According to the American Cornhole Association (ACA), the following are the recommended rules of cornhole.
1. Single or Double Play
Every game is broken down into innings of play. During an inning of play, each player must toss all four of his/her bags. An inning is not completed until all players toss all four of his/her bags.
Individuals - Singles Play
Player 1 competes against Player 2.
- Both players stay in their designated lane for the whole game.
- Players start the game at the headboard and will alternate tossing bags until each player has tossed all four of his/her bags.
- Players then walk to the end of their lane to the other court, take score, and resume tossing back to the other board.
Team - Double Play
Team 1 competes against Team 2.
Each team is comprised of two people.
- Each team member will stay in their designated lane for the entire game.
- Players at the headboard will alternate tossing bags until each player has tossed all four of his/her bags.
- Players at the footboard will take score and resume tossing back to the headboard.
The approved method of scoring for the sport of cornhole is called "cancellation" scoring. In cancellation scoring, the points of one player cancel out the points of the opposing player. Using this method, only one player/team can score in each inning.
- Bag In-The-Count, also known as Woody: any bag which comes to rest anywhere on top of the board. Each is worth one (1) point.
- Bag In-The-Hole, also known as Cornhole: any bag which is tossed through the hole or knocked through the hole by another bag. Each is worth three (3) points.
- Foul Bags: Refers to any bag that has not been determined as Bag In-The-Count or Bag In-The-Hole or was designated a foul bag as the result of rules violation.
3. Tossing Rotation
The player or team who scored in the preceding inning will toss first in the next inning. If neither player/team scores, the player/team who tossed first in the preceding inning shall retain first toss in the next inning.
4. Position of Players
- The toss must be thrown from within the pitcher's box or behind the foul line at the time of release.
- A player must toss all four bags from their designated pitcher's box.
- Players must toss the bag with an under-hand release.
5. Traditional Play
The game shall be played to the predetermined number of twenty-one points. The first player/team to reach (or exceed) that amount at the conclusion of an inning is the winner.
6. Foul Bags
Below are the American Cornhole Association's standard rules, house rules may supersede these.
(a)Rules not found in a game's manual.
(b)Made-up rules followed within one's specific household.
(c) House Rules apply for play with both Full and Travel Size Boards.
1. The following are rule violations that must be spotted and called by a player or assigned judge. The penalty is to declare the bag a foul bag, which requires the bags to be removed from the court prior to resuming play.
A foul bag is defined as:
(a)Any bag tossed when the player has (1) made contact with or crossed over the foul line, or (2) started or stepped completely outside the pitcher's box before the bag is released.
(b)Any bag not tossed within the 20-second time limit.
(c) A bag tossed from a different pitcher's box than the first bag.
(d) Any bag that contacted the court or the ground before coming to rest on the board.
(e) Any bag that struck a previously defined object such as a tree, limb, wire, indoor court ceiling, etc.
(f) Any bag removed from the board before scoring has been agreed upon for that bag.
(i)The offending team (who touches the bag) forfeits all remaining bags and tallies the score of just the bags thrown before the foul was reported.
(ii) The non-offending team tallies twelve (12) points as if they had thrown four Bag In-The-Holes (Cornholes) during the inning.
2. A bag that leaves a player's hand once the final forward swing of the delivery process has started shall count as a tossed bag.
3. A bag that is accidentally dropped by a player before the final forward swing has started shall not be considered foul and may be picked up and tossed.
4. Protests - If a player desires to make a protest, the protest shall be made to the judge or official at the time the problem occurs. The judge shall make the final ruling for all protests.