Official Rules of Bean Bags

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    Size and Number of Teams

    • According to the official rules of the National Bean Baggers Association, there should be no more than two teams for a bean-bag toss. Each team should consist of one to two players. However, the World Bean Bag Association allows each team to have up to four players.

    Points Objective

    • The goal of each team is to score at least 21 points. The winning team must be victorious by two points. So, if the score is 21-20, the game must continue until one of the teams pulls ahead of the other team by two points. A variation on the game prevents teams from going over 21. Depending on which variation is played, the team that goes over 21 points will either drop to 16 points or lose all its earned points for the game. A white wash is when a team scores 11-0. A white wash cannot occur in the first half of the first round of play.

      The game usually begins with a coin flip.

    Distance Between Boxes

    • The World Bean Bag Association says that the two boxes or boards into which the bags will be tossed should be 30 feet apart from the center of one board's hole to the center of the other board's hole. For directions on how to construct these boxes or boards, check out the website of the National Bean Bag League for a diagram. It can be found at

    Number of Bean Bags

    • Each team gets three to four bean bags.

    Rules of Throw

    • The front of the boxes or boards serves as the foul line. All bags are thrown from behind the foul line. Each player alternates throwing the bags with the other players.

    Tallying Points

    • A bag on the board counts as one point. A bag in the hole counts as three points. Points cannot be made by a bag bouncing from the ground onto the board.

      Only one team can score per round. One team's points cancel the other team's points out. So, the way to finalize the score is as follows: Team 1 has two bags on the board and one in the hole for a total of five points. Team 2 has one bag in the hole and one bag on the board for a total of four points. The lowest score (Team 2's) is subtracted from the highest score (Team 1's) for Team 1's total points for that round. Therefore, Team 1 earns 1 point for that round and goes first in the next round.

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