule 3: Pitching

Adults Players

The adult players should pass the bean bag while sitting in the pitcher’s box, behind the 30 feet of the opposite foul line.

Junior Players

Junior players have a chance to reduce the pitching distance. So, they can pitch from any place while behind the 21-foot foul line.

Rule 4: Court Preparation And Maintenance

Court Maintenance

Before playing the bean bag toss or cornhole game, the court should be free from any foreign material distracting the game.

So, before playing the bean bag toss, you must ensure the ground is clear from disrupting material.

The player shall not be allowed to alter the court during the match without getting approval from the opponent and tournament officers.


Before starting the game, players should keep their drinks and other personal belongings behind the cornhole board or in a different secure location. 

Rule 5 – Game Play


Bean bag toss game or Cornhole game can play as singles or doubles. In singles, one player should play against another player.


In the double game, there are two partners on each team. One player pitched a bean bag from one board, and another player threw a bean bag ball from another board.

Apart from this, all the other bean bag toss game rules are the same for the single and double play.

Rounds or Innings

Every bean bag toss match has several innings. Each player or team must toss the four bean bags into the hole every inning.

The round or inning never ends until all four bean bags pitch.

Points and Scores

  • 3 point– If a bean bag toss into the hole, that pitch has 3 points. The player should aim and toss the bean bag into the hole.

Or else the bean bag may get into the hole due to another player’s pitch.

  • 1 Point – If the bean bag does not get into the hole and land on any board portion, that player will get 1 point (On the board).

However, if the bag is on the board and touches the ground, that does not count. Also, it is called foul. Suppose a bean bag touches the ground before coming into the board; that toss does not earn any point.

  •  Zero-point – If the bean bag hits anywhere except the hole and the board, it will not score any point. So, all these shots are fouls.

Who Should Deliver The Bean Bags First?

Double Play

The first side of players alternate tossing bean bags until they have thrown all four bean bags. Then remaining, continue to toss bean bags in the same manner.

Single Play

Each player should alternate their pitching until four bags have been tossed. So, it is the end of the inning.

The contestant should pass the bean bag within 20 seconds when entering the pitcher’s box.  

The team or player who scores highest in the previous inning got a chance to toss a bean bag in the next inning first.

Rule 6: Game Over

If any player or team scores exactly 21 points, they win the match.

Besides that, if one team scores seven or more points at the end of the inning and their opponent cannot score any point, that team wins the match. This situation is called “Skunks.”

Rule 7: Scoring

Calculate the total scores of each team. Then subtracted the highest scores from the lowest scores. Now you will receive the answer. This value will be offered to the team that scores the highest points. The lowest point scored group will get zero marks for this round.

Continue this process until one team earn precisely 21 points. The team firstly score 21 points, winning the match!

Final Thoughts

It is essential to know the rules of any game before entering into the play. It is a crucial thing that leads to being successful. So, well equipped with the knowledge and train yourself. Wining is not just a word. The trophy is waiting for you!

Sarah Williams

I’m Sarah Williams. A true fan of Bean Bag Chairs. The story of Bean Bags Expert goes to beginning of 2016. At the mid of 2016, I have planned the web site and bought this domain. Slowly this grew up like a little kid.

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