How to play ladder ball

How To Play Ladder Ball? – Ladder Ball/Ladder Toss Rules Explained

Last Updated on May 21, 2020 by Austin Cunningham

Ladder ball, also known as ladder gold or ladder toss, is a famous outdoor game. Many people around the world play and enjoy this lawn game. The main object of this game is to toss a pair of gold balls tied together onto a ladder.

Ladder ball is an enjoyable game for the general public. It is a great way to have a good time with friends and family.

We will discuss the rules of the game and how you can play ladder ball.

Origins of Ladder Ball

Although the game’s exact origin is not confirmed, several theories are revolving around the subject. As there are many names of the ladder ball, it is challenging the trace out the original version of the game.

One theory suggests that the game was invented in the 80s by an aeronautical engineer from Florida. The engineer invented the ladder ball for his father as he could not play his favorite game horseshoes due to his age.

Other theories suggest that the game was played by 90s cowboys using live snakes and fences.

Important Terms

If you want to learn ladder ball, you need to familiarize yourself with these terms.

  • Bola: 2 golf balls are tied to one another by a nylon rope. The rope is 13 inches in length. It is known as a bola.
  • Ladder: The ladder on which you toss the bola consists of 3 steps that have a distance of 13 inches between them. The ladder is either metal, steel, wood, or plastic.
  • Steps or Rungs: There are three steps or rungs on the ladder. If the tossed bola wraps around the bottom bar, you score 1 point, the middle bar scores 2 points, and the top rung scores 3 points.
  • Toss line: The line from where you toss the bola is called a toss line. It is usually 15 feet in distance. But when it comes to backyard game, you can play by setting it to 5 paces.


You will need some equipment to play ladder ball.

  • 1 or 2 ladders.
  • 2 sets of bolas. (Each set with different colors.)
  • 1 carry bag.

Assembling the Ladder Ball

The ladder ball has to be assembled before playing the game. At first, the two upright poles have to be attached to the two bases with the knobs. Insert the round steps right after connecting the vertical poles to the core. Both the top and the bottom rungs are the same, while the middle stage has threads on its ends.

Then, insert the screw in the ends of the center step. Make sure not to overtighten or use any tools to tighten the middle step’s screws. After that, you should have your ladder set up and ready to play. You can disassemble the ladder easily after a few reassemblies.

How to Play Ladder Ball

Ladder ball is a relatively simple game to play. Despite being simple and easy, it is still gratifying. The game can offer a player with hours of fun.

There are some rules to consider while playing this game. These are the fundamentals of the game. We will now guide you through the rules and regulations of playing ladder ball.

Playing the Game

First off, set the toss line about 15 feet from the ladder. We consider five paces distance in most cases. The game begins with a coin toss lottery deciding who will toss first. All players must toss three bolas in their turn.

A player can toss bolas in any way he wants to. An exact 21 points have to be scored for a player to win the round. If the points exceed 21, then the last throw point will not be counted, and he would have to throw again in the next round. The first person to score 21 points wins the round.


During a player’s tossing, the opponent is allowed to make as many sounds, remarks, or movement as possible to deter the player’s attention. But the opponent cannot touch the tossing player in his turn and cannot walk up to the ladder during play.


The score is determined after all players have tossed their bolas. Bolas earn points only if they are hanging from the steps of the ladder. Each rung earns different points.

Other players can knock off their opponent’s bola off the ladder. It is an effective defensive strategy. The fallen bola does not count, and therefore no point is earned by the player. In this way, a player can play safely.


Scoring points depend on which bar the ball hangs from. The top bar scores you three points. It scores the highest point, but it is also easier to miss that bar. The middle step scores two points. And lastly, the bottom rung earns you only one score.

Moreover, the player can earn an extra point by hanging all three bolas on the same step o on all three rungs.

Team Play

Up to four players can play ladder ball. Usually, two teams play the game, but four players can play individually as well if extra sets of bolas are available. In the case of team play, you can use two ladders as well. Then, both players in a team would have to assign themselves to different ladders. In this way, matches can be played in team play.

(Read More: How to play spikeball, How to play tetherball, How to play ring toss game, How to play ladder ball, How to play kickball, How to play horseshoes, How to play croquet, How to play cornhole

Safety Tips

Ladder golf might seem harmless, but there is still room for potential harm. You can adopt the following precautions to be safe from any accidents and injuries.

  • Bolas are golf balls, and they are hard. It is advised not to toss bolas around unless in-game. The balls are hard and can cause injuries to oneself and others if used carelessly.
  • The bolas are two golf balls attached with a nylon thread, which uses individual anchors to connect. These anchors will offer infinite use in a typical game. Misuse of bolas like pulling then apart from one another, tug-of-war, can cause the anchors to break loose and separate the thread.
  • Monitor children when they play ladder ball. Kids can get into trouble by getting too excited and misusing the bolas or through other means. It is always advised for a senior guardian to watch over the young while they play.
  • Do not wrap bolas around body parts. Any injury might happen as a consequence.
  • The steps of the ladder are best suitable for gameplay purposes only. Do not attempt to stand on the rungs or hit something with the steps. They are not ideal for other uses and therefore, might break easily.
  • Make sure to store the equipment in a safe place. A dry and cold environment, away from direct sunlight, is recommended. Besides that, keeping the stuff out of children’s reach is also essential.

Final Thoughts

Ladder ball is a fun game. It is not so dependent on physical ability, which allows all kinds of a player to play the game. The game is also not restricted to the old or the young generation.

Being such a flexible and refreshing game, it is a lot of fun to play. Knowing the rules and fundamentals of the game are essential to play the game.

We hope you find our article on how to play ladder ball useful.

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