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BlongoBall Ladder Ball Game Is Multi-Generational Hit

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BlongoBall, a sturdy version of ladder ball or ladder golf, is fun to play with grandkids.

BlongoBall, a sturdy version of ladder ball or ladder golf, is fun to play with grandkids.

Photo © Susan Adcox

The Bottom Line

I'm always on the hunt for games that can be played by all generations. We've had fun with bocce and croquet, but those require a fairly smooth, dry lawn. Now I've discovered ladder ball, which is another multi-generational game and one that can be played in any open space, as long as windows aren't nearby. It goes by many names, including ladder golf, ladder toss, lasso golf and hillbilly golf. I bought the version known as BlongoBall. The game comes with hard golf balls for outdoor play, but soft balls are available that would be suitable for younger kids and for indoor play.
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Pros

  • Fun for kids, not too strenuous for grandparents
  • Easily adaptable to different skill levels
  • Scoring helps kids practice mental math
  • Easy to put up and take down

Cons

  • Ladders come apart easily.
  • Ladders may have to be anchored or weighted down.
  • Set comes with only two sets of bolas.
  • Hard balls could injure children.

Description

  • Ladder is made of PVC pipe which assembles and reassembles easily.
  • BlongoBalls, sometimes referred to as bolas, are basically two golf balls on a cord.
  • Points are scored by getting the balls to wrap around or hang from rungs.
  • Game comes with ladder and two sets of three bolas.

Guide Review - BlongoBall Ladder Ball Game Is Multi-Generational Hit

Why is BlongoBall so much fun? First, there is something inherently cool about throwing a BlongoBall and seeing it cartwheel through the air, not to mention the thrill when it wraps around a rung. Second, there is the element of surprise--will the bola stay on the rung, or will it fall? Third, there are a couple of nice twists in the rules, which involve both chance and strategy.

The ladder in BlongoBall is color-coded to indicate point values. The top rung is worth one point, the middle two points and the bottom, three points. If a bola hits the ground and then nails a rung, it is called a bouncer and scores five points. A player can take away another player's score by knocking the bola from the ladder--one of the aforementioned twists.

A player or a team wins by scoring exactly 21 points. The players are supposed to stand 25 feet from the ladder, but that can be adjusted for younger kids. Another way to adjust for different skill levels is to handicap the better players by giving them only two bolas instead of three. (We discovered this when one of ours went missing!)

The set comes with two sets of ladders, but only one is really necessary for play. On the other hand, it comes with only two sets of bolas, and more would have been nice. Extras can be ordered, as can a nice carrying bag for the set. Also available are bolas made of soft balls, which make the game feasible indoors in a playroom or basement. Care does have to be exercised when playing around children, as the original hard bolas could result in injury.

BlongoBall has become quite the thing for tailgating parties, and it can also be frequently spotted at parks, campgrounds and beaches. I can't wait to take mine to our family reunion. I know it is going to be a hit.

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