A College Student's Guide to Cornhole

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Bean bag toss, corn toss, baggo — call it what you will. Just know you’re going to want to practice this traditional tailgating sport before college football begins in the fall.

Whether you’re a proud Buckeye of Ohio State, an Ole Miss Rebel or a supporter of any other college team, you can expect to play the game at least once. Here’s everything you need to know to be great at cornhole:

The dress code

Cornhole itself doesn’t have a dress code, but you can be sure anyone you play with at a college tailgate is going to be dressed appropriately. Wear your team colors, and remember that the more paint you can apply to your face and body, the better. Tailgate dress codes also require having either a beer or some sort of snack in your hand at all times.

The setup

There are two cornhole boards, and they should be set up across from each other. In regulated courts, there is a distance of exactly 27 feet between the two boards, although you’ll have to cater to your arena (read: parking lot). Each team gets four cornhole bags, two per person.

The game

The goal of the game? To get your beanbags into the hole of the other team’s cornhole board. If you toss and miss the hole, you want to at least land your bags onto the board.

The game is broken down by innings, and here’s how they work: One team starts, and the two players take turns tossing their bags across the court. The other team follows. The inning is over when all bags have been tossed onto the court.

The win

The scoring breakdown is pretty simple. If you get a bag into the hole — a hole-in — you get 3 points. If you get a bag on the board (without it having touched the ground first), you get 1 point. The first team to 21 points or more gets the big W.

Optional canceling-out rule: During an inning, hole-ins cancel each other out and single points cancel each other out. So, if one team got two hole-ins and the other got one, the score would be 3-0. Simple enough.

Remember, as with college football, cornhole is all about having fun. Just kidding — it’s about winning, so practice up, man!