If you have been playing cornhole for any length of time, then you have probably participated in a cornhole tournament. Perhaps you won the tournament and are comfortable with your playing ability. You see no need to improve your cornhole bag throwing, as you are already at the top of the heap. However, for those of you who came in second place, third place or dead last, you have promised yourself never to be embarrassed again. Let's be honest, your pride has taken a serious hit, especially since it was your 75-year-old grandpa that beat you at the last family tournament. You tell yourself, "This is not acceptable, this can never happen again." You have decided to improve your game, but you need some helpful hints. Here are some tips to help you better your score and never again be the king of the loser's bracket. Queue the Rocky music and let's get to work.
Let's make sure you are throwing your cornhole bags the right way. Of course, there is no perfect way to throw a cornhole bag, just as there is no perfect way to throw a football or shoot a basketball; everyone's technique is different. You are advised to throw the bags whichever way is comfortable for you, but if you find yourself losing 21-3 in all of your cornhole games, it's time for a change. Your best bet is to throw your bags using a high arc - a rainbow shot per se. This increases your chances of landing on the cornhole boards and will reduce the number of times your bags fly off the end of the boards. A bag thrown on a straight line, similar to a line-drive in baseball, will have greater speed when it hits the board, and therefore launch off the back of the board. Stick with the high-arc and you are guaranteed to score more points.
How you throw your bags in regards to spin is important as well. There is the conventional horseshoe throw - which is obviously thrown just like you would a horseshoe. This is how most people throw their bags; however, this method can often cause your bags to knuckle, or zigzag, just like a knuckleball in baseball, and you will lose accuracy. A second way to throw the bags is the vertical end-over-end method. Here, you just hold onto one corner of the bag and zip it underhanded. This throw can be more accurate than the horseshoe, but it doesn't work for everybody. In my humble opinion, the best way to throw your cornhole bags is using the Frisbee throw. Remember at the amusement park when you used to play ring toss - where you attempted to toss a plastic ring onto a bottle top? This is the Frisbee throw. Simply throw the bag clockwise (if right-handed) in an underhanded fashion. The bag will remain parallel to the ground at all times with no end-over-end flipping. This tossing method will give you the best accuracy and will provide your bags the greatest surface tension with boards - which will decrease the number of times your bags fly off the end of the board.
Lastly, it is important that you remain focused on the right spot on the board before you toss your bag. Even if your drunken cousin Cletus is doing cartwheels in front of you, you must not get distracted. The goal is to get as many ringers as possible. If no bags are blocking the path to the hole, your best shot at a ringer is by landing your bag about a foot and a half in front of the hole. If done properly and with accuracy, that bag should slide right into the hole for a glorious three points. This is simply called a slider or in Chicago: a Slick Willie.
If the front of the hole is blocked by other bags and no sliding is possible, then it's time to try for a swish, also called a backdoor ringer. Here's one technique you should try. Michael Jordan once said that he would pretend that there was a small quart-size paint can floating in the middle of the basketball rim and he would aim for that. So, instead of aiming for an 18-inch rim, Jordan would increase his focus and aim for an imaginary floating can that was only a few inches across. I think that method worked out pretty well for him, wouldn't you say. Well, the same can be done with cornhole games. Simply imagine that there is a golf ball floating in the middle of that six-inch hole and aim for that ball.
Hopefully, if you implement some of these techniques into your cornhole bag tossing style you will improve your score and never again be the laughingstock of backyard tournaments.