The Amazing Game of Ladderball

Ladderball is one of those staple lawn games that every party goer, or tailgater should know. Not only is it simple to play, but it is one of the few that can be broken down into a small travel bag for easy transport.

The equipment consists of an interlocking set of pipes or dowels that create a 3-tired ladder. Two ladders placed across from each other are the targets of the game. In this way, it is similar to the popular bean bag toss game called cornhole. Rather than bean bags, however, participants are given 3 bolas to toss in an attempt to wrap or hang them on the rungs.

family playing ladderball in the yard

Each set of bolas is colored to represent the teams, usually red versus blue. A bola is a piece of string with a weighted ball attached to each end. By tossing the bola with various techniques, players are able to spin, grab, or wrap their bola around a ladder wrung. Some players are even able to use a bola to knock an opponent’s scoring bola off of the ladder, and therefore eliminate their points.

There is no right, or wrong, way to toss the bola. Competitors are encouraged to be creative in their methods. Even bouncing the bola off of the ground is a permitted, though risky, technique.

Scoring is identical to cornhole. Teams, or individuals, play to 21 points. The players on a single side alternate their tosses. This allows for strategies of both offense and defense. Once all six bolas have been thrown, the score is tallied.

Though the value of the rungs can be alternated in order to create more, or less, difficulty during the game, the standard rules claim that the top rung is worth 3 points, the middle worth 2, and the bottom most rung worth a single point.

Each team’s bola points are added and the difference becomes the score. This means that with each flight only the team with the most accumulated points will add their score toward the goal of 21 points. If bola points are even, for example if team 1 had 3 bolas on the bottom rung and team 2 has one on the uppermost, a tie of zero is declared and the turn passes to the waiting teammates.

This is an entertaining game that is certain to liven up any party, barbecue, or tailgate. While older crowds often turn it into a drinking game, with the losing team each round required to drink, it also makes a fun family game. Moving the targets closer together allows even young children to participate. The next time that you are looking for another game to add to your list of events, pick up a ladderball set and toss up a good time! You can view a ton of different game sets, cornhole boards and other tailgate games in this shop. Have fun!