ACL Rules

  • For competitive play, place a set of cornhole boards 27 feet apart from front edge to front edge. Beginners, juniors and recreational players may want to start at a shorter distance. We recommend decreasing the distance in three foot increments to find a comfortable beginning playing distance
  • There are 4 bags per set. 2 sets of different colors are needed to play singles or doubles
  • The front of the board represents the foul line. Players may not step in front of the board or behind the board. Players must remain within three feet of their side of the board


  • Bag on Board = 1 point
  • Bag through Hole = 3 points
  • Bags that hit the ground prior to landing on the board or going into the hole do not count
  • Any bag hanging off the board and touching the ground does not count
  • Any bag hanging in the hole only counts as 1 point
  • Cancellation scoring is used at the end of each round. After all 8 bags have been thrown; the score is calculated based on the bags that remain on the board and have gone in the hole. If Team A has 4 points and Team B has 3 points, Team A will get 1 point
  • A game is played to 21+. There is no win by 2 or bust rule for going over 21


  • Coin toss takes all – The player that wins the coin toss choses the initial side of board to throw from and whether to start out throwing first or second
  • Players will alternate throwing their 4 bags down to the board on the other end
  • Throwing out of turn or outside the throwing box is a foul. The bag that was thrown when the foul occurred does not count and is immediately removed from play.
  • In Singles, once the first round is completed, players will walk down to score the round, stay on the same side and then throw back for the next round. This means that if Player A throws down from the right side of the board in the first round, Player A will be throwing back from the left side of the board in the second round
  • In Doubles, partners stand on the opposite side from each other. This means that one player from Team A will throw from the right side of the board on one end and the partner will be throwing from the left side of the board on the other end

These rules serve as a basic guideline and mirror how we run our tournaments. There are many variations that are played among friends and family. If you are unsure about the rules of a recreational game or tournament, make sure you ask the person in charge before you start playing.

If you have any questions, issues with playing conditions or concerned about equipment, raise it prior to start playing. Nothing can be done after the fact.

BAG POLICY for the 2017 - 2018 Season

View List of ACL Approved Bag Manufacturers

The ACL has established the parameters for what is an acceptable competitive cornhole bag. The ACL approves and promotes Bag Manufacturers that are acceptable for playing in any ACL Regional, Conference and National Events. Players will only be able to play with bags on this list that are stamped with a clearly defined Bag Manufacturer Logo and remain within specs. Approved bags will be available for players if they do not have approved bags. All bags are subject to inspection at all Regional, Conference and National events.


  • Length: Bags should measure 6" x 6" when laid flat - accepted tolerance is 5.75" – 6.25". Bags over or under accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
  • Weight: Bags should weigh 16 ounces – accepted tolerance is 15.5 ounces – 16.25 ounces. Bags over or under accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
  • Thickness: Bags should measure 1.25" - accepted tolerance is 1.125" to 1.5". Bags under or over accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
  • Outside Material may be anything that does not damage or create residue on the board
  • Inside Material MUST be plastic resin only. No metal or foreign objects including but not limited to copper, lead, aluminum, rocks, BBs etc. Plastic resin is the only acceptable form of fill for bags. A bag with any material other than what is acceptable will not pass inspection.
  • Bag Manufacturers MUST be able to provide bags all of one color for players to purchase
  • Bags MUST have a clear visible logo; Bags with faded or missing logos are not acceptable and will not pass inspection.
  • Bags must NOT have loose threading of more than 1/8th of an inch from its seam. Loose threading can be grounds for bags not passing inspection.
  • Alteration of Bags in any form will NOT be tolerated. An altered bag is any bag changed from its original state when purchased including stitching holes, making new seams, gluing, etc. Any bag that appears to be altered from its original state will not pass inspection and may be subject to further penalties.


Players playing in ACL Regional, Conference and National Events will need to play with bags from one of the approved manufacturers. The bags must be stamped with a logo that is visible and the bags must remain within spec at the time of play. Players are responsible and accountable for their bags remaining within spec. The Bring Your Own Bag Policy is mandatory for Regional, Conference and National Directors for the entire season.

Players have the option of inspecting opposing player’s bags prior to playing their match. A player may request to inspect and/or toss an opponent’s bag prior to a match. A player has the option of asking the Tournament Director to inspect the opponent’s bag prior to a match. If the players do not agree on acceptable bags prior to a match, the Tournament Director will make the final decision on whether or not the bags are acceptable and may replace a player’s bags with approved tournament bags. Once a match starts, the bags are deemed to be acceptable and the result of the match will stand regardless of proof in the future that the bags did not conform to the current policy.

Players that place in the prize money at ACL Events are subject to a bag inspection prior to collecting prize money. While the results of the event may not change, if a player violates the bag policy or has altered approved manufacturer bags in any manner, then that player will forfeit the prize money and be subject to additional disciplinary action. All decisions by the Tournament Director will be final.

Players must throw matching bags of same type and color (sticky sides match and slick sides match but both sides do not have to be all one color.) Players will not be allowed to throw bags of different colors or types. Example a player throws 2 Cheetah bags and 2 Reynolds bags or a player throws 2 bags that are blue and 2 that are red. Mismatched bags will not be allowed in any ACL events.

Bags must be distinguishable between opponents. On ACL National Broadcasts, bags used must have a primary color on both sides of the bag. As an example, Cheetah bags may have a primary color of orange with its black lines and logo infused on the sticky side of the bag. Orange cloth with black lines on white suede with logo on the sticky side WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE. If player A wins the coin toss and chooses Orange Bags, then player B must play with a distinguishable color from Orange. For non-broadcast matches, players must agree among themselves if their bags are distinguishable. For broadcast and non-broadcast matches, any dispute will be resolved by the Tournament Director. If the Tournament Director and players cannot reach an immediate resolution to a dispute, the Tournament Director will provide distinguishable bags to BOTH Players.

This policy will be strictly enforced by all Directors beginning January 1, 2018. Manufacturers that would like to be added to the approved list may contact the ACL and request the ACL Bag Manufacturer Form. The Manufacturer List will be updated at the end of September 2017 for the 2017-2018 Season

Any questions, please visit the Contact Us page and send your questions