Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Game of Bocce

A great gift idea for the holidays is a bocce ball set. For those of you who do not know what bocce ball is, it is an ancient game developed by the Egyptians, Romans, and the Greeks. The modern day version was mainly influenced by the Roman version of the game. The game is played with 1 small ball (the 'jack' or the 'pallino') and 8 larger balls. The game can be played one on one (up to eight players with one ball each) or 2 teams of 2 or 4 players.

There is an "open version" of the game which is popular and can be played anywhere, but a regulation bocce court is 76 feet long and 10 feet wide. You must make sure that playing surface is flat and level (packed dirt, gravel or grass are ideal).



  • Divide players into two teams of one, two or four players each. Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players.




  • Have a player from the starting team stand behind the foul line (which is 10 feet from the throwing end of the court) and throw the small ball, or "pallina," toward the opposite end of the playing surface.




  • Let the player then throw one of the larger balls, or "boccia," trying to get it as close to the pallina as possible without touching it.




  • Have players from the opposing team take turns throwing their balls until one of the balls stops closer to the pallina than the starting player's ball. If they fail to do so, the starting team tries to outdo its first attempt.




  • Let the starting players take their second turn if the opposing team gets closer to the pallina than the starting team without using all of their balls.




  • Continue in this fashion until all eight balls have been thrown. The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallina than the other team's closest ball.




  • Keep in mind that if the two teams' closest balls are an equal distance from the pallina, no points are awarded.




  • End the frame after all eight balls have been thrown and appropriate points have been awarded. The scoring team begins the next frame. If no team previously scored, the team that threw the pallina last begins the next frame.




  • Play as many frames as needed until one team has a total score of 16 points.




    • The game is a lot of fun and perfect for a day out in great weather. Finding a bocce ball set is pretty easy. There are plenty of online store that sell them and even local stores in the mall or sporting good stores. For more information about bocce ball, check out http://www.bocceballsets.net/.




      Click on the image to the left to view basic dimensions for a bocce ball court.








      1 comment:

      1. It is a great game, not just for friends, but a good family game too. Our only problem was that the bocce balls were a little too heavy for the kids. I ended up picking up a second set (cheaper plastic) that we can use as a family with playing with the kiddos. The kids can handle the weight better.

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