Ladder Golf

Basic Instructions

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.


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.

Team Play

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.

You can read the offical rules here.


Your ladder needs to be assembled prior to playing. Begin by fastening the 2 uprights to the 2 bases with the supplied knobs. After both uprights are fastened to the bases insert the round steps. The top and bottom step are identical and the middle step is the one with threads on the ends. Once all the steps are inserted screw in the remaining 2 knobs into both ends of the middle step. Do not over tighten the knobs on the middle step or use any tools to tighten them. The clearances on your new Ladder Golf game are very tight at first. The holes drilled in the ladder are meant to be tight and it will become easier to assemble after the first few times you assemble and disassemble the game set.


This game originated in China. The Main Export Markets were Eastern Europe. Other places that it came from are North Africa, Mid East Africa, Central/South America, Asia, Western Europe, and Australia.

Rule Variations

The number of ways these rules may be altered. Some examples of modified rules are:

  • Have each player throw all of their team's bolas, one at a time, before the next player takes a turn.
  • Make each player choose on which side of the ladder they will stand, and they will stand there every time they throw.
  • Have each player throw all of their team's bolas, add up the score, and remove the bolas before the next player takes a turn.
  • Set a time limit for games.
  • The team with the highest total score at the beginning of each round could throw first.
  • Another way is to instead of throwing all of the bolas at one time, take turns throwing them.
  • Then if they get on the same step they cancel eachother out, no points would be given.
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