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Unverified legend says this game originated with cowboys who played with live snakes thrown across fences. Our version does not involve live snakes.

Ladders equipment


  • 2 ladders, each with 3 rungs
  • 6 bolas (3 green, 3 white)


  • Ladders placed 5 paces (approximately 15 feet) apart
  • Two teams of 1 or 2 players each
  • 1-on-1 players stand at opposite ladders
  • 2-on-2 teams have one player on each side
  • Teams throw all 6 bolas and switch sides between rounds


  • Toss bolas onto rungs to score points
  • First to reach exactly 21 points wins

House Rules


  • Coin toss winner goes first


  • Teams take turns tossing all 3 bolas, then the other team goes
  • Throwing team can’t step past their own ladder
  • When all 6 bolas are thrown, that is the end of the “round”
  • Balls that bounce and land on a rung do count
  • After the round ends, count points


  • Only bolas still on rungs at end of the round are counted; bolas that were knocked off don’t count
  • First to 21 wins
  • If a team exceeds 21, they score 0 points on that turn.


  • 3pt – Top rung
  • 2pt – Middle rung
  • 1pt – Bottom rung

Bonus Points

  • 3pt – One bola on each rung bonus
  • 2pt – Three bolas on one run bonus