Lately, everyone seems to be bitten by the Ladder ball bug. This newly popular backyard game goes by different names like ladder golf toss, monkey ball, ball rope, hillbilly golf, and others - but they all mean the same.
There is something about this simple bola throwing game which is oddly satisfying. Maybe it's the joy the bola wrapping around the rung, or perhaps it's the sheer fun the game entails. This simple to play game can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike and can be played anywhere from backyards and camping grounds to even swimming pools.
No wonder you're looking to own a ladder ball set and we are here to help!
After testing, and playing with over a dozen of ladder ball sets, we feel that the GoSports Premium Set is the best for nearly everyone. It is well-built, easy to assemble, portable, comes with a carrying case, and priced affordably. This premium set offers excellent playability and value.
The 5 Best Ladder Ball Sets
1. Franklin Sports Set
Best of the Best
Franklin Sports is a well-known name and brand in the recreational sports industry. Known for their high-quality products at a value for money standpoint, the Franklin Sports Ladder Ball Set is no different.
This top-of-the-line set is built to last, making it a worthwhile investment for anyone who is looking durable set. It is built as per official tournament specifications (33 inch x 24 inch) and comes with six standard golf tosses - three red and three blue.
The frame is made out of heavy-gauge steel and requires no special tools for assembly. Being heavier than most of the regular set means the structure is more stable and does not easily tip or fall over. Whether you're playing on the beach, camping ground, or your backyard, this set will not let you down. The whole structure is collapsible, and it easily fits inside the provided carrying case.
To sum up, if the budget isn't a constraint then this might be the set for you!
+ Sturdy Steel construction
+ Regulation size
+ Comes with six standard Bolas
2. GoSports Premium Set
Bang for the Buck
The first thing that strikes you with this set is, just how sharp the overall look of it is. The classic plastic targets, the red and blue shaded golf balls - perfectly bringing back many nostalgic memories from the past game nights.
This lightweight yet durable set comes with two premium PVC targets, six bolas, a carrying case, and an instruction manual. The disassembling structure allows for easy construction and tear-down whenever necessary. The company also includes a duffle bag to conveniently store the set, making it easy to carry and transport. The sturdy structure perfectly breaks down to fit inside the provided carrying bag.
The bolas are made out of actual golf balls for the authentic gameplay experience. The balls are attached using thick ropes which prevent the issue of tangles. The bolas are incredibly durable and can withstand a fair bit of abuse.
This set also comes with a built-in scoring system for each team, making every part of the game as immersive as can be. Not to mention, this comes with every paying customer’s favorite two words: a LIFETIME GUARANTEE. No matter what may happen to this ladder ball set, GoSports has you covered for many games to come.
What we love
+ Lightweight yet durable
+ Bang for the buck
+ Lifetime guarantee
Watch out for
- Not as sturdy compared to a steel or wooden set
3. Triumph All Pro Series Press Fit Set
Best for Durability
Next in the list is an all-steel set from Triumph Sports - a popular American sports equipment manufacturer. What sets this ladder ball set apart from others is the unique pressure fit joints, which reduces the assembly time to mere seconds. This durable set doesn't require any specialized tools for assembly, and neither does it require you to tighten any screws or knobs. This shows the company goes the extra distance to make sure the product will stand the test of time.
Measuring 36" H x 23" W, the targets are slightly smaller than the regulation size but are perfect for casual play. Each target weighs around 6 pounds and remains stable throughout and are designed to withstand competitive gameplay.
Six premium (three Blue and three Red bolas) kid-friendly soft bolas are also included in the set. Also, a durable sports bag is provided, which holds the frame and bolas for easy portability and storage.
We recommend this to anyone who is looking for a durable ladder ball set at an affordable price.
+ Assembly takes seconds – literally!
+ Sturdy Build
+ Excellent price point
- Non-regulation size
4. AmazonBasics Ladder Toss Outdoor Lawn Game Set
Back to Basics
The cheapest set in the list is the AmazonBasics Ladder Toss game set - An excellent choice for anyone on a budget. This regulation size is made out of PVC pipes and joints, includes 6 bolas (3 red and 3 blue) and comes with a heavy-duty carrying bag.
The lightweight yet durable frame is designed to handle light to moderate play. But if you're looking for a competitive set, we suggest you go for the Franklin Sports set instead. The bolas are actual golf balls connected with a nylon rope. The positive to this that the bolas swing properly. However, the downside to this that the heavy bolas can seriously hurt someone if hit accidentally. If you plan to play with kids or with friends with few drinks down, we suggest replacing these bolas with the rubber ones.
