Ultimate Guide to Wooden Ladder Toss: A Classic Game for Fun and Skill

Ultimate Guide to Wooden Ladder Toss: A Classic Game for Fun and Skill

When it comes to backyard games, few can match the simplicity, charm, and fun of a wooden ladder toss. This timeless game, also known as ladder golf or ladder ball, has been a staple at family gatherings, tailgate parties, and beach outings for years. Combining elements of strategy, precision, and a touch of luck, wooden ladder toss offers hours of entertainment for players of all ages. In this guide, we'll explore everything you need to know about this delightful game, from its origins and rules to tips for improving your play. We'll also highlight some top-quality products from Bolaball, a leading manufacturer of outdoor games.

Origins of Ladder Toss

Ladder toss has a relatively recent history compared to other traditional games. It is believed to have originated in the early 1990s, gaining popularity in the United States and spreading rapidly due to its easy setup and engaging gameplay. The game was initially crafted using basic materials like PVC pipes and golf balls, but over time, wooden versions have become the preferred choice for their aesthetic appeal and durability.

Understanding the Game

Objective: The objective of ladder toss is to toss bolas (two balls connected by a string) onto a three-rung ladder, aiming to wrap them around the rungs for points. The higher the rung, the more points you score.


  1. Ladder: A typical ladder has three horizontal rungs, each spaced evenly apart. Wooden ladders, such as those offered by Bolaball, provide a sturdy and classic look.
  2. Bolas: Each player or team has three bolas, which consist of two balls (often made of wood or rubber) connected by a nylon string.


  1. Place the ladders about 15 feet apart, though this distance can be adjusted based on players' skill levels and available space.
  2. Each player stands behind their ladder when throwing bolas.

Rules of Play

  1. Teams and Turns: Ladder toss can be played one-on-one or in teams of two. Players take turns tossing their bolas, aiming to land them on the rungs of the opposing ladder.
  2. Scoring:
    • Top rung: 3 points
    • Middle rung: 2 points
    • Bottom rung: 1 point
  3. Winning: The game is typically played to 21 points, but players can adjust this target for shorter or longer games.
  4. Throws: Each player throws all three bolas before the next player takes their turn. All bolas must be thrown from behind the ladder line.
  5. Point Validation: Points are only counted after all players have thrown their bolas for the round. Bolas that land on the same rung as an opponent's bola cancel out the points for that rung.

Tips for Improving Your Game

  1. Practice Your Throw: Consistency is key in ladder toss. Practice your throwing technique to develop a smooth and repeatable motion.
  2. Aim for the Top Rung: While it might be tempting to aim for the easier bottom rung, focusing on the top rung can maximize your points.
  3. Adjust Your Distance: If you're playing with children or beginners, consider reducing the distance between the ladders to make the game more accessible.
  4. Defensive Throws: If your opponent is close to winning, try to knock their bolas off the rungs with strategic throws.
  5. Stay Relaxed: Keep a relaxed grip and stance. Tension can lead to inconsistent throws.

Bolaball's Wooden Ladder Toss Products

Bolaball is known for its high-quality outdoor games, and their wooden ladder toss sets are no exception. Here are some standout features of Bolaball's products:

  1. Durable Construction: Made from premium wood, Bolaball's ladders are built to withstand the elements and provide long-lasting enjoyment.
  2. Elegant Design: The wooden finish offers a classic and aesthetically pleasing look, making these sets perfect for any backyard or event.
  3. Complete Sets: Bolaball provides everything you need to get started, including ladders, bolas, and detailed instructions.
  4. Portability: Despite their sturdy construction, Bolaball's ladder toss sets are designed to be easily disassembled and transported, making them ideal for on-the-go fun.
  5. Safety Features: Bolaball prioritizes safety with rounded edges and smooth finishes to prevent splinters and ensure safe play for all ages.

Why Choose Wooden Ladder Toss?

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Wooden ladder toss sets add a touch of rustic charm to any outdoor setting. Their natural look blends seamlessly with garden landscapes, picnic areas, and beach scenes.
  2. Eco-Friendly: Wooden sets are often more environmentally friendly compared to their plastic counterparts. Choosing wood supports sustainable practices and reduces plastic waste.
  3. Sturdiness: Wooden ladders tend to be more stable and less prone to tipping over during play, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable game experience.
  4. Customization: Many wooden ladder toss sets can be customized with different stains, paints, or engravings, allowing you to personalize your set to match your style or commemorate special events.

Organizing a Ladder Toss Tournament

Hosting a ladder toss tournament is a great way to bring friends and family together for a day of fun and competition. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Set Up Multiple Ladders: Depending on the number of participants, set up multiple ladder toss sets to keep the games moving and reduce wait times.
  2. Create a Bracket: Use a simple bracket system to organize matches. Single or double elimination formats work well for tournaments.
  3. Establish Rules: Ensure everyone is clear on the rules and scoring system before starting. Consider having a referee for each game to keep track of scores and resolve disputes.
  4. Prizes: Offer small prizes or trophies for the winners. This adds an extra layer of excitement and motivation for participants.
  5. Refreshments: Provide snacks and drinks to keep players and spectators refreshed throughout the event.

Customizing Your Wooden Ladder Toss Set

One of the many joys of owning a wooden ladder toss set is the ability to customize it to your liking. Here are some creative ideas for personalizing your set:

  1. Painting: Use outdoor wood paint to add vibrant colors or patterns to your ladder. You could paint each rung a different color or create a themed design that reflects your personality or favorite sports team.
  2. Staining: If you prefer a more natural look, consider staining the wood to enhance its grain and add a touch of elegance. Different shades of stain can give your set a unique and polished appearance.
  3. Engraving: Personalized engravings can make your ladder toss set truly special. Add family names, dates, or inspirational quotes to commemorate special occasions or simply to make the set your own.
  4. Accessories: Bolaball offers a range of accessories that can enhance your ladder toss experience. From carrying cases to extra bolas, these additions can make your game more convenient and enjoyable.

Benefits of Playing Ladder Toss

Playing ladder toss offers more than just fun; it also provides several benefits:

  1. Physical Activity: Ladder toss involves walking, bending, and throwing, providing a moderate level of physical activity that's great for staying active outdoors.
  2. Hand-Eye Coordination: The game requires precise throws and good aim, helping to improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
  3. Social Interaction: Ladder toss is a social game that encourages interaction, teamwork, and friendly competition, making it perfect for gatherings and parties.
  4. Stress Relief: Engaging in a fun outdoor game can be a great way to relax and relieve stress, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Maintenance and Care

To ensure your wooden ladder toss set lasts for many years, proper maintenance and care are essential:

  1. Storage: Store your set in a dry place when not in use to prevent wood from warping or rotting. A shed or garage is ideal.
  2. Cleaning: Wipe down the ladders and bolas with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the wood.
  3. Sealing: Apply a wood sealant or varnish annually to protect the wood from moisture and UV damage. This will help maintain the appearance and durability of your set.
  4. Repairs: Check your set regularly for any loose or damaged parts. Tighten screws and bolts as needed, and replace any worn-out components to keep your game safe and functional.


Wooden ladder toss is a fantastic game that combines skill, strategy, and a bit of luck, making it perfect for any outdoor gathering. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the game, the charm and durability of wooden sets, like those from Bolaball, offer a superior experience. With its easy setup and universal appeal, ladder toss is sure to become a favorite pastime for your family and friends. So grab a set, head outside, and enjoy the timeless fun of wooden ladder toss!