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Tailgate Party Ideas: Ladder Ball Review

Updated on July 6, 2011

It's Time to Tailgate!

Tailgating before sporting events, like NFL or NCAA football games and MLB baseball games, has become a American tradition in recent years. A tailgate party is the perfect way to gather with friends, family and coworkers before the game and have some good food, a beer or two and some laughs.

To host the perfect tailgate party, you will need food, beer, soda, seating and of course, entertainment.

Tailgate games are the best way to entertain your guests prior to the start of the sporting event.

Some of the best games for tailgating include Cornhole (Baggs, Baggo, bean bag toss), Washers and Ladder Ball.

Ladder Ball (also known as Ladder Toss or Ladder Golf) is a relatively new game that is catching on across the country and especially in the tailgating community. The game is easy to set up, learn and play and can be enjoyed by little kids, big kids, teenagers and adults, making it perfect for family tailgate parties.

Have a Ball with Ladder Ball at Your Next Tailgate Party!


What You Need:

2 - 4 Players
2 Game Ladders
2 Bola Sets
1 Carrying Case
1 Set of Ladder Golf Rules

* If only 2 players are competing each game, you will only need 1 Game Ladder


There are very few pieces to Ladder Ball, so it should be easy to pack for your tailgate party and it doesn't take long to get a game and the fun started.

To set up Ladder Ball, all you need to do is put together the two "ladders." Essentially this involves inserting the three horizontal rods, or "steps," into the two vertical stands for each ladder. Instructions are included with most Ladder Ball sets.

After the ladders are assembled, place them 15 feet apart from each other. If younger children are playing, you can move them closer, after all, it's just for fun. The official Ladder Ball rules suggest somewhere around five paces apart for kids. Either way, there should be more than enough room for a game at your tailgate site.

Rules of Ladder Ball

If two people from your tailgate party are playing Ladder Ball, they will simply stand 15 feet from the ladder with 3 sets of bolas a piece.

If four people are playing (two teams of 2), one person from each team stands behind each ladder and one set of team members will start with the bolas in the first round.

Ladder Ball is played in rounds, where one player will start the round by tossing all three of their bolas. After that player has finished, their opponent will toss all three of their bolas.

At the end of the round, the score for the round is recorded and added to the total score of the Ladder Ball game.

Whichever player or team scores the highest amount of points in the previous round starts the tossing in the consecutive round.

The first player or team to accumulate 21 points is the winner of that Ladder Ball game. However, the player or team must score exactly 21 points in order to win.

For example: If a round starts where one player or team has 20 points and then proceeds to score 2 or more points in that round, their score will drop back to 20 and stay there until they are able to only score 1 point for the victory.

In the rare case where a tie occurs in Ladder Ball, an overtime period will be required.

Overtime lasts until a round occurs where on team or players scores 2 or more points than their opponent in that round.

Scoring in Ladder Ball

The scoring in Ladder Ball, like most tailgate games, is fairly simple and straight forward. In order to score a point or points, the player must toss their bola onto one of the steps of the ladder.

In order for the bola to count, it must be hanging on the step at the end of the round, therefore bolas that fall off or are knocked off, which is encouraged in ladder ball, will not count toward the final round score.


Each step on the ladder in Ladder Ball is worth a set amount of points. The top step is worth 3 points. The middle step is worth 2 points and the bottom step is worth 1 point.

Bonus points are awarded if all three of a players bolas land on the same step in a round or if one bola lands on each separate step in a round.

Buy Ladder Ball Bolas Online

Get Your Ladder Ball Game Today!

For tailgating, Ladder Ball is a great choice because the games don't last too long and they can be casually enjoyed while continuing conversation with friends and family.

Anyone at your tailgate party who hasn't played before can learn very quickly, and with such a simple setup and concept, almost anyone can succeed at Ladder Ball immediately.

Once the games are done, or the sporting event is about to begin, ladder ball can be disassembled in only a minute or two and be packed up and ready to go before you know it.

Before your next tailgate party, you should definitely consider purchasing a Ladder Ball set either online or at your local sporting good stores. Check out some of the Amazon links above or the official Ladder Ball site for a set that is sure to suit your tailgating needs.

Happy Tailgating!

Ladder Ball Video Tutuorial


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