how to play ladder toss

How To Play Ladder Toss: Rules, Scoring and Equipment

Outdoor games come in handy during events or better still as a way to enlighten your backyard.

However, you should get a game that is easy to play and one that will not require much equipment.

Ladder toss, previously known as Horsey Golf, meets these qualifications.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro in this yard game, we got you.

This post will guide you through the rules requirements and the scoring system of this ladder toss game.

Ladder Toss Rules

Before you get into playing any game, you should be familiar with the rules.

This is because they enhance safety for you and other players if you are a team.

It also increases your winning chances because breaking rules are likely to be penalized.

Here are the rules you need to follow while playing ladder toss.

  • A ladder toss game requires two to four players. The upright ladders should be fifteen feet from the tossing line for an adequately set playing field.
  • For the game to start, a coin is flipped to determine the first player to make a shot. When the winner of the coin toss is determined, they will be the first to toss their bolas to the opponents’ ladder rungs. The aim of this is to hang or stick the bolas on the rungs. The player has to throw their three bolas for the next one to play.
  • The player should not step past the ladder while throwing the bolas.
  • Only one bola is thrown at a time. Players should not throw two bolas at a go as a way of maximizing their scoring chances.
  • The top rung gives the player three points, the middle rung two while the bottom one is worth one point. No player should be rewarded different points varying from the ones stated by the rules.
  • The players are not allowed to touch their counterpart when it’s their turn to play. However, you can distract them with music or other sounds.
  • The movement towards the ladders is not allowed before a particular round is complete to prevent cheating.
  • The players should avoid walking between the player in action and the ladder to prevent distraction.
  • When players draw, there can be added time to break the tie. This applies until the competitors have a difference of two points, and the winner will be determined.

What do you need to play ladder toss?

For a ladder toss game to be successful, there are various items you need. Let us find out the equipment for this game.


Just as the name suggests, ladders are the most essential item for ladder toss games. These ladders, however, differ from the common ones used for climbing high places.

They are a bit shorter and feature three rungs with three different colors. The rungs act as the targets where the bolas are stuck.

The ladders are made from plastic, wood, or metal. However, they are lightweight to ensure easy maneuverability.

Most of them are also designed to break down for easy storage.

Additionally, there should be a tossing line. This determines the point which the players should not cross while tossing the bolas. It is usually five paces from the ladder.


This is what the players toss during the game. Bolas are constructed using two small balls, sized like golf balls, attached with a string or rope.

The total number of balls needed for each player is 6, two for each.

If you are playing in teams, ensure that each of the three balls has a similar color, so you don’t get confused.

Also, ensure that you have replacement items around so you can fix any snapped strings during the rounds.

The ladder toss game comes as a package of these things. It is, however, good to know what should be included.

Ladder toss scoring

I am yet to come across a game that doesn’t feature scores. Ladder toss is not an exception; therefore, it has a scoring system. Here is how the scores are recorded.

The top rung is worth 3 points, middle rung 2 points, and the bottom rung is worth a point. There are occasions when the player gets a bonus point.

One is when they hang all the three bolas on the same rung. The other one is when they hung a bola on each of the three rungs.

The bonus is optional, depending on the agreement before the game started.

After all the bolas are thrown, scores are recorded. The player who has the highest number of points starts the next round.

You can implement a trick for defense where you can knock off your opponent’s bola off the rung.

If you do so, this bola will not be awarded points when the round is over.

As the rounds go on, the winner is decided when either of the players gets 21 points.

However, in case the player gets past 21 points, the throws they make on that round are not counted.

When a tie occurs, the game continues until the players have a difference of two points.

This playing time after a tie is known as added time, and it is only in this scenario where the two-points difference rule applies.

On standard playing time, the winner can be ahead of the other players with more than 2 points.

FAQ Related to How To Play Ladder Toss

What is the distance for the ladder ball?

The distance that is stated officially is 15 feet between the toss line and the ladder.

However, most players do five paces for this distance.

This makes it easier for children also to enjoy the game.

Do bounces count in ladder ball?

Players who are familiar with ladder toss gaming always incorporate tactics while making tosses.

However, they are not allowed to go in front of the ladder while tossing the bolas.

If all the rules are followed, bounces can be counted as a score.

How do you throw a ladder in golf?

After following the rules above and setting up the field, it is now time to start the game.

Ladder toss is played in rounds.

Every player tosses three bolas using the underhand technique, each at a time before the other player begins playing.

The aim of tossing the bolas is to hang them on the rungs to earn points.

When was ladder ball invented?

Ladder ball has quite some history.

Initially, it was discovered by Harold Furry in the 1990s .it does not end there because, in 2001, a man by the name Robert Reid patented a ball and ladder game.

He and his family had played the game for decades when he decided to patent it in 1999.

In 2005, he sold the patent to Ladder Golf LLC. This company started manufacturing and selling the game, thus increasing its popularity.


Ladder toss is one of the best outdoor games you can have at your yard.

It does not require complicated skills, and the rules are easy to grasp.

If you are a beginner or just want to elevate your skills, I believe this write up will help you significantly.

You can always refer to it in case you need to confirm anything about playing ladder toss and have an unforgettable experience in the field.