Also known as cornhole, baggo, beanbag, corntoss has gone from being a tailgate event in the Midwest to a nationwide pastime with championship games covered on ESPN. It is also a favored activity at our retirement community.
The game has been played sporadically at our facility for at least five years. With increasing enthusiasm and a twice-yearly competition amongst four similar communities in the state, it has become a yearlong recreational activity. The accompanying commentary resembles that of professional sports.
The game can be played inside or out. The corntoss board is a 2‘X 4’sheet of ½” plywood with a 6” hole centered 9” from the top edge of the board. The board is supported by a 2” x 4” frame. The top of the board is propped up 12” from the ground. Two boards are positioned, opposite, facing each other 27” apart. The boards can be constructed in a home shop or purchased at a local sports outlet or online. The cost of two boards and eight beanbags is between $100.00 and $200.00. If they are built in a home workshop, it would still be best to purchase official bean bags.
Opposing players may compete as singles or doubles. Each “round” of play consists of opposing players alternately pitching four bags. Each thrown bag that goes through the 6” hole is awarded three points. Bags that remain anywhere on the board are awarded one point.
Official rules of the American Corntoss game can seem a bit arcane, but local rules can be applied to fit the location and players. For instance, we have shortened the distance between boards from 27’ to 20’ apart. We also allow players to “pitch” their bags from either side of the boards. Official “cancellation” scoring gives one team the difference, if any, between the larger and smaller score at the end of each “round”. A round is completed when one team or individual compiles 21 points. Our local scoring awards all points earned after each round. The first team to reach 31 is the winner.
Women and men compete on an equal basis. This makes the game a sport that can be a valuable social event for all people who choose to be involved. Youth such as grandchildren can play the game and, in some cases, can give a senior valuable pointers on technique.
Contributed by: Randy Trowbridge
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