The items needed to play are two ladders and a set of three bolas per team. Each ladder has three rungs, each rung scoring a different point value. One common method of scoring is to have the rungs be one, two and three points. In one variety the top is worth 1, middle is 2, and bottom is 3. Points are tallied at the end of each round, after all teams have thrown their bolas. The bolas suspended on the ladder score the points for that rung, often with the goal of getting at least 21 points to win.
Another variety of scoring would be 1pt for the bottom rung, 2pts for the middle, 3pts for the top, and if you have a bola on each of the rungs, that's an automatic 10pts. Makes the game move faster, but just as hard. There are a few optional ways to earn bonus points: 1) A tight dangle bonus is when the balls can no longer be wrapped around the horizontal rods. This is worth an additional point to each tight dangle. 2) A springboard bonus occurs when the balls launch back in the direction they were thrown. A springboard bonus is worth one additional point.
The balls on the bolas are often golf balls, but may be any uniform weight. They are sometimes plastic balls, tennis balls, rubber balls or a monkey's fist knot. Teams are distinguished by having their own color. For example, Team One may have three bolas with blue string, Team Two may have red string and Team Three may have purple string. Also, the teams may have different colors of balls. Ladder toss may be played with two people (one person per team) or up to six people (three teams of two people).
The rungs may be plastic pipe, wood or other materials. Construction of the game is relatively easy and can be put together with the following:
- 16’ - ¾” PVC pipe
- 6 - ¾” PVC Elbow joints
- 6 – ¾” PVC “T” joints
- 12’ – 3/8” Nylon rope
- 12 – Solid core balls (six each of two different colors.)
Being a relatively new and grassroots game, it goes by many names. Some of these names are "Läderbölen" (English: "Ladder Ball"), "Lasso Golf", "North Dakota Golf", "Norwegian Golf" and many others. There is also a patented version of the game called Ladder Golf.