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Official Ladder Toss Rules

Ladder Toss, also known as Ladder Golf, Ladder Ball, or Hillbilly Horseshoes, is a popular outdoor game that involves throwing bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a ladder-like structure. Here are the detailed rules for playing Ladder Toss:


The objective of Ladder Toss is to score points by wrapping bolas around the rungs of the ladder.


  • Two Ladders: Each ladder has three rungs.

  • Six Bolas: Three bolas of one color and three bolas of another color. Each bola consists of two golf balls connected by a nylon rope.

  • Playing Area: A flat surface with the ladders placed 15 feet apart.


  1. Place the Ladders: Position the two ladders 15 feet apart on a flat surface. This distance can be adjusted for younger players or beginners.

  2. Divide into Teams: Ladder Toss can be played as singles (two players) or doubles (four players). In doubles, teammates stand at opposite ladders.

  3. Determine Starting Team: Use a coin toss or another method to decide which team throws first.


  1. Throwing Bolas: Teams take turns throwing their bolas. Each player throws three bolas per round.

  2. Throwing Order: Players alternate throws, with each player standing next to their ladder and throwing towards the opposite ladder.

  3. Scoring:

    • Top Rung: 3 points

    • Middle Rung: 2 points

    • Bottom Rung: 1 point

    • Bolas that land on the ground or do not wrap around a rung score no points.

  4. Round Completion: After all players have thrown their bolas, points are tallied for that round.

Winning the Game:

The game continues until a team reaches exactly 21 points. If a team exceeds 21 points in a round, their score for that round does not count, and they remain at their previous score. If both teams reach 21 points in the same round, the team with the higher score wins. If scores are tied, play additional rounds until one team has a higher score at the end of a round.

Additional Rules:

  • Bola Throwing Technique: Players must throw the bolas with an underhand release.

  • Foot Foul: Players must remain behind the front edge of the ladder when throwing. Stepping over the line results in a foot foul, and the throw does not count.

  • Interference: If a bola is moved by players or spectators, return it to its original position as agreed upon by the players.

  • Knocking Off Bolas: Bolas knocked off the ladder by subsequent throws are not counted.


  • Aiming: Players should aim for the top rung to score the maximum points.

  • Defensive Throws: Players can attempt to knock their opponents' bolas off the rungs.

Ladder Toss is a fun and engaging outdoor game that combines skill and strategy. Its simple rules and minimal equipment make it an ideal game for family gatherings, picnics, and backyard parties.

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