GO Cornhole Rules

Court Layout:

Cornhole Field
  1. Dimensions - A GO Cornhole court is a level, rectangular area that is 8 ft wide by 35 ft long (with a recommended area of 10 ft wide by 45 ft long to comfortably play and view the game). The court should consist of two cornhole platforms, designated pitchers boxes, and foul lines. A north-south setting is recommended for outdoor courts to minimize the effects of the sun.
  2. Pitcher's Box - The pitcher's box is the rectangle (4 ft by 3 ft) at each end of the court, parallel and on both sides of GO Cornhole platforms. Each GOcornholer must remain in the pitchers box while pitching the corn bag.
  3. Multiple Courts - To eliminate distraction and safely separate activity, GO Cornhole courts adjacent to each other are a minimum of 10 feet apart. A greater distance (at least 12 feet) is preferable.
  4. Foul Lines - There are two sets of foul lines: (1) open adult play and (2) junior play. The open adult play foul lines are defined as an imaginary line, 30 ft. from the beginning of the hole, in the opposite GO Cornhole platform. For GO Cornhole sets that meet GCH specifications, this foul line will be parallel to the front of the cornhole platform. The junior play foul lines are defined as an imaginary line, 21 ft. from the beginning of the hole, in the opposite cornhole platform. See the diagram above.
  5. Covered Or Indoor Courts - The regulations for covered and indoor GO Cornhole courts are exactly the same, with the additional stipulation that they have a minimum 12 foot vertical clearance to the lowest possible obstruction.

Pitching Distances

  1. Adults - All open adult GOcornholers pitch from the pitcher's box, behind the 27 foot foul lines. Physically impaired adults and seniors may, if agreed by all GOcornholers, observe the 21 foot foul lines.
  2. Juniors - Junior GOcornholers (12 yrs of age and under) may pitch from a 21 foot foul line, or if they choose anywhere in between the adult (27') foul line and junior (21') foul line.

GO Cornhole Court Preparation and Maintenance

  1. Court Maintenance - Every effort shall be made to keep the GO Cornhole play surface in perfect playing condition. GO Cornhole courts should be free of anything that might distract a GOcornholer during play. Each GOcornholer is responsible for making sure the court is in good playing condition prior to starting the match. During a match, a GOcornholer shall not be allowed to alter the GO Cornhole court in any manner without the consent of the opponent or a tournament official.
  2. Distractions During Play - Every effort shall be made to keep from distracting GOcornholers during GO Cornhole play. Drinks and other personal belongings should be placed behind the GO Cornhole platform, in designated beverage holders or other secure locations, to keep from distracting GOcornholers.

