Ladder Ball Rules: A Few Simple rules to explain a great game

Ladder ball is known as, “Flingy Pong” because you fling two pongs, or balls also known as bolas, at a ladder. Ladder ball rules are not complex. This is a game that both adults and children would enjoy. It is a game of skill and agility and tossing power.

The game originated in the southwest where Matt Peterson discovered it being played as a camping game. People think that the bola was actually a substitute for a snake that would be thrown into trees to knock things out.


Ladder ball, also called ladder golf, is played with two or more players or teams. You will wrap a bola, which is two golf balls attached at either end, by a nylon rope, around the steps of a ladder. The ladder is constructed  with three steps, a top, a middle, and a bottom rung. Attaching the bola to the top rung is called a “flingy pongy” and will net you three points. Attaching the bola to the middle rung will net you two points. Attaching the bola to the bottom rung will net you 1 point. The object of the game is to net exactly 21 points. You can’t go over and you can’t go under. If a player goes over 21 points, the tosses that they made do not count. If there is a tie, the winner is the one who nets two additional points.

A toss line is set up before the game begins. This is where the player will stand to throw the bola. It should measure exactly 15 feet away from the ladder.

Ladder ball is played in the round. In each round the players are allowed 3 tosses of the bola in a row. Any bounce of the bola is considered good. This includes bounces that rebound from the ground.

Rules vary according to those who play it. Civility is expected, but some games are raucous. In some games, players are quiet will others toss the bolas. In other games distractions like calling out and name calling are allowed. In some games, players bolas are not disturbed while they are on the ladder. In other games players are encouraged to knock an opponent’s bola down from the ladder.

Outdoor games like this are nothing more than amalgamation of other games. Doesn’t it look like a combination of  horseshoes and bocce ball?

Better, people make a variant of ladder ball by marking a traditional ladder on a golf lawn.  This ladder is between 40 and 50 feet long.  A putting hole is placed at the end of the ladder. Players attempt to putt the ball into the putting hole with the least amount of strokes. Players must be careful not to stray outside of the ladder or rungs with any of their strokes.  Is it any wonder that the game is referred to as ladder golf also.

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