Ladderball is my favorite "throw something at a target" campsite game. Throwing the bolos at the ladder is addictive - and watching the bolos wrap themselves around the rungs is fun every single time!
To play ladder ball, you need a ladderball set. It includes a "ladder" and a set of bolos. A bolo is just 2 golf balls attached by a cord.
Most purchased sets come with 6 bolos: 3 each of 2 colors.
You can buy a set at a camping store or online, or you can make your own using PVC pipe or wood.
My friends built this set using wooden dowels.
They found the plans online, and said that it was easy to make.
If you decide to buy a ladderball set, be sure to get a sturdy one.
This set gets great reviews for durability. It comes with its own carrying case!
This is an easy game to learn!
If you want to play by the official rules, stand 15 feet/4.6 m from the ladder.
If you don't care about official rules, put the starting line wherever you want!
You can even have more than one line: one for the little kids, one for the older ones, one for the grandparents....
The first player tosses all 3 of the bolos.
Then the second player tosses all 3 bolos.
You can toss the bolo in whatever way works for you. I find that underhand works best for me.
You can even bounce the bolo off the ground. As long as it ends up on a ladder rung, you score.
If you're playing with really little children, you might want to ignore the points and just play for fun.
If a bolo is knocked off by another bolo, it doesn't earn points.
That's when you get all 3 bolos on the top rung).
3 + 3 + 3 + 1 bonus point = 10
In this round so far, gold has 5 points (2 + 2 + 1) and white has 7 (3 + 3 + 1).
The first player to reach exactly 21 points is the winner.
If you go over 21 points, the points for that last round don't count.
If there is a tie, continue playing until one player wins a round by at least 2 points.
This is more complicated, and we don't usually use it - but you might like to! It makes for a longer game.
Look at the photo above. If we score with the alternate method, here's what happens:
White: 3 + 3 + 1 = 7
Gold: 2 + 2 + 1 = 5
7 - 5 = 2 White gets 2 points and Gold gets none.
Keeping a few basic guidelines in mind will keep everyone safe and happy:
If you will be playing with small children, consider using these soft bolos instead of standard golf balls.