Play Of The Game

  1. Singles Or Doubles Play - GO Cornhole can be played as doubles or singles. In doubles play two GOcornholers are partners against another team of two GOcornholers; in singles play a GOcornholer competes against another GOcornholer. In doubles play, one member of each team pitches from one GO Cornhole platform and the other members pitch from the other cornhole platform. In singles play, both GOcornholers pitch from the same cornhole platform. All other rules are basically the same for doubles or singles play.
  2. Value Of The Corn Bag
    1. Corn Bag In-The-Hole - A corn bag in-the-hole (or Hole-In) is a corn bag which is thrown through the hole in the GO Cornhole platform or otherwise comes to rest inside the GO Cornhole platform (knocked in by another player or an act of God). A corn bag in-the-hole has a value of three points.
    2. Corn Bag In-The-Count - A corn bag that is not in-the-hole but lands with any portion of the corn bag resting on the GO Cornhole platform is in-the-count. A corn bag in-the-count has a value of one point. For a corn bag to be in-the-count, it must not touch the ground or any other portion of the court prior to coming to rest on the GO Cornhole platform. If a corn bag touches the ground before coming to rest on the GO Cornhole platform, it is a foul and must be removed from the GO Cornhole platform prior to the continuation of play.
    3. Corn Bag Out-Of-The-Count - A corn bag which comes to rest anywhere except in-the-count or in-the-hole is out-of-the-count and has no scoring value. A corn bag which is declared to be a foul is considered to be out-of-the-count (no matter where it comes to rest) and must be removed from the GO Cornhole surface prior to the continuation of play.
  3. Delivery Of Corn Bags
    1. In doubles play, the first side of GOcornholers alternate pitching corn bags until they have thrown all four corn bags, then the remaining GOcornholers (pitching from the other cornhole platform) continue to alternate in the same manner until all four corn bags are delivered and the inning completed. Delivery in singles play is handled in the same manner (but from the same platform) with each of the two GOcornholers alternating their pitching of corn bags until all, four, corn bags have been pitched completing the inning.
    2. For teams of 3 or 4 players, teams must set a rotation in which 2 teammates alternate throwing from their end, every other inning.   This rotation cannot be changed during the course of the game.
    3. A GOcornholer may deliver the corn bag from either the left or right pitchers box (see above) but, in any one inning, all corn bags must be delivered from the same pitcher's box. A GOcornholer shall pitch the entire tournament with the same hand or arm, except in the case of a medical emergency.
    4. Each individual GOcornholer shall deliver the corn bag within 20 seconds. The time shall start when the GOcornholer steps onto the pitcher's box with the intention of pitching.
  4. Pitching Rotation During The Game - The GOcornholer who scored in the preceding inning shall pitch first in the next inning. If neither pitcher scored, the GOcornholer who pitched second (last) in the preceding inning shall pitch first in the next inning.
  5. Position Of GOcornholers During Delivery
    1. The pitcher must maintain constant contact with the designated pitcher's box (See diagram above) during the entire address and release of the corn bag. The only exception is for junior and physically challenged GOcornholers, who must simply remain completely behind the 21 ft. foul line when the corn bag is released. The opponent, while not pitching, shall stand behind the GO Cornhole platform at least 2 feet to the rear of the GOcornholer who is pitching. If a "short-distance" GOcornholer (a junior or physically challenged GOcornholer) pitches first, they must return to the GO Cornhole platform if the opponent or any GOcornholer on an adjacent court is a "full-distance" pitcher.
    2. If both GOcornholers use the same pitchers box to deliver their corn bags, the GOcornholer pitching first should cross over to the other pitchers box in front of the GO Cornhole platform and then move to the proper position. (see #1 above) As the first GOcornholer is crossing in front, the second GOcornholer should be crossing over in back and mounting the pitchers box from the rear. If both GOcornholers use opposite pitchers boxes, the GOcornholer who pitches first should step directly back to the proper position described in #1 of this section.
  6. Foul Corn Bags - A foul corn bag is a corn bag which was delivered in non-compliance with one of the rules of the game. It scores as a corn bag out-of-the-count and is to be removed from the GO Cornhole court before any more corn bags are pitched. Corn bags already in the court that have been knocked into foul territory by a foul corn bag should be returned to the scoring area into it's prior position. Additionally, corn bags that are in-the-count, but are knocked into the hole by a foul corn bag must be returned to their original scoring position.
    1. The following are rule violations that must be spotted and called by a GOcornholer or assigned judge. The penalty is to declare the corn bag a foul corn bag, which requires the corn bags to be removed from the court prior to resuming play.
      1. Any corn bag pitched when the GOcornholer has made contact with or crossed over the foul line before the corn bag is released.
      2. Except as provided above, any corn bag pitched when the GOcornholer has started or stepped completely outside the pitching box before releasing the corn bag.
      3. Any corn bag not delivered within the twenty second time limit.
      4. A corn bag pitched from a different pitchers box than the first corn bag.
      5. Any corn bag that contacted the court or the ground before coming to rest on the GO Cornhole platform.
      6. Any corn bag which struck a previously defined object such as a tree limb, wire, indoor court ceiling, etc.
    2. Any corn bag that leaves a GOcornholer's hand once the final forward swing of the delivery process has started shall count as a pitched corn bag. A corn bag that is accidentally dropped by a GOcornholer before the final forward swing has started shall not be considered foul and may be picked up and pitched.
  7. Protests - If a GOcornholer desires to make a protest, the protest shall be made to the judge or tournament official at the time the problem occurs. The tournament judge shall make the final ruling on all protests.

Length Of The Game

  1. Point Limits - The GO Cornhole match shall be played until the first team of GOcornholers reaches (or exceeds) 21 points at the completion of an inning. The winning team does not need to win by two or more points.
  2. The Inning Must Be finished - The GO Cornhole match can never end in the middle of an inning. Thus, if a team that pitches first reaches or exceeds 21 points, the game cannot end until the other team is allowed to pitch all of their corn bags and the inning is completed.
  3. Ties At The End Of An Inning - If the GO Cornhole match is tied at 21 or more at the end of an inning, play continues until one team achieves a higher score at the end of an inning and wins the match.  

