Are you finding a calm and party game to enjoy with your friends and family at your leisure time or picnic? Then, bocce ball is a game you should try out with friends and family. Also known as bocci or boccie, bocce is an ancient ball throwing game that originated in Egypt and developed in Italy. Now, people worldwide play this outdoor recreational game for outdoor potlucks and garden parties. Almost every one of all ages can enjoy this game with their friends and family. This game requires minimum equipment and players. So, you can play this game at family gatherings, picnics, parties, and so on.
But, to enjoy this fascinating game to the fullest, you must understand the rules and regulations of this game. If you are unfamiliar with the rules of bocce, it would be best to read this guide as I will be discussing the complete management of bocce.
Players for Playing Bocce
Bocce is suitable for both small and large teams. You can play this game with another partner as your opponent or a large group of eight people. Generally, two to eight people can play this game together. If you intend to play as a group, you can make up two groups, each consisting of two or four people. According to the player number of each team, the balls rule also varies. Per player can throw two balls in a group consisting of two persons. And players of a team composed of four can throw one ball per player. If you play this game with a single opponent, you will get to throw four balls for each frame. The player’s pattern is given below for your better understanding.
- One player per team = four balls per player
- Two players per team = two balls per player
- Four players per team = one ball per player
Equipment Needed for Playing Bocce Ball
You need very few types of equipment for playing Bocce ball. You can enjoy this super-fun, recreational game only with a bocce set. There are two types of balls in a bocce set: bocce balls and pallino balls. Other than these balls, you will also need a measuring tape.
Bocce Balls: In a bocce ball set, you will find eight larger balls known as bocce balls. These balls are the focal required equipment for this game. Bocce balls generally measure from 100 to 115 mm in diameter. This size variation depends on the player’s skill level and age. However, a bocce ball’s standard diameter is about 107 mm or 4.2 inches and weighs approximately 920 grams. These eight balls come in two different colors- usually red and green. The color can vary depending on the brands and other factors. Four of the eight may have colored red rest of them are green. The reason behind using two different colors is to refer to each team with the color. This makes players recognize their balls easily.
Pallino ball: Another ball you will find in a bocce set is the Pallino ball, also known as jack. The pallino is often smaller than bocce balls. According to the standard rules of bocce, the Pallino should not be larger than 63 millimeters (2.5 inches) or smaller than 48 millimeters (1.875 inches). A typical Pallino ball is white so that players can quickly determine their balls from the Pallino. The pallino is used in the game as the target.
A measuring device: A measuring device is required to measure the distance between a bocce ball and the Pallino accurately. Any measuring device that can measure the distance between two objects is suitable for this game as a measuring device. You can find some bocce sets, including a measuring tape for your convenience. However, retractable steel tape graduated in millimeters is preferable for standard competitions.
Other than this equipment above, another piece of equipment used in formal competitions is a paddle. A paddle has a different color on each side to indicate which team should throw the balls. You can skip this paddle while playing in your home environment as you don’t need to follow all the standard rules.
Bocce needs a place where the surface is straight and smooth. You can play bocce almost anywhere where the surface is of plain stone, dust, clay, grass, or any smooth surface with minimal obstructions. Obstructions on the court can interrupt balls from reaching the targeted area. So, wherever you are playing bocce, ensure the court surface is ready to play.
Bocce courts are usually of a rectangle shape. The regulation size for the bocce court is 13 feet wide by 91 feet long. But, this sizing is not compatible with social playing. You can draw or make a court of any size that accommodates your area, but the recommended shape is rectangular. However, you should at least make outline barriers for highlighting the court area.
A bocce court has two foul lines on each side of the court. These foul lines are for marking the area where the players can not step while throwing the ball. You should draw each line at 10 feet from the end of the court barrier.
There are also five lines to draw in court. Four lines are drawn at four and ten feet from the end of the court, and the fifth line is the centerline. You are supposed to mark the centerline in the exact middle of the court. You can use chalk, string, or any marking object to draw these lines on the court. If you are thinking about playing this game in your backyard, you can adjust the court area according to your space. There is no strict regulation to follow in the case of social play.
How do you play bocce?
As I already mentioned, bocce is a ball-throwing game, and the game’s objective is to throw the bocce balls as much as possible to the target. Players have to play several frames to score more and win the game. For each frame, players follow the following game structure.
Generally, playing bocce can be divided into three main sections- getting started and tossing, playing, scoring, and continuation. We will briefly discuss these three parts of the game to make you understand the steps effortlessly.
Getting Started and Tossing: For the first part, players must prepare for the game. You must first arrange the equipment to play bocce and mark the court. Then, select players who are going to play this game. Once everything is ready near to hand, you can proceed to toss. These three steps are essential to be done correctly for the convenience of the rest of the game.
Tossing is necessary to prevent any dissent from any team and determine the team throwing the jack. You can toss in any process of tossing; it ultimately depends on your preferences. However, most players prefer tossing with a coin. Usually, as per the regulation, players need to toss from behind the 10 feet line on the court area’s narea’sde. The team wins in the toss and gets the chance to throw the jack or the Pallino for the first frame. However, it doesn’t doesn’twhich team is throwing the pallino because each team alternates overthrowing jack at the beginning of every new frame.
Playing: When the tossing is over, you can proceed to the playing part. The team that wins in the toss gets two opportunities to throw the pallino or the jack into the court’s court’sd portion. The court’s court’sbed part is usually into the zone from 5 meters from the end of the court to 2.5 meters. Though, various rules state that the jack only needs to cross the centerline. If you are playing in the backyard or in an open place where you couldn’tcouldn’tcourt, you can throw the jack at any distance, which is enough for making the game not too easy. In case the winning team tossing fails to throw the pallino into the zone, the opposite team gets the chance to throw the jack and set the target.
After setting the target, you will have to throw bocce balls to the closest of the pillano you can. But throwing is not so easy. You need to stand behind the foul line when you are about to throw a bocce ball. While throwing the bocce ball, be very much careful not to touch or cross the foul line. The team that threw the jack generally has to throw the first bocce ball.
There are so many ways of throwing the bocce ball. But among all the ways, most players tend to throw the ball underhanded. In this process, you need to place your palm cupping the underside of the ball. You can throw the ball higher into the air or bowl closer to the ground. You can also grip the ball from the above side and throw the ball underhanded. But, if you ask me the best way of throwing, I recommend underhanding and throwing the ball at least partially through the air instead of rolling.
For throwing, if you are not comfortable with my recommended style, there is no need to worry as there are two more good techniques that you can try for a better result. You can do either high, soft lobs or low, more decisive throws. The underhanded throwing style provides you the best control and power to send the ball to maximum distance. Before selecting a procedure randomly, try both techniques and find out which one suits you most.
Now it’s time’s the opponent team to throw a bocce ball with a motive to send the ball to the closest of the jack, at least closer than the first team. If the second team player fails to send the ball closer to the target than the first team, the second team has to bowl all the remaining balls as close to the jack as possible. In easy words, after the second throwing, the group’s ball is the farthest from the jack and has to bowl all their remaining three balls, trying to send the balls as closest as possible to the Pallino.
While throwing the bocce balls, it is acceptable to hit the jacks with the balls. It’s suit’s called ‘kiss’ o’ ‘ba’i.’ ‘the team gets 2