Cornhole Rules & Regulations

Please ensure that you read and understand the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules. They can be found here.

Houston Sports & Social Club Cornhole Rules



There is no maximum number of players allowed on a cornhole team roster; however players must be registered with Houston Sports & Social Club and must sign the Houston Sports & Social Club waiver to be able to participate. Please refer to the Houston Sports & Social Club General Rules for rules regarding roster adjustments and additional details regarding waivers.



Please refer to the General Rules for details regarding player eligibility. Houston Sports & Social Club staff may require players to verify their eligibility at their discretion. If a player is ruled ineligible, the offending team will be assessed a loss for that game.



Houston Sports & Social Club expects all participants to play with the highest level of sportsmanship. Rude or demeaning behavior to Houston SSC or venue staff, the opposing team, your own team members, and/or spectators will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in that player being ejected from the game. An ejection may result in further suspension from participation in current and/or future Houston Sports & Social Club sports. An ejected player is required to leave the premises immediately. Refusal to leave the premises may result in a team forfeit and/or suspension.


Any disputes or complaints regarding a sportsmanship or ejection can be addressed with the league after the day of play in which the incident took place. On the day of the incident, the decision made by HoustonSSC or venue staff will be considered final and disputes will not be addressed by the league.



The minimum number of players required to play a legal game is 1 player. All games will have a 5 minute grace period if a team does not have 1 player present. If a team does not possess the minimum amount of players to start once the grace period has expired, the opposing team will receive a win for the first game of the match. If the team does not possess the minimum number of players by 15 minutes past game time, a forfeit will be assessed. (Please see section F below for details regarding forfeit fines)



If a team does not have the minimum number of players by 15 minutes past game time, a $50 forfeit fine will be assessed and given to the opposing team in the form of a bar tab. If a team e-mails by 8am the day of the game for weekday leagues or 4pm Friday for weekend leagues, stating that they will not be able to field a team, no fine will be assessed. This will allow notifications to reach the opposing team’s members and will allow the opposing coach to inform his team of the impending forfeit.

Please refer to the General Rules for additional details regarding forfeit fines.

TOURNAMENTS - No forfeit fines in tournaments.


All cornhole equipment will be provided by HoustonSSC. 


TOURNAMENTS - In some tournaments, competitive divisions will be BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags), and will be noted as such in the tournament signup details. In a BYOB format, all bags must be ACL approved bags. Teams must challenge bags before a game starts if they feel a set of bags is not ACL approved or has been modified in some way. 


There are 8 bags provided, 4 for each team. Captains will play rock, paper, scissors (best 2 out of 3), with the winner choosing which team tosses first. Teams alternate throwing first each set, i.e. the team that tosses first to start the first set will toss last to start the second set. 


Partners will face each other at opposite board sets so as to not provide an advantage to one team or another. Once a set has started, partners must remain on their same side of the cornhole board for the entire set.


Teams may have up to 2 pitchers on each end, however they must rotate every toss throughout the set. Teams can switch pitchers between sets. If a player arrives late, they must wait until the set is over to enter the game, unless the captain of the opposing team consents to them joining in the middle of the set.


Teams will alternate pitches until all bags are thrown. Once all 8 bags are thrown, teams will agree upon the scoring (as prescribed below) and will update the scoreboard. If there is a scoring dispute, the league coordinator should be pulled in for a ruling prior to the bags being moved.


Players must stay behind the foul line when pitching. The foul line is defined as the imaginary line that runs horizontally from the front edge of the board.


The team that scores points will toss first in the next frame. If nobody scores, the order will remain the same, i.e. the team that tossed first in the prior frame will toss first again.


Play will continue until a team reaches 21 points (or more) first. The team that reaches 21 points will win the set.


Matches are best 2 out of 3 sets. All 3 sets will be played to 21 points.


TOURNAMENTS - Scoring formats will vary depending on the tournament. In most cases, qualifying round games will be 1 set to 21 and Elmiination Round games will be best 2 out of 3 sets to 21.  If a match is tied after the first 2 sets, a 3rd set tiebreaker will be played. 



Bag “In the Hole” - 3 points will be awarded for a bag in the hole, which is defined as a bag which thrown through the hole in the platform or otherwise comes to rest inside the platform either by being knocked in by another player’s bag or an act of God).


Bag “In the Count” - 1 point will be awarded for a bag in the count, which is defined as a bag that has any portion resting on the platform. If a bag touches the ground and then comes to rest on the platform, it will be considered a foul and must be removed from the board immediately and no points will be awarded.


Bag “Out of the Count” – 0 points will be awarded for a bag out of the count, which is defined as a bag that comes to rest anywhere except “in the count” or “in the hole”. A foul bag will be considered to be “out of the count” and must be removed from the court immediately.


Cancellation scoring will be in effect, i.e. the score recorded at the end of each frame will be the difference in the points between the 2 teams.


For example if Team 1 makes 2 bags “in the hole” for a total of 6 points and Team 2 makes 2 bags “in the count” for a total of 2 points, the result would be Team 1 scoring 4 total points (6 – 2 = 4).



A foul bag is a bag that is delivered in non-compliance with the rules of the game. All foul bags are considered “out of the count” and must be removed from play immediately. If a foul bag contacts any bags that are “in the count”, those bags will be replaced at their original positions, even if the bag is “in the count” and is knocked “in the hole” by the foul bag. Foul bags will be assessed in the following instances:

  1. Any bag not delivered within 20 seconds of a player’s turn beginning.
  2. Any bag that contacts the ground.
  3. A player crosses the foul line on the toss.
  4. A player tosses out of turn.


TOURNAMENTS - Any rules not addressed here will default to ACL rules.




Playoff seedings will be determined by the best overall records. In the event that 2 teams are tied with the same record, head-to-head matchups will determine higher seedings whenever possible. When head-to-head matchups cannot clearly determine a higher seed, or when 3 or more teams are tied, tiebreakers will be determined in the following order:

1)    Head-to-head matchups (for 2 way ties when possible, described above)

2)    Highest team set differentials for the season

3)    Highest team total sets won

4)    Lowest team total sets lost

5)    Highest team Power Index

6)    Coin Flip