Scoring

  1. Cancellation Scoring - In cancellation scoring, corn bags in-the-hole and corn bags in-the-count pitched by opponents during an inning (or half of an inning in doubles play) cancel each other out. Only non-cancelled corn bags are counted in the score for the inning (or half of an inning in doubles play).
    1. Corn Bags In-The-Hole - Hole-ins (HI's) cancel each other. A corn bag in-the-hole of one GOcornholer shall cancel a corn bag in-the-hole of his competitor and those corn bags shall not score any points. Any non-cancelled corn bag in-the-hole scores three (3) points each.
    2. Corn Bags In-The-Count - Corn bags in-the-count cancel each other. A corn bag in-the-count of one GOcornholer shall cancel a corn bags in-the-count of the opponent and those corn bags shall not score any points. Any non-cancelled corn bags in-the-count score one (1) point each.
  2. Score Calculation - Cancellation scoring may be easily calculated as follows:
    1. The points of both GOcornholers are calculated for hole-ins and in-the-count corn bags.
    2. The points of the lowest scoring GOcornholer for hole-in corn bags are subtracted from the points of the highest scoring GOcornholer for hole-in corn bags. The result is the hole-in score for the highest scoring GOcornholer. The hole-in score for the lowest scoring GOcornholer is zero.
    3. The points of the lowest scoring GOcornholer for in-the-count corn bags are subtracted from the points of the highest scoring GOcornholer for in-the-count corn bags. The result is the in-the-count score for the highest scoring GOcornholer. The in-the-count score for the lowest scoring GOcornholer is zero.
    4. The hole-in score for each GOcornholer is added to the in-the-count score for each GOcornholer to derive the recorded score for the inning (or half of an inning in doubles play).
    5. In this manner hole-in and in-the-count corn bags from each GOcornholer or team of GOcornholers are cancelled out and only non-cancelled corn bags are counted in the score.
  3. Recording The Score - In tournament play, the Score Card shall be the official record of the game and will be used to submit the Official Tournament Scoring Summaries to GO Cornhole Tournament Officials.
    1. GOcornholers are encouraged to pay close attention to the score at all times, and the Score Card must be submitted to Tournament Officials in a timely manner once a game is completed. 
    2. The Scorecard must include the Team Names, Court Number, Time and the Final Score of both teams.
    3. 21 points is the highest point total a winning team can receive for each game.  The winning team's score is allowed to exceed 21 points, but for tie-breaker reasons the winning team's official score is 21 points.
    4. If a question or discrepancy occurs regarding the correct score, the GOcornholer(s) may approach the Tournament Officials between innings to rectify the situation. If the discrepancy cannot be corrected to the satisfaction of both GOcornholer teams, a tournament judge shall be called to make the final decision.
  4. Tournament "Pool" Play Tie-Breakers - For tournaments that include "pool" play, if 2 or more teams in a respective "pool" are tied at the end of pool play to determine the team that advances to the championship elimination rounds, the following tie breakers will be applied:
    1. HEAD-TO-HEAD in which the "tied" team with the best record against the other respective "tied" teams wins the tie and advances.  If there is still a tie after applying the HEAD-TO-HEAD tie-breaker, then the #2 tie-breaker is applied.
    2. TOTAL POINT DIFFERENTIAL for all games played against each other in the respective pool will break the tie.  The team with the highest TOTAL POINT DIFFERENTIAL wins the tie and advances.

Appropriate GOcornholer Conduct

  1. On The Courts - A GOcornholer, while in competition, shall make no disturbing noises or movements that would distract the opponent or competitors on adjacent courts. The first offense shall call for a warning from the judge or tournament official. A second offense shall call for a forfeiture of the game being played. Any further offenses shall call for a forfeiture of all games.
  2. Off The Courts - Any GOcornholer who indulges in heckling, unfair rooting, or any other form of unsportsmanlike conduct toward any GOcornholer or tournament official, shall be subject to expulsion from the tournament and the tournament site. This covers any inappropriate behavior (including profane or abusive language) in, or around, the court area. The GO Cornholer shall also be subject to a one-year suspension from GO Cornhole.

NOTE: Rules are subject to change at any time at the discretion of GO Kickball LLC.