Build a Backyard Beanbag Toss Game

The beanbag toss game is an easy game with simple rules. It can be played outside or indoors. No great physical abilities are required. It uses a combination of the same skills used in bowling or horseshoes. Young and old alike can play without difficulty.

For tournament or competition play, the board sizes and rules are standardized; however, for backyard use you can make your game boards and adjust the rules so the game is fair and as much fun as possible. When building them, consider how portable the toss boards needs to be, and where they will be stored. Following are directions for the game boards my husband made for our backyard game.

To make the two game boards you will need:
Power Drill or screwdriver
2 Sheets of Plywood 24" x 36"
4 2x4's - 24" Long (for bottom and top of frame)
4 2x4's - 32" Long (for sides of frame)
4 2x4's - 13.5" Long (for legs)
Drawing Compass & Pencil
8 Bean Bags (4 of each color)

To assemble each frame, take two of the 24" long pieces and position them on the shorter ends of the plywood, and two 32" length ones in between those, running along the sides. Once they are lined up and everything looks good, use screws and screw the frame together. Do not screw the plywood onto the frame until the frame itself has been assembled.

Now measure 12" in from either side and 9" down from the top of the plywood. This will give you the center point of the hole. Once you have this point, take the compass and draw a circle that is 6" in diameter. Cut out the circle with a jigsaw.

Screw or bolt the legs to the frame at the end closest to the hole. Do not go through the platform. You can cut the legs at a slight angle if you choose, but it’s not necessary.You can now sand and paint or varnish the top and sides of your game board. Some people like to decorate their boards quite elaborately.

The game also requires eight beanbags – four each of two different colors. You can purchase the bags online or make your own. I made my bags from old pairs of denim jeans – one set of light colored denim and one set of dark colored denim. Bags can also be made from sturdy cotton duck material. Cut material into 5” or 6” squares. Put two squares front sides together and hem on three sides. Trim the seams and turn the squares inside out so the seams are inside the bag. Fill each bag with approximately one pound of dry beans, peas or unpopped popcorn. Use a kitchen scale to make sure that all the bags weigh the same. Once the bags are filled, turn the open edges to the inside and hem closed by hand or machine. Be sure to store the bags in a dry place so the filling does not get wet.

Place the game boards directly in front of one another. Usually boards are placed twenty feet apart, foot end to foot end, but you can make adjustments depending on the age or skill level of your players.

A game consists of a series of rounds. The goal is to get the beanbags to go through the hole or stay on the board to score points.

Beanbag toss can be played as either singles or two 2-man teams. During each round of play, each player throws four bags. Both players (one from each team) throw from the same game board onto the other board. In team play, one member from each team throws, alternating until both players have thrown all four of their bags. Then the other member of each team throws the bags from the other game board. When throwing your bag, you should be on the side of the game board, making sure not to cross the end of the game board. The player (or team) who scored in the preceding round throws first in the next round. To start the first round toss a coin to choose the first player. Do not remove the bags from the board until both players have thrown all their bags.

In order to score, the bags must either be tossed into the hole or land on the board. The bag can be tossed directly into the hole, slide into the hole, or be knocked into the hole by any other bag. If a bag touches the ground it is not worth any points.

Only one player scores during a round. Players earn three points for each bag in the hole, and one point for each bag on the board. Scoring works by taking the difference of the points accumulated. So if Team A gets one on the board and one in the hole and Team B only gets two on the board, then Team A would get two points and Team B would get no points.

A game normally is played until 21 points are reached. In case of a tie, continue playing rounds until one team reaches a higher score at the end of the round. This is how we play. However, others like to play so if a team scores more than 21 points, the team’s score drops to 16 points or they go back to the amount they started with at the beginning of the last round. It just depends on how you decide to play the game. The match cannot end in the middle of a round. The other team is allowed to throw all of their bags.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This looks like a lot of fun. We are always looking for good outdoor games.

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