Ladder Golf is one of the most fun yard games that people of all ages can play. It consists of two players or teams tossing three bolas onto the rungs of a ladder. This outdoor game is a great way to get off the couch and have some family fun! Chances are, if you are looking up Ladder Golf rules, it is either because you lost them, or because you are considering buying the game. Click here to see the 6 best ladder ball sets and check product prices. With that said, how do you play the game anyway? Is there a correct way to do a ladder toss? What do you do in the event of a tie? Read on to learn the rules of one of our favorite yard games.
Basically, you play Ladder Golf by tossing golf ball bolas, which consist of two golf balls attached with nylon rope, onto the rungs of a ladder. The objective is to obtain a score of 21 (and no more) before the other players or other team. Keep reading for details on how to play a ladder golf game.
Before starting the games, it is important to determine the toss line, which is where you will throw your bolas from. If you’re a stickler for games’ rules, this is 15 feet (4.5m) away from the ladder. Otherwise, you can make it 5 paces away, which also allows the toss line to be closer when kids are playing. Some games come with two ladders instead of one. In this case, set them 15 feet or 5 paces away from each other. Each team stands next to one ladder and tosses their bolas onto the other. Now it’s time to start tossing – let the games begin!
A Ladder Golf game is played in rounds. A coin toss decides who makes the first ladder toss. One round consists of all players throwing all three of their bolas. The next player can only toss when the previous player has thrown all of their bolas. You can throw your bola however you want, as long as you toss them individually and they can be bounced off the ground.
Whoever wins a round is the first player to toss in the following round.
A traditional game is played with two players, but it can be played in teams with four players or even more. This is done by forming two teams of two (or more) and the members of each team taking turns playing a round. Other than that, the same rules apply whether playing with four players or two.
Scoring & Points
After all the bolas have been tossed, points are determined based on the bolas that are still hanging from the rungs. If a ball slips onto the ground before the score has been calculated, it is not counted. A bola hanging from the top rung counts for 3 points, from the middle rung counts for 2 points, while a bola on the bottom rung only scores 1 point. You can score an optional bonus point if you get all three bolas onto the same rung, or if you get one bola on each of the rungs.
The most points you can score in one gameplay is 10, which occurs if you get all three of your bolas onto the top rung of the game ladder.
How To Win
A player or team wins a game by achieving a point total of exactly 21. If no-one has exactly 21 points at the end of a round, the games continue. If you score over 21, that does not count as a win. Rather, the points you scored last are declared null, and you move into the next round with the same number of points you had before you scored your last set of points. The other players do not lose any points. When one player gets to a score of 21, the game is over.
In the event of a tie, the two point rule is applied. This means that the players who have tied play as many overtime rounds as necessary until one player ends a complete round two points ahead of the other player, thus winning the game. This is the only case in which overtime rounds are played.
Ladder Golf Equipment
When you buy a Ladder Golf game, these are the things you can expect to receive. Coin for coin toss not included!
- Ladders: one game set may include 1 or 2 ladders depending which version of the game you are playing. The ladders must be assembled before playing the game.
- Rungs: the three poles that make up the ladder are called “steps” or “rungs”. When you throw a bola, your goal is to get it to hang off one of the rungs.
- Bolas: 2 sets of 3 in one game. One bola consists of two golf balls connected by a nylon rope. The two balls are spaced 13 inches (33cm) apart by the rope. Extra bolas can be bought separately.
- Carry bag: for transporting the game wherever you want to take it.
Ladder Golf Etiquette
Unlike in traditional golf, heckling is encouraged when you play Ladder Golf games. You can make as many remarks, sounds or movements as you like to distract your opponent during their turn. However, it is prohibited to touch an opponent or their bola during a ladder toss. If you are playing the one-ladder version of the game, it is entirely allowed to attempt to knock your opponent’s bola off its rung. In fact, this is a good defensive play strategy. However, you may only do this by tossing your bolas during your ladder toss turn.
No contestant is allowed to approach the ladder before it is time to add up scores.
Safety In Ladder Golf
It is always important to take safety precautions, especially when kids are playing.
- Make sure everyone is behind the toss line or out of range before you toss your bolas.
- Do not swing bolas around unless you are in the middle of a ladder toss.
Bolas can cause injury to yourself or others if used improperly.
- Do not attempt to wrap bolas around body parts.
- Do not climb onto the game ladder.
- Do not pull excessively on the bolas as this can cause the anchors that attach the rope to the ball to be damaged and potentially become detached. Do not use the bolas for other games.
Children playing ladder ball games should always be supervised by adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
The objective of Ladder Golf is to achieve a total score of 21 points and no more. You score by tossing your bolas onto the rungs of the ladder. A bola hanging off the top rung is worth three points, off the middle rung is worth two, and off the bottom rung is worth one point. If you end up with more than 21 points, the set of points you scored last is not counted.
You should set Ladder Golf 15 feet apart, or 5 paces. This allows children to throw from a closer point. This applies both when using 2 ladders and when using the same ladder for all players. In the latter case, you should set down something to mark the toss line that you must stand behind before throwing your golf balls.
If you go over 21 in ladder ball, this does not count as a win. Instead, your points from the previous round are not counted and your score going into the next round is the same as it was one round before. For example, if you had 19 points, but you score three in the following round, those three points are declared null and you continue playing the game with a score of 19.
The strings on ladder ball are 13 inches (33cm) long, ie. the two balls on one bola are 13 inches apart. These strings are made of nylon and attached to the balls by anchors. If they are not lost or treated improperly, your bolas should last you a lifetime.
You build a Ladder Golf set by fastening the two uprights of the frame to the two bases with the supplied knobs. Next, insert the round poles which form the steps of the ladder. The bottom and top pole are identical, and the middle one has threads on each end. Lastly, screw in the remaining two knobs into the two ends of the middle step. Do not over tighten the knobs or use tools to tighten them.
Ladder Golf is one of the most fun and accessible games you can play, and a great addition to your outdoor game arsenal. If you misplaced the instructions, we hope reading this has made the Ladder Golf rules clear, so you can play without any arguments! If you haven’t played before but are thinking of buying the game, we hope this has convinced you to head over to the relevant site for price and availability information. We hope you have a great time playing many games tossing bolas at the game ladder!