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14 Potential Downsides of Cornhole (Equipment, Monotonous,…) 

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Cornhole is among the most popular outdoor games in the US. It’s commonplace for those hosting family barbecues or having fun with friends outdoors. But, it’s not all rosy: the game has several drawbacks.

In this article, we’ll discuss several downsides and suggest possible ways to make the game more fun, so read on to learn more.

14 drawbacks of the cornhole:

1. Bulky Boards

I should first cover the basics of the game, so you understand why its bulky boards are a turn-off for many.

Basics of Cornhole

It would help if you had the following to play the game:

  • An angled board measuring 24×48 inch (600×1200 mm).
  • Bags full of corn: Bags measure 6x6x1 in (150x150x25 mm) and weigh between 14-16 oz (400-450 grams).
  • Two teams of two players.

Essentially you toss a corn bag through a hole of 6in (150mm) diameter on the angled board. You get three points if the bag passes through the hole and one point if it lands anywhere else on the board.

The first team to earn 21 points takes the day. Although playing with only two players is possible, four are more fun.

The Drawback

The 24×48 inch (600×1200 mm) (LxW) and ½-⅝ in (12-15 mm) thick board made of wood or plywood is a bit bulky and requires adequate storage away from moisture. You know water can damage the wood or plywood quickly. The rear of the board has to stand 12 in (300 mm) high and the front 3-4 in (75-100 mm). The numbers go on, and you can be sure it’s not that friendly.

2. Homemade Boards Give Splinters

Everything comes at a cost, including purchasing the boards and finishing them to the ACA specifications. The best cornhole boards are lightweight marine boards such as Okoume or solid wood like poplar. You can expect to spend a few hundred bucks on a set of regulation-size solid wood cornhole boards.

You might then consider constructing a homemade cornhole board set. Besides the often confusing construction details, you’ll have to battle with off-splinters if you don’t finish them well. Unless you buy new boards, used barn boards are usually weathered and give off more splinters.

3. Costly Homemade Boards

Building your own cornhole boards might not be the best idea. It’s time-consuming, and sometimes the materials cost may be more than buying a set from a cornhole company.

The estimated cost puts a homemade cornhole board set at per with sets from cornhole manufacturers, notwithstanding the tools needed and the time it takes to build one. You can put your time to more meaningful use, like fixing leaking pipes, setting up a back patio, or in fun activities. Let the professionals take care of it.

4. Requires Large Spaces

For a typical ACA cornhole court layout, each cornhole platform should be across one another and about 27′ (8 meters) apart. The court should be about 8-10′ (2.4-3 meters) wide. The space left on either side of the board is the pitcher box from where you toss the corn bag.

Therefore, to comfortably play cornhole, you’ll need a lawn space bigger than the ACA recommended cornhole court space of about 27’x3′ (8×3 meters). You’ll need about a 10×4 meters (33×13′) lawn to leave adequate space to move around. 

Not everyone will have such a big lawn left on their compound. I have a much smaller lawn.

5. Challenging To Play Indoors

Although the game has become popular in pubs and bars across the US, regulation-size board sets are a bit bulky and cumbersome to handle in small indoor spaces. 

Additionally, the ample space between the board sets may not be readily available at home, limiting your chances of playing cornhole indoors. Remember, you need adequate space for tossing the corn bags and moving around.

6. Hard To Play With Things Around

Whether playing outdoors at a barbeque party or a sit-out with friends, the corn bags may miss the holes on the platform and end up hitting objects nearby. Playing indoors is even worse. Imagine your friends are sitting nearby enjoying a glass of beer, and a corn bag mistakenly hits the table. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about here.

You should maintain a safe distance between the platform and onlookers and furniture. You wouldn’t want anyone to get hurt.

7. Not Action-Packed

Cornhole involves tossing the corn bags aiming at the holes. The outcome is simple: Either the bag will go through or not. Therefore, the game becomes boring for someone who isn’t getting it right or has mastered the tossing art.

If you’re into more fun games like Giant 4-Connect-In-A-Row or Bocce Ball Set, you might find cornhole a bit boring. You want something to pump your adrenaline high and entertain you and your friends all day.

8. Has Difficult Terms

Each game has specific terms that players use to communicate with each other. Cornhole also has several terms that accompany it. Although you don’t absolutely need to know these terms, understanding a game’s specific terms will impress players more and improve the overall experience of playing the game. However, it’s not always easy to learn specific terms within a short time.

Cornhole standard terms include:

  • A woody: Meaning the corn bag that doesn’t go through the hole and remains on the board instead.
  • A Dos Cornhole: Means tossing two corn bags in the hole.
  • The Great Cornholio: This means the player that tosses four bags through the hole.
  • ‘Corn on the Cob’: This is when a player tosses all their bags to hit the table instead of going through the holes.

9. Equipment Must Meet Specific Specifications

Regulation equipment must meet ACA specifications making it challenging to construct homemade units. For example, a cornhole board must be made of oak, maple, or birch wood to be approved for tournaments. 

The board must also have a smooth texture finish and weigh 15 pounds (6.8 kgs) minimum. This specification alone precludes several recreational boards made of particle boards as they fail to meet the weight requirement.

10. The Game Can Last a Long Time

Accumulating 21 points to settle on a winner isn’t always easy. If you’re a newbie, you might find it hard to make successful tosses, which will further increase the time it takes to settle on a winner.

Additionally, coordinating a team of four takes longer than if you were only two players. You must keep tabs on scores and communicate to make it more fun.

11. Good Equipment Can Be Expensive

A homemade cornhole set would cost you a small fortune. However, a set from a cornhole company might even cost more.

Not everyone would be willing to invest hundreds of dollars in a recreational set, and the game might even disappoint you eventually.

12. Traditional Cornhole Requires Four Players

Cornhole games can’t be engaged with a team of two. And this can be disappointing if not everyone in your hood is interested in the game.

Think of when your friends are in your backyard and can’t play the game because you aren’t into the game or you’re only three. You’d want a game you can play with only one friend.

13. Confusing Scoring System

A bag passing through the holes earns your team three points, and one point if it lands on the board. A successful score by your opponent team cancels your points out, stiffening the competition further.

It can be challenging for newbies to keep track of the scores, and it may become rather dull if it takes too long to settle on a winner. Newbies would want a game they play and get results quickly.

14. Requires Good Coordination

Playing cornhole requires you to focus on tossing the bag and successfully passing it through the hole. This is easier said than done. If you’ve played cornhole before, you can attest that it takes more than a keen eye and a dedicated mind.

Additionally, keeping the four players on the same page with the rather strenuous scoring system can be an extreme sport. Who leads, and who plays?

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.