Made from powder-coated steel. Bolas are constructed from soft, strong material to help prevent injuries. Easy to assemble. Comes with bag for carrying and storage. Solid construction.
Some of the bolas leak sand over time.
Steel targets are a good and durable value. Bolas consist of a rubber material that will last and is safer to use than hard golf balls. All parts fit inside a convenient carrying case.
Quality of materials used for the bolas is a little below average.
Easy to set up and assemble with no tools. Set fits in user-friendly carrying case. Lightweight. Quality of the pieces should last.
PVC materials don't look as good as pieces made from steel.
Bolas are made of golf balls, which ensure a long lifespan. All parts fit in a relatively small carrying case that you can take anywhere. Assembly is easy with the PVC pipes.
Golf ball bolas are a harder material than some other options.
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If you’re looking for an outdoor game that’s easy to learn and fun for all ages, ladder ball is an excellent choice. The unusual look of the game is sure to make anyone want to give it a try.
Played in two teams, the goal of ladder ball is to toss bolas (two balls connected by string) so that they wrap around the “rungs” of a ladder-like target. The ladders may be made of PVC, wood, or steel, each of which directly affects game play and has its own advantages and disadvantages. The materials of the bolas vary as well, affecting their feel and durability. Because of the materials, some sets may not be suitable for children, but in general, ladder ball is a game for everyone.
Most ladder ball sets are fairly inexpensive, but the materials and additional accessories may increase the price. To learn more about the types of ladder ball sets available and to see some of our favorites, continue reading our shopping guide.
Ladder ball is a fairly new lawn sport, dating from the 1990s, and as a result, its rules can vary. Here is a common way to play ladder ball:
Though the throwing line is typically 15 feet (or five paces) from the ladder, you can shorten this distance to make the game easier for younger players.
When choosing a ladder ball set, consider the number of people who will play and the ages of the players.
Number: Ladder ball sets typically include either one or two ladders. You can play the game with only one ladder, but if you have teams, you may find it easier to play with two. When playing in teams, situate at least one player from each team behind each ladder. One side throws at a time, saving you the effort of having to walk over to the ladder to retrieve the bolas.
Materials: What the ladders are made of — PVC, steel, or wood — determines a set’s sturdiness, durability, weight, and price.
Each bola has two components: the balls and the string that connects them.
Materials: You’ll find bolas made of rubber, plastic, and wood, as well as golf ball bolas.
String: The string that connects the balls is usually a durable material like nylon. Take note of how the string attaches to the balls because this is the most common part to break. Cheaper sets may have a string that threads inside a hollow bola, while on higher-quality bolas the string ties to a ring.
Bolas: Some more expensive ladder ball sets include spare bolas.
Carrying case: Especially when it comes to wooden or steel sets, a carrying case can be a great accessory if you plan to take your game to the park or beach.
Score tracker. Some sets come with a built-in score tracker. This may be in the form of a rubber band on one of the tubes that can be moved up or down, or in a wooden set, a pegboard on the side of the ladder.
Some rules allow for other ways to score, such as getting one bola on each rung or dangling one bola from another.
Inexpensive: Basic ladder ball sets that cost $20 to $40 are usually made of PVC and have plastic or rubber bolas. Most sets in this price range include one ladder, but some on the higher end of the spectrum may have two. These serviceable sets are fine for casual backyard play, but the ladders and bolas may break over time.
Mid-range: For $40 to $60 you’ll find ladder ball sets made of PVC or steel. These sets may include one or two ladders, as well as accessories like a carrying case and score tracker. The bolas may be plastic, rubber, or golf balls. Sets in this range are generally fairly durable and can last for years if treated properly.
Expensive: High-end ladder ball sets that cost $60 to $100 are usually made of steel or wood and often have golf ball bolas. These are high-quality sets that look great on your lawn and will hold up well over time. A carrying case is almost always included in this price range.
Though it’s possible to make your own ladderball set out of PVC tubes, it’s usually less expensive (and time-consuming) to purchase a basic set.
Though we stand by our top recommendations as the best ladder ball sets available, there are a few premium sets we thought we would mention. For an all-wood design, consider the Yard Games Ladder Toss Game, which includes two ladders and a carrying case. The bolas are made of real golf balls, and the wooden frame is high quality and durable. The scoring pegs are convenient, though some customers reported that their set came without pegs. Another solid wood option is the Franklin Sports Beach Bumz Ladder Ball set, which has a cherry lacquered finish for a classy look. The wooden bolas feel nice, but the finish can wear off. However, this two-ladder set makes up for it with solid construction, steel stakes for holding the ladders in place, and a unique sliding score tracker on each ladder.
Q. How safe is ladder ball?
A. Compared to a lawn sport like bocce ball or horseshoes, ladderball is incredibly safe. The only potential danger comes from the bolas, so be careful not to hit anyone with them!
Q. Do ladder ball sets include rules?
A. Not always, but rules can be found easily enough online. There are many variations of the rules, so choose some that seem the most fun to you.
Q. One of my bolas broke. Can bolas be purchased individually?
A. They can, but finding bolas that match your set can be difficult. The manufacturer may be able to provide more bolas for an additional price.
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