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How To Play Ladder Toss – Official Game Rules

How To Play Ladder Toss

Ladder toss is one of the best outdoor games you can play with friends to keep the group engaged. Also known as ladder ball or ladder golf, this game involves playing with golf balls and ladders. You’re probably wondering how that works. You’ll get to know soon enough as this article explains how to play ladder toss.

Ladder golf is a points game like tennis or ping pong. The first player to score 21 points wins the game. Although it is pretty easy to learn, you may find it confusing if you don’t understand the basic rules and gameplay. Keep reading to learn all the details you need to know about ladder golf as a beginner.

Ladder Toss Rules And Gameplay Instructions

We’ll start by explaining the rules and gameplay instructions for ladder golf.

Equipment You Need To Play Ladder Ball

Like most home games, ladder ball doesn’t require an elaborate setup. Below you’ll find everything you need for the game.


You need two ladders to play ladder golf. The ladders should have three steps – the top, middle and bottom. The ladders should be 3 feet (91 cm) tall and 2 feet (60 cm) wide.


Ladder Toss Bolas
Bolas are the most important piece of equipment for a ladder ball game. A bola consists of two golf balls joined together by a nylon rope. You need a total of six bolas in two different colors.

Note: You may also find bolas made from tennis balls, rubber or plastic.


There should be a 15-foot (4.5 m) distance between the ladders. However, you may adjust the distance based on the players’ preferences and abilities. You can play ladder golf one-on-one, where you and your opponent will throw from one end to the other before switching sides.


The objective of every game is to win. In ladder golf, you do this by becoming the first player or team to score 21 points. You score points by getting your bola to hang on the ladder rung.

Game Play

Ladder Toss Game Play

Ladder golf is a very straightforward game. Each player has three bolas that they will throw at the ladder rungs. Stand on any side of the ladder behind the uprights. The uprights are the posts on either side of the ladder. Aim your bolas for the rungs on the ladder. Throw all three before the other players throw theirs.


In ladder ball, your round doesn’t end after making great throws. You also have to ensure that your opponent misses theirs. You can achieve this by distracting them with loud noises and funny dances.

If you’re playing after your opponent, you can aim to knock their bolas off the rungs. If you’re lucky, you can get your bola to hang on the rung while knocking your opponent’s own off. You only score points when your bolas are hanging on the rungs at the end of the round.

Tip: You get one bonus point if you can land all your bolas on a rung without your opponent landing any on the same rung.

Ladder Ball Rules

Ladder Ball Rules

Ladder ball has a few basic rules that make the game enjoyable. We’ll explain the important ones here.


There are no strict rules regarding the selection of bolas. You only have to ensure that the balls on both sides of the bola string have equal weights.

Check out the best ladder ball sets here.

Game Ladder

The game ladder can be made of any solid material, but it must have three rungs.

Steps Or Rungs

Ladder Ball Steps Or Rungs

The steps or rungs are the poles that make up the ladder. Each ladder should have a top, middle and bottom rung. The top rung is worth three points, the middle is worth two points and the bottom rung gets you one point.

Toss Line

You should draw a toss line 15 feet (4.5 m) away from each ladder. Players stand behind this line when throwing their bolas.

Tip: If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can measure five paces from the ladder.

Read our post to learn more about toss lines and how far apart for ladder toss.

Canceling The Opponent’s Toss

The official ladder ball rules state that you can also cancel out an opponent’s toss when you wrap a bola around the same rung that the opponent has hung their bola on.

Players use this strategy in two situations:

  • You want to avoid a tie by reducing the opponent’s points.
  • A team has already achieved the maximum of 21 points and the players haven’t thrown all their bolas.

Visit our blog post to learn how to improve your ladder ball throwing technique.

Scoring And Bonuses

Ladder Ball Scoring And Bonuses

Each rung is assigned a number ranging from one to three. In most cases, three is assigned to the top rung. However, you may also decide to assign it to the bottom rung. Each player aims to score points that add up to 21. In addition to regular scoring, players can score bonuses to boost their team’s scores.

Tip: You can play ladder golf with a slight variation where points cancel each other out. If you get five points from the first round and your opponents score three, their points are subtracted from your five points.

Tie In Ladder Ball

If players are tied at the end of a game, each player with 21 points will continue to play overtime rounds until a player ends a round two points ahead of the opponent.

Team Play

When playing ladder golf in teams, the four players have to alternate turns after each round. Other than that, the rules are the same.

Ladder Ball Etiquette

Ladder golf rules allow players to make remarks and sounds to distract opponents when playing. One thing you can’t do, however, is walk to the ladder before each round is completed.

Glossary Of Terms

Ladder Ball Glossary Of Terms

This is a glossary of terms that you’ll frequently use in ladder ball.

Bolas: Two golf balls attached to a piece of rope.

Ladder: A structure consisting of three steps spaced 13 inches (33 cm) apart.

Rung: One of the three steps on a ladder.

Toss Line: The line that players have to stand behind when tossing bolas.

Ladder Toss Tips

Ladder Toss Tips

Here are a few tips to help you when playing ladder golf.

  • Ladder golf doesn’t have strict rules regarding throws, so you can bounce the bolas on the floor when aiming for the rung.
  • You can also play a certain number of rounds instead of playing to 21 points.
  • Keep the balls separate to improve your chances of wrapping your bola around a ladder rung.

Ladder Toss Warnings

Safety is essential in all games, ladder golf included. Here are some tips to stay safe when playing:

  • To avoid injuries, do not swing the bolas unless you’re tossing them at the rung.
  • Do not stand on the steps of the ladders as they are not strong enough to hold much weight.
  • Do not pull the bola apart to prevent the rope from detaching from the balls.

Frequently Asked Questions

You play the ladder game by aiming your bolas at the ladder’s steps. You must wrap your bola around any of the ladder’s three steps to score points. A player or team wins the game by scoring 21 points. You can play ladder ball against one opponent or in teams of two.

You score in ladder toss by successfully wrapping your bolas around the ladder’s rungs. The ladders have three rungs, which carry points ranging from three to one. In some cases, the top rung carries the highest points, but players can also decide to make the bottom rung worth three points.

The rules for playing ladder ball state that a player or team wins the game by scoring 21 points, provided that the opponent doesn’t score up to 21 points. You can earn points by aiming your bolas at any of the ladder rungs. You can use a coin toss to decide who starts the game.


You should now know how to play ladder toss if you followed this article all the way through. However, learning the rules is not enough. Becoming a great ladder toss player requires a lot of practice. Take some time to learn the tricks and develop an effective strategy for the game.

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