What is the American Cornhole League?

Your childhood dream of being a professional athlete doesn’t have to die just because you’re not 6’6” and you can’t sprint 100 meters in under 10 seconds. Even if you don’t typically think of yourself as a pro sports player, you can be one because…professional cornhole is a real thing.

The American Cornhole League (ACL) is the governing body for cornhole around the world. There are many different tournaments available throughout the year, and in fact, there are 30 tournaments currently scheduled for the 2022 season. They take place all around the country and typically offer singles and doubles play.

There are four main arms under the ACL:


The ACL Juniors - provides winnings as scholarship money used for any college
ACL College - geared towards college students, also winning scholarship money, and run through a school’s athletic department
ACL Championship - a year-long, points-based, season where players compete in many tournaments around the country to acquire points and win prize money.
ACL Pro - the professionals of the sport who play for the biggest prizes in televised events on ESPN

The total guaranteed prize money for the 2022 season is at least $1,000,000. So even if you win you may not be buying vacation houses, cars for your neighbors, diamond watches, etc, but you can secure some reasonable prize money if you can string together some victories on the circuit.

You become an ACL Pro by winning certain tournaments, or placing within the top spots at other tournaments, and the final number of pros get chosen via an application process. The ACL aims to have 256 professional players for the upcoming season. They do say that anyone can become a pro, and anyone can win, which is great!

Their website has a ton of information regarding the sport. They talk about all the rules and regulations of playing “official” cornhole. You can take a look at what makes boards and bags official grade. There’s a nice event section that will let you search in your location and see any upcoming events within a certain distance you specify so you can either enter or go watch some events!

Membership in the ACL is quite cheap, ranging from $0 (that’s right, free) to $100 for the entire year. There are different benefits offered at each level of membership, but if you’re just looking to get started and try it out, you can do that for free.

It’s clear that the sport is growing in popularity and the folks at ACL and really trying to keep it accessible to the general population. From watching a few of the tournaments on TV already it does seem like the professionals are just normal people out there having a good time. They seem to enjoy interacting with the fans present, they’re supportive of each other, and it still feels like a very intimate and close-knit sport. I’m sure there is room for that to change a bit as more players join the ACL, more events are added, more travel becomes necessary, and more prize money is offered. But as far as adult-friendly sports and competition goes, joining the ACL and making a go at becoming a professional cornhole player may be right up your alley!