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Minnesota Bean Bag Game - Cornhole: The Basics

Updated on October 16, 2016

Welcome!

If you have arrived at this page looking for answers to your questions about bean bag tossing techniques, or where to buy your own bean bags, let me tell you that I may or may not have all the answers that you need. I also seek the truth about bean bags.

I personally am a resourceful type who used some plywood and nails, fabric and small rocks to create my own bean bag toss game. I have been to parties where there are bean bag toss games and they all seem fairly straightforward. You stand a distance away. You hold a single bean bag in your hand. You grip it securely so as to not drop it before you propel it towards the board that contains your target hole in which you desire your beanbag to fall through.

I am not always successful with my first toss. Or my second toss. Or my third toss.

To be quite honest, I am very bad at bean bag toss. I rarely get my bean bag even close to the hole. When I do get one in, I do claim it as severe skill. I measured the distance with my eyes, skillfully maneuvered the mass of beads in one climactic clump and arched the bean bag with the Char Technique. [There is NO such technique, for your information - but feel free to drop my technique name at social gatherings]

I did learn something today about bean bags. They are not always filled with beans. Some are filled with dry corn. Some are filled with beads. I have red gravel grit available and may fill mine with that.

They sometimes have two different sides. A slick side and a sticky side. I have never paid that much attention to the particular bean bag that I was holding until I learned that little fact. I do not know if they need to be waterproof since most of the time you would probably not play while the weather was rough.

For my own private game, I think would be interesting to put some sort of flag tripper in the hole and when the bean bag went through, it would flip a paddle and indicate a score. If the next person un-flipped the paddle, it would reduce the score. I have seen games with a simple abacus for simple scoring. It seemed to work perfectly.

Bean Bag Tournaments

The amazing thing about bean bag toss is that if you have a party and you have a bunch of people coming, it would be wise to have at least 10 boards for keeping people occupied. People WILL play it for hours and will have lots of fun!

Horseshoes Vs. Beanbags

Bean bags would be a lot safer. I will have a reunion party at my house this weekend and I will have to research how many people actually do play the games. It will be good if the kids are occupied. At least, if you have bean bags being tossed around, the actual number of injuries from cuts and bruises should be kept to a minimum!

I have a horseshoe game permanently dug into my yard. We never use it. Perhaps someday we will. Right now, there are orange cones on top of the spikes so that no one trips, falls and gets hurt by them.

Bean Bag Basics

Things to consider about bean bags if making your own.

Type of filling: beans, corn, pebbles, peas, resin beads

Type of material for bag: duck canvas, polyester, satin, twill, suede

Size: 6 x 6 inches

Weight: 15 ounces if using corn

Color: Burgundy seems to be the most popular color.

Rules

Place boards about 30 feet from each other, making sure that hole on board is on outside edge

Stand facing board and toss a total of four bean bags at hole in board. One at a time. Scoring 2 for through hole. 1 for hanger. Subtract 1 for opponent knocking hanger off into hole. Play to 20.

Facts

Time required: 2 hours

Difficulty: medium

Cost: 20 - up

How to Play

Instructions:

1. Set up game.

2. Select teams of two people.

3. Take turns. Throw four bean bags, one at a time. Count score. Then, Opponent throws their bean bags, one at a time.

4. Pick up bags, go to opposite side. Throw the next set of four bean bags at the opposite board. Opponent follows with their set of bean bags.

5. Return to other side. Repeat until score of 20 has been reached.

More Info

Per person:

You need 4 bean bags. Pick one of the two colors.

If you have more than one game, you will need 2 unique colors for each game.

Homemade Boards

I went to my local lumber company and rummaged through their scrap lumber. I found four 2 x 4 x 4 pieces and two pieces of waferboard 2' x 4 ' x 1/2 inch thicik. It was all precut, so I nailed the 2 x 4's to the edges. I used a jigsaw to cut a circular hole in the one end, centered on both waferboards. I cut four pieces of 2 x 4 18 inches long and drilled four holes and put a 5 inch bolt through to hold the legs in place. The bolt makes it easy to fold up the legs for flat storage.

I used a hand towel and some quart size zip lock bags and some grit for my fill. I made 8 bags. I put paint on four so they would be a different color. At least, for now.

Bean Bags Are Fun

The party that I went to this last weekend had homemade bean bags filled with lentils. The bags kept ripping open, but there were a few resourceful people who threaded up needles and resealed them shut and kept the fun alive.

How about You?

Do you prefer bean bags or Horse shoes?

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