Cornhole Championships and Competitions


You have probably heard of cornhole championships and competitions taking place more and more recently. The popularity of the sport is growing exponentially as it becomes a staple in outside celebrations throughout the United States and other countries!

Popular cornhole championships and competitions include the Conference Crew Championship, Cornhole Mania, Final Chase, the open events, and more. Cornhole has a league called the American Cornhole League, more commonly known as the ACL.

The championships and competitions for other sports like football and baseball are common knowledge at this point. Unfortunately, for cornhole fans, that’s not the case for this beloved sport. However, the interest is growing which is probably why you are here. Let’s learn more about this fascinating sport.

All About Cornhole Championships and Competitions

You might only think of cornhole as a backyard game that you play with your family on a hot, Saturday morning, but it’s actually quite the sport as it flourishes in the United States. There are competitions and championships quite often, and it has even had exposure on ESPN. The first-ever national televised cornhole tournament took place in 2017 on ESPN2.

The aforementioned ACL holds competitions and creates opportunities for cornhole players of all ages. The 2020-2021 season will start on October 23 with the first ACL Open of the season.

Though ACL doesn’t get the coverage that other leagues like MLB gets, it’s still quite the accomplishment for the sport to have its own league.

If you’re on the lookout for tournaments to watch, you can find tournaments and championships from the 2019-2020 season on ACL’s YouTube channel.

If you want to watch the 2019 ACL Cornhole Mania Advanced Singles, check out this video.

Is Cornhole in the Olympics?

You might think having cornhole in the Olympics, but you’d be surprised to know we might not be far from that becoming a reality! Though it’s not an Olympic sport yet, there are many people begging for that to happen.

There is even an article on Indystar that promotes the idea of cornhole being an Olympic sport.

If you live in the US, specifically in the Midwest, you know cornhole has gotten big over the years. You can’t go to an outdoor party or celebration without playing cornhole. It’s a tradition at this point!

For something as big as this, you’d expect it to be in the Olympics already. Curling is already in the Olympics. That means cornhole is definitely coming to the Olympics, right?

Well, it’s a lot more difficult than that. Curling and cornhole might be similar in scope, but where they differ is where their popularity originated. Curling actually originated in Scotland, and its first World Championship was called Scotch Cup which was held in Scotland in 1959.

From there, the appeal for curling became worldwide. Cornhole, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same status.

Cornhole has gotten really big in the Midwestern US over the years, but overseas popularity is only just now starting to grow for cornhole. It simply hasn’t grown near as much in other countries as it has in the US. In order to get cornhole in the Olympics, we need it to get popular in Europe as well.

Europe is the best candidate to make cornhole a worldwide success for these reasons:

  • Easy transportation meaning easy access to competitions and championships
  • High-speed internet connections meaning the sport can be easily streamed from mobile phones to build up momentum
  • Relatively high wealth to help support the growth of the sport

Another thing that makes Europe the perfect candidate for cornhole is how many independent countries there are in Europe. To be considered for the Olympics, cornhole needs to be played in 75 countries across 4 continents.

Well, if all countries in Europe catches on to cornhole, that’s 44 countries right there!! That would mean the goal of 75 countries would be over 50% completed with two continents, North America and Europe.

It might not be the next Olympics where we will see cornhole, but it could eventually happen! The earliest records of curling were during the late medieval times in Scotland, but it didn’t make it to the Olympics until 1924, so hang in there!

What are the Rules in a Cornhole Competition?

If you’re wanting to play cornhole, you’ve got to know how to play first! It’s pretty simple, but there are some specific rules that you have to follow.

Below are the rules and guidelines which you can also find by going to the American Cornhole Association’s website.

For starters, where you place cornhole boards is important as there are specific dimensions that must be followed. The court has to be a rectangular area that has a width of 8-10 feet with a minimum length of 40-45 feet.

Along with the two cornhole boards, there should be a designated pitcher’s box where the player must stay inside when pitching as well as the foul lines.

There are also some specific dimensions that must be followed for cornhole boards. They must be 47.5 to 48 inches long and 23.5 to 24 inches wide. It’s also a requirement that they are made of smooth plywood that is at least ½ an inch in thickness.

There are also many other requirements which you can find below.

  • In each cornhole board, the hole must be 6 inches in diameter, 9 inches from the top, and 12 inches from each side of the board edges.
  • The highest point of the board must be 12 inches from the ground/
  • The lowest point of the board should be 3-4 inches from the bottom to top.
  • No blemishes should be in the wood’s surface which would possibly disrupt play and influence the scores. The board should be sanded down to be very smooth.
  • A semi-gloss exterior latex paint is allowed which would allow the bags to slide, but it can’t be too slippery to avoid the bags sliding back down the board.

Here’s video showing how I built my cornhole boards, or check out How To Make Cornhole Boards for more.

The dimensions for the cornhole bags are 6.25”x6.25” with a .25” stitched seam on all sides. They should be made of something durable enough to handle the throwing around that will take place during a game.

They should also be filled with 2 cups of feed corn, and they should weigh about 14-16 ounces.

I suggest checking out How To Make Cornhole Bags where I show step by step with instruction and videos how to do it.

Now, let’s get to the actual rules of the game. If you’re at all familiar with sports, you would know what inning means. It’s essentially a play where, in cornhole, each player must throw all four of the bags. Once all players throw all of their bags, the inning ends.

In single cornhole matches, one player is at each side where they compete against each other until one of them wins. Below are a few rules and guidelines that each player must abide by during the game.

  • Both players must stay in their designated lane for the entirety of the game.
  • The game starts with the players at the headboard and they will alternate pitching bags until all bags have been pitched.
  • The players will walk to the end of their lane to collect scores, and then they will continue pitching to the other board.
  • There is a top and bottom of an inning which separates the first player’s pitchings from the second player’s pitchings.

Since there are single cornhole matches, it’s only appropriate that there are double cornhole matches as well. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but to explain it shortly, two teams of two players each compete until a team wins.

Below is a list of some rules and guidelines that you’d have to know if you were to ever compete in a double cornhole match.

  • Just like single matches, each team must stay in their designated lane for the entirety of the game.
  • The headboard players alternate pitching bags until they are all pitched.
  • The footboard players will take score and then resume pitching back to the other board.
  • The top of the inning will be completed as soon as the headboard players finish pitching while the bottom will be completed when the footboard players finish pitching.

As you can see, there’s actually quite a bit to learn about this seemingly simple game. If this article has truly caught your attention, consider being a professional cornhole player today!

Cornhole Championships and Competitions – Now You Know

Though you might not think of big, televised championships when thinking of cornhole, it’s actually quite the buzz in the US, specifically the Midwest. The sport is definitely growing though as more and more cornhole competitions are popping up in other countries. This helps the sport inch closer and closer to its Olympic debut!

Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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