Best Cornhole Tossing Techniques
Cornhole is also known as corn toss for a good reason: because your tossing strategy is one of the key elements of the game.
If you don’t have a good toss, you won’t score very many points. Cornhole tossing techniques require a bit of study and a lot of practice. We can help you out with techniques, but the practice is up to you!
Basic Steps of the Toss
Like bowling, the game of cornhole is straightforward and requires neither youth nor athleticism nor even sobriety–which is why cornhole drinking games continue to proliferate.
In bowling, knocking as many pins down as possible is the end goal. In corn toss, throwing a cornhole (a cornhole is when the cornhole bag goes through the hole) is your ultimate intention.
There are many different tossing styles in cornhole, which we will discuss in further detail in the next section. For now, however, we want to cover the basic steps that are an integral part of any tossing strategy.
Step 1: Prepare.
Preparing for a toss involves both physical and mental components. Ignore distractions, including your opponent, and focus only on the back of the hole. Set your sights on the hole and do not look away until your bag lands. Your aim rests on your ability to focus on this one point.
Physically, you need to get the bag situated in your throwing hand. Whatever cornhole bag filling your bag has, you want to be sure that the filling is evenly distributed in the bag.
- Place your thumb in the center of the bag
- Curl your index finger around a corner
- Allow your other fingers to support the underside
Step 2: Step.
While the step is optional, many seasoned players use it knowing that the real power in your toss comes from the legs, not the arms.
As you bring back your throwing arm, take a step with the opposite leg. This is called your plant leg. The other leg that remains stationary should extend behind your body slightly so as to keep you balanced during the entire throw.
Step 3: Swing.
Your arm’s swing should be gentle. You do not want to chuck the bag at the board; this almost always results with the bag missing its mark by a long shot.
Instead, think about tossing the bag gently. You want the bag to drop on the board from afar.
Your arm swing speed is equally important. It will take time to gage the right speed for your arm, but once you figure it out use that speed for every toss. It is a rookie mistake to overcompensate for a short miss by adjusting arm speed. If your bag seems to fall short, give your next toss more leg push while keeping your arm speed constant.
Step 4: Release.
Your release timing is crucial for the success of your shot. Release too soon and your bag will flop in the grass. Release too late and you could bean someone in the head who is standing behind you.
The general rule of thumb for release timing is to let go when your arm is at a 90 degree angle with your armpit and is even with your shoulder.
If the board is full of bags blocking the hole, you will want to add an arch to your toss in hopes that you will slip your bag through the hole without bringing any of your opponent’s bags with you.
To get an arch, release slightly later than usual but do not forget to add an extra thrust with your legs to compensate for lost momentum.
Step 5: Spin.
Adding a spin to your bag will help it slide across the surface of the board, hopefully causing it to spiral neatly into the hole.
Creating spin on your bag is relatively easy and is achieved with a bit of practice. Hold the bag as instructed in Step 1 and when you release it, flip your fingers slightly. The secret to adding spin is all in the fingers.
Step 6: Follow-through.
Maintain your focus on the back of the hole even after the bag has left your fingers and hold your position for a full second. This helps your aim and balance, and creates muscle memory, which will improve your next throw. They key to throwing a cornhole is consistency. Once you find what works, don’t change!
Different Tossing Styles
Now that you have the steps of the tried-and-true basic toss down, you may want to experiment with other cornhole tossing techniques.
The variety of ways you can toss a bag are nearly endless, so this list is by no means complete. However, it should give you a pretty good idea of new techniques to experiment with in the future.
- Sling Toss: Pinch the bag in a corner using your thumb and index finger. Bring your arm back and sling the bag at the board using an underhand throw. This motion should add a back spin to the bag.
- Frisbee Toss: Pinch the bag in a corner using your thumb and index finger. Turn your body sideways, throwing arm toward the board and throwing hand cocked back as if you were throwing a frisbee. Release your arm in a sideways motion with the bag aimed at the board.
- Overhand Toss: Hold the bag and throw it at the board as if it were a baseball. As such, your toss should be either overhand or side arm. This throw takes a lot of practice to gain the consistency of other techniques, but it can still be quite effective.
- Jump Toss: Hold the bag in your throwing hand and use your non-throwing hand to line up the shot as you would with a basketball. Use the same motion as shooting a basketball to lob the bag at the board.
- Fold Over Toss: Flatten the bag to evenly spread the filling. Then fold the bag in half like a newspaper and hold as you would in a basic toss. Throw underhand to get a solid arch and good distance.
Check Your Equipment
Naturally, the perfect toss is only achievable with the perfect bag.
It is common knowledge that “dust is a must.” But with each toss, you lose a little of the bag’s filling. This means the weight of the bag will change over time. Not only will your toss at the end of the season be different from the one you started with, but the weight of each individual bag could vary.
It might be time to upgrade your bags. Get a new set that allows for consistency throughout all four tosses. Check our selection of cornhole bags. If there is something you want but don’t see listed, let us know. We can customize just about anything!
Do you have any other cornhole tossing techniques that have helped you improve your game? Share them with us.