To sum up, this set has its fair share of flaws, but for the price, you really can't complain.
What we like
+ Cheapest set currently available
+ Decent construction quality
+ Easy to assemble
Watch out for
- Stability issues
- Not as sturdy as other sets in the list
5. ROPODA Floating Ladder Ball Toss Game Set
Best for Kids
It's no secret that kids love to play in the water. And as you would already know, Ladder Ball is a hell lot of fun! Combine these two activities, and you end with pool ladder ball - Sounds like a bundle of fun! This is what ROPODA Floating Ladder Ball toss Game Set offers.
This versatile set is designed to be used indoors, outdoors and as well as in the pool. The set comes with six robust EVA foam inserts for easy floating on the water. The overall structure is lightweight, simple to assemble, and put down.
The set is ideal for light usage and ideal for kids and teens. The set includes two PVC ladder targets, six bolas and a mesh carrying case. Although the construction quality isn't the best but with proper care, this set would definitely last long.
What we Like
+ Can be used indoors, outdoors and in water
+ Lightweight and portable
+ Kid-friendly design and materials
Watch out for:
- Designed for light usage
- Stability issues
Buyer’s Guide to Ladder Ball Sets
Ladder ball is a simple game with simple rules - throw the bolas in such way that it clings to the target. But selecting a quality set that would last you a considerable time isn't that straightforward!
Similar to other backyard games like Cornhole or horseshoes, the game isn't that expensive to get started with. But you need to keep a couple of factors in mind while choosing one, namely Frame quality, Size, Bolas type, and Budget.
We've discussed each of the points in length below:
Things to Look For:
While some may hold certain qualities closer to their hearts and their wallets, a few basic ones are important to everybody.
Frame Build Quality:
The longevity of the set is a crucial question. With excellent care, there is no reason why any ladder ball set should break down in a small period. The game has very few pieces to be concerned with. The actual ladder system is best when constructed out of steel, as the bolas may eventually wear down the ladder after more than a few inaccurate throws. With steel, a few scratches and the ultra-rare dent may appear, as opposed to the plastic which may deform and even crack or break under the unfortunate circumstances.
The ladder ball targets are available in different shapes and sizes. If you're looking for a professional set, look for targets measuring at least 36'' x 24''. For casual and recreational play official specs don't mean much but look for at least 30'' x 24''.
Another factor to consider is the material of the bolas. Nylon and rubber won't matter to the set or the players, but heavily weighted golf balls may negate certain safety precautions. If you plan to play with kids, it's best to stick with lighter bolas made out of rubber or plastic material. For competitive usage, golf ball bolas are recommended.
Unlike other big, grand outdoor games with a bunch of parts and pieces, ladder ball keeps to the basics, and therefore no one set ever gets too pricey. That being said, you can get yourself a high-quality tournament grade set under $80. A mid-grade set would cost you about $50 while a kid-friendly set would go for close to $40.
Ladder Ball Rules
Ladder ball is a fairly common outdoor game, and while it may seem confusing upon first glance, it is a simple game with a basic set of rules that will allow even the tiniest of children to grasp the concept.
Two or four people can join up and form teams. The targets are set up fifteen feet away from each other. This is where the bolas come into play - two round balls connected by a sturdy piece of rope. Each player gets to throw three bolas. There is no set way or technique to throw the bolas. Use your creativity here. You may even try bouncing the bolas off the ground.
When there are two-player teams, a member from each team stands on one side. The player tosses the bolas towards the ladder ball set and attempts to hang the bola from one of the rungs of the ladder.
The ladder operates on a three rung system, with an increasing point value from the bottom rung to the top rung of 1-2-3. When team play is involved, the opposing team member may opt to knock down the other player's bola, so they will lose points. After three bolas are used, the entire playing field is reset, and the score is tallied. Each player/team's goal is to get to 21 total points to win the game. That's it!
Ladder ball shares a core principle with all other outdoor games in the sense that its rules are simplistic, the score is low, and the goal is achievable by any sort of player, young or old, skilled or inexperienced, and tall or short.
Here is an easy to follow video on how to play ladder toss/ball:
Ladder ball is a fun game which knows no-age boundary. Kids, teens, adults, and olds can enjoy this fun-filled game! So when purchasing a set, make sure you pick a durable and sturdy set which would last you a long time. Franklin Sports Ladder Ball set is hands down my personal favorite. The build quality is top-notch, and the price is hard to pass up.
However, if you're looking for a set for occasional play, then you're better off choosing something lightweight like Go Sports Premium.
That's it for the review folks. Did I miss your favorite set? Let me know in the comments section below!