Its origins lie somewhere in the Midwestern United States, but cornhole (also known as bean bags or corntoss) is gaining popularity throughout all of North America. The simple game involves tossing small canvas bags filled with dry seed corn at an angled wooden target with holes in it. It’s akin to a “soft” version of horseshoes and is rapidly becoming a popular leisure time activity.

In an era dominated by cable television, high-speed internet access, multi-functional cell phones, interactive bar trivia contests and eerily real video games, the success of cornhole may seem surprising. What is it about this simple, almost “retro” game that is creating such a loyal following? A combination of factors are spurring cornhole’s success. Let’s look at three reasons to love cornhole.

Anyone can play. Many games, by their nature, are exclusionary. If you don’t have good hand eye coordination and experience, you’ll probably find softball more frustrating than entertaining. If you’re part of the “older set,” the idea of stealing cars or shooting aliens with a PlayStation controller might not make a lick of sense. Playing Twister with a bad knee is an invitation for disaster. Cornhole doesn’t rule anyone out. Youngsters can play alongside their grandparents. Top-notch athletes can battle couch potatoes.

There are few complications. You can print the rules for cornhole on the back of a business card. There are no complicated structures, the scoring system is intuitive, and it only takes a minute to understand how to play the game. There is no barrier to entry with respect to rule complexity at all, making it an ideal game for any gathering.

It’s a social game. It’s hard to discuss your neighbor’s new car or the latest city elections while playing a pick-up basketball game. Cornhole, on the other hand, provides a great social and conversational opportunity. The game doesn’t require a great deal of exertion and players can chat about the anything from the weather to that last amazing toss while preparing for their next corn hole toss.

When you combine these three characteristics, it’s easy to see why cornhole is becoming such a popular past time. Very few games are so accessible and easy while providing a great social experience. Cornhole is one of them.

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