Prior to game play a line must be set 5 paces from the ladder. This is the called the toss line. The official toss line is 15 feet away but most players measure 5 paces from the game ladder to set the toss line. This allows for a closer toss line for children’s games. 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.
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.