ACL Player Ratings

Playing cornhole is fun. It is a game that is easy to play but, as with any sport, requires a high level of skill to master. The American Cornhole League has a rating system to help organize and grow the game of cornhole. The rating system allows players to know where they currently stand and gives them some understanding of what they need to work on if they want to improve.

The rating system can be used for leagues, tournaments and events to group players of similar skill level. As the ACL collects match data on players, it will create certain algorithms to refine the rating system and integrate statistical data in the player rating evaluation process. No rating is permanent. It can be adjusted by the player and the ACL as the player’s skill level changes.

The current ACL Player Rating Levels are:

  • 1 Bagger – This player has limited to no experience with the game. There is very little control over where the bag is going and the bag often misses the board. This player should only compete in social / backyard events and there is nothing wrong with playing casual games with friends and family to start the improvement process. (Dekaround Range: 0 – 30 points)

  • 2 Bagger – This player has a feel for the distance needed to toss the bag, but is erratic in getting the bag to consistently hit and stay on the board. Typically, this level of player is in the beginning stages of developing a consistent throwing motion that can be repeated. Player should play in the social division and start challenging themselves by playing against Competitive level players. (Dekaround Range: 31 – 55 points)

  • 3 Bagger – This player has started to develop some consistency when tossing the bag. They have a basic understanding of game strategy but have yet to master all the different types of throws including the airmail shot needed to excel and compete at the higher levels. Player should play Competitive level events knowing that they may struggle at first, but work towards getting better. (Dekaround Range: 56 – 70)

  • 4 Bagger – This player fully understands game strategy, but may struggle with consistency. At times this player looks like they can beat anyone, but then in a subsequent game (or frame) can struggle. Player is at a high Competitive level and should work towards getting better by challenging Premier level players. (Dekaround Range: 71 – 90)

  • Premier – • This player can and wants to compete against anyone. This player can execute sliding the bag and airmailing the bag as needed. Player fully understands game strategy and likely plays and practices on a regular basis. (Dekaround Range: 91 – 120)

  • Elite – This player level can only be achieved through competition. It is solely determined based on ACL accomplishments. More details about this level will be announced once it is established.

What is a Dekaround?

Dekaround is a basic skill test for any individual. The player will throw 10 rounds, 4 bags per round, and total up the score from each round. The player must alternate throwing from each side of the board, this is referred to as going down and back in the same lane. If the Player throws the first round form the right side of the board, the player will walk down to score, collect the bags and then will throw back down from the left side of the board. The maximum score per round is 12 points and the maximum overall score is 120 points. The suggested Dekaround ranges in the player levels above above serve as a guideline to help players self-rate.

How to Establish a Rating with the ACL

  • Become a Member – You can join the ACL through the ACL Cornhole App available in the Apple and Android stores or through the website at Becoming a Member supports the growth of the game and allows you to compete in competitions that use the rating system. Check the details to learn about other special benefits for Members

  • Throw 10 Dekarounds (optional) – You can score and store a Dekaround through the ACL Cornhole App or enter scores in through player profile on the website. Your average Dekaround score will automatically be calculated and displayed. If you enter more than 10 Dekarounds, the Dekaround average will be based on the most recent 10 rounds.


How can the rating system be used?

The rating system can be used for a wide variety of competitions. When the rating is being used for a competition, players will typically be allowed to play up or participate in open events, but will not be able to play down in lower level competitions. A great way to use the rating system is for blind draws and other team events where players can be segmented based on their rating.

Why are players allowed to rate themselves?

Self-rating systems have been successfully established by other sports organizations for many years. Most notably, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) has proven that a self-rating can work for grouping players in organized competitions. In addition, the rating system plays a key role in player growth and development. The rating system will continue to be tweaked and improved as the sport grows.

Can a rating be challenged?

Yes. Any player my challenge a player rating by contacting us. Include the name, location, current rating, suggested rating and rationale for the change.

Why should I throw 10 Dekarounds?

There is no pure scientific method to determine a player rating. Scoring multiple Dekarounds can show the ACL and the player the current level of consistency and basic skill level. We have found through tests that taking an average of multiple rounds thrown gives a pretty good indication of current skill level. In addition, it is a great way to organize individual practice sessions to work on different types of throws.

How does the rating system account for in-game strategy and execution?

To achieve the higher player levels, the in-game strategy becomes a more important factor than simple skill level. The ability to develop and execute in-game strategy is what often what separates the 3 Baggers, 4 Baggers and the Elite. The more players play against different people in different types of competitions, the more that an individual and others can get a good subjective assessment.

Why not require Directors to rate players?

Given the current development of the sport, there are simply not enough independent Directors to rate players accurately. It would be impossible and unfair to players that want to establish a rating to require that at this time. Other sports, like tennis which has many teaching pros in cities all over the United States, successfully allow players to self-rate. We encourage players to seek local directors or top players to get an opinion from them on where they should be rated.

Why is a rating system important?

All sports have player levels and statistics. It is a foundation for growth and sport development.

Any questions please contact us