Ladder toss (also known as ladder golf) is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to get a group of people together outdoors for an afternoon. It is a great activity for summer outdoor parties to include a competitive sport.
It’s a game that’s easy to learn and has tons of variations. In this article I will explain how to play ladder toss, the rules of the game, scoring, game etiquette, and other tips and tricks.
Ladder toss, or ladder golf is played with 2 or more players or teams. Each player has 3 golf ball bolas.
A bola is 2 golf balls attached by a nylon rope. The object of the game is to wrap your bolas around the steps of the ladder.
The ladder consists of 3 steps, a top, middle and a bottom step.
Prior to game play a line must be set 5 paces from the ladder. This is the called the toss line. The official toss line is 15 feet away but most players measure 5 paces from the game ladder to set the toss line. This allows for a closer toss line for children’s games.
Ladder Golf is played in rounds, each round consists of all players tossing 3 bolas. A coin toss is used to decide which player or team will toss first. The first player must toss all 3 bolas before the next player is able to toss his or her bolas. Bolas can be tossed in anyway the player chooses, as long as they are tossed individually and can be bounced off the ground. The winner of the round earns the first toss in the next round.
Games are played to an exact point total of 21.
In order to win, a player must be the only one to score exactly 21 points after the completion of a round.
If a player goes over the exact point total, that players points for that round do not count.
For example: A player with 18 points needs 3 points to get the exact score of 21 in order to win. If that player has 5 points hanging on the ladder after all the players have tossed all strands, none of those points count and the player will enter the next round with 18 points again needing 3 points to win.
In the case of a tie, the players that tie will play as many overtime rounds as needed until one player ends a complete round 2 points ahead of the other player. The 2 point rule only applies in overtime rounds. During regular play any player can win as long as that player is the only one to score an exact total of 21 points at the end of that round no matter how many points the other players have.
Etiquette of the Game
Basic etiquette of Ladder Golf states that contestants should make as many remarks, sounds or movements as possible during play in order to distract the opponent’s during play. Touching the player during tossing is never allowed.
In the course of play no contestant is to walk to the ladder prior to completion of the current round of play.
Scoring in ladder toss
After all teams have tossed all their bolas, scoring is determined by the bolas that are still hanging from the steps. Players can knock-off bolas during the course of the game, in fact knocking-off other players bolas is encouraged and a good way to play defensively. bolas that are knocked off during play do not count as points. Only bolas that are left hanging after all bolas are tossed are counted as points.
Points are determined by which step your bola wraps around. The top step is worth 3 points the middle step is worth 2 points and the bottom step is only worth 1 point. Players can score an optional bonus of 1 point by hanging all 3 bolas from the same step or by hanging a bola on all 3 (1-2-3) steps in one round. The highest amount of points available per player is 10. This is accomplished by hanging all 3 bolas on the top (3 point) step.
Four players can play Ladder Golf by alternating play each round. Players simply alternate turns with teammates. Extra bolas can also be purchased so up to 4 players can play individually on the same ladder or a second ladder can be purchased for team play. With multiple ladders 2 players on opposite teams would be on one side and the other 2 opposing players would be at the other game ladder. One side would toss all bolas and the other team would toss them back. Same rules apply.