Cornhole is a rite of passage for most college students. Sure, plenty of young co-eds played the game before embarking on their higher education journey. But cornhole is basically a prerequisite; you really shouldn’t try to graduate without mastering the game.
But truly mastering the game involves more than just tossing bags and keeping score.
The Cornhole Basics
If you are a cornhole newbie, here is a brief overview.
Cornhole is a bean bag toss game. It is also known as corn toss, bags, baggo, and soft horseshoes.
The game equipment revolves around two pieces: the boards and the bags. The boards are usually constructed out of wood. The back portion of the rectangular piece of plywood is elevated. A circular hole is cut through the upper portion, creating the target to toss the bags at.
Speaking of bags, you’ll need four per player. The bags are usually stuffed with dried corn kernels or beans. Since both players will be tossing at the same board, each participant should have unique bags (different colors, patterns, etc.).
Individual players can compete or competitors can form teams (two players to a team).
The scoring is as follows:
- A bag that passes through the hole earns three points. It can either be toss there, slide through after hitting the board first, or get knocked through by another bag.
- A bag that lands on the board but doesn’t make it through the hole earns one point.
- A bag that doesn’t land on the board earns zero points.
- The first player or team to reach (or exceed) 21 points wins.
Now that you have the basics under control, let’s look at some specific dos and don’ts that will make your college experience more enjoyable.
College Cornhole Dos
Here are some tips for getting the most out of this fabulous game.
Do consider your buying options carefully. You can either build or buy cornhole boards. There are pros and cons of each option.
You can build your own boards and sew some bags. This is the most economical option. However, you can only build your gear if you have the necessary tools. And for most college students, it is pretty inconvenient to do woodworking projects in the dorms.
If you choose this route, make sure you consider the cornhole board dimensions. If you don’t get the size right, you won’t be able to compete in sanctioned tournaments. Since the official cornhole board dimensions are real complicated, you’ll want to check them out carefully.
Buying might be a bit more expensive, but it certainly is the easier option. Plus, you can get professional artists to customize your cornhole boards. And, you’re guaranteed to get equipment that can be used in tournaments.
Which leads us to…
Playing in Tournaments
Do get involved. Take a look at your local activity calendar. Besides cornhole tournaments hosted by your college through the intramural department (which you really should sign up for), your city probably has tournaments you can join too. There might even be a league!
Plus, cornhole tournaments are usually hosted in conjunction with a charity fundraiser. Do some good for those around you.
Do customize your boards and bags. You are in college. Now is the perfect time to be unrepentantly obsessed with your school’s mascot. Put it all over your equipment.
Whether you let a pro customize your boards or you do it yourself, there are tons of ways to show your school spirit.
College Cornhole Don’ts
Cornhole is a pretty great sport. But there are some etiquette things you should be aware of.
Don’t be mismatched on the cornhole court. This has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with alcohol consumption.
It is almost impossible to detach cornhole from alcohol (especially beer). That being said, not everyone enjoys an adult beverage while playing. Don’t mix serious competitors with those who are more interested in drinking. Both parties will be disappointed. Remember, if you are drinking, be smart about it.
Don’t forget about cornhole. There are lots of clubs and organizations that are looking to raise awareness for their cause. Let cornhole do the talking.
Host a tournament and the participants will come flocking. Cornhole is the perfect way to introduce new issues, topics, or ideas with the unknowing population.
Plus, cornhole is a great icebreaker. If you are looking for a way to make individuals feel at ease, pull out the cornhole boards. This might be a good way to get freshman to feel comfortable around upperclassmen.
Think Outside the Box
Don’t let cornhole’s simplicity get you down. Yes, cornhole is an amazing simple game to play. That’s what makes it awesome. Anyone of any skill level can play — and enjoy it.
However, the simplicity offers another great feature — the ability to customize the gameplay. No, you don’t want to mess with the particulars when you are in a serious competition situation. But there are plenty of other times when a little creativity is totally appropriate.
For example, set your boards up at the end of a slip-n-slide. Slide down and toss the bags from the prone position. Or, create giant cornhole boards and launch pillows at them instead of bags. Combine cornhole and keep-away for the ultimate defensive game.
Really, the opportunities are endless.
Go Play Right Now!
Cornhole is a great college experience. If you haven’t picked up a bag yet, now is the perfect time. Grab some friends and hit the cornhole court.
Be sure to come back and tell us about your experience!