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What is Cornhole and How to Play it?

Jeremy Jordan

Posted on November 28 2017

—A Good Game to Share With Drinks and Friends

 

As we often like to point out, some of life’s best moments involve drinks and friends. Some of these best moments also include games. In fact, some games seem to be specifically designed for enjoying some drinks while enhancing camaraderie with some friendly competition.

 

Think about it…. Can you imagine shooting pool without a fine ale or lager in hand? Ever been to a pool hall that doesn’t serve drinks?

 

Bar Games

Or, how about darts? It’s certainly a popular game in America, where it’s generally played in accompaniment with drinks, but for Great Britain and commonwealth countries it’s almost considered a national pastime, and one distinctly tied to drinking. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a pub or tavern in Great Britain that doesn’t have a dart board.

 

Horseshoes? Yeah, we’ve never pitched a round of horseshoes absent a few drinks.

 

Chess…? Well, not really; though a heated game might call for a tumbler of single malt.

 

Foosball and beer? Check! Shuffleboard…? Check!

And there’s cornhole, which is perfectly suited for playing while drinking with friends. In fact, cornhole has emerged as tremendously popular game to play while tailgating or during backyard BBQs. And both of these pastimes are certainly conducive to sharing good times with good friends, along with some fine spirits and hearty beer.

And that’s why the Southern Drinking Club will soon be selling custom-made cornhole boards —“Good people, having good times” while enjoying some drinks and fostering camaraderie with some friendly competition.

 And at this juncture, we realize that we’d better explain exactly what cornhole is, as some folks may not be familiar with the game. Especially those folks who live up in the far north where the warm season only lasts about about five weeks, you know, those yankee states of Maine, New Hampshire,Vermont and the like.

 OG's playing Parlor Quoits

 

We’d like to claim that cornhole is a Southern invention, but must confess that it appears to have evolved out of the game of quoits, which was reportedly first played by the ancient Greeks. “Parlor quoits” became quite popular in Europe during the 1800s, and the game was patented in 1883. The original patent holder sold the rights to a U.S. toy manufacturer who marketed a variation of the game called “Faba Baga.” That official game never really took off, but Americans had likely been playing similar games all along, what with historical accounts of various bean bag-style games being played over the decades.

 

The origin of cornhole that we know emerged in Cincinnati, Ohio at the start of this decade, and quickly became a regional fad, which then spread across the country. As there were no standardized rules of play, Cincinnati resident Ryan Whetstone established the Cornhole Game Association (now known as the American Cornhole Association) and developed official rules based on responses he received from an online survey.

 

Cornhole Boards

 

Similar to horseshoes, cornhole involves pitching items at a target some 30 feet away. But rather than getting a ringer, participants score points by pitching a corn-filled bean bag near or through a six-inch hole on an angled two-foot by four foot board. A bag through the hole nets the player three points, while a bag that successfully lands on the board is worth one point. The game is organized by innings, and players or teams throw four bags per inning, and the winner is generally the first player or team to reach 21. Despite official rules, there are variations on scoring and the number of points needed to win a match.

 

Tossing Bags

 

Naturally there are fouls, such as crossing the “foul line” or dropping the bag, but given its connection to drinking, the addition of drinking-related fouls and penalties is fairly common. And, as with many games, players have developed their own cornhole lingo to describe play and the cornhole culture. Some of our favorites include:

  • Cowpie—a bag that lands on the board for a

  • Drano—a bag that falls through the hole for three

  • Grasshopper—a bag that bounces of the ground to land on the board for a

  • Screaming Eagle—a bag that goes beyond the board without touching it.

  • Sally—a weakly tossed bag that lands in front of the

  • Hooker—a bag that hits the boards and hooks around a blocking bag to go into the

  • Cornucopia (aka “Cornholio”)—when a player scores four in-the-holes in one inning.

  • Shotgun— throwing all of the bags at

  • Cornfusion—When players or teams can’t agree on the inning’s

 

Drano!

So now that we’ve peaked your interest and you known what cornhole is, get out there and play. Practice those Dranos, and you’ll be scoring a cornholio in no time. And, keep an eye on our website for the introduction of our customized cornhole sets. No doubt that you’ll want one to entertain your friends at BBQs and during tailgate season.

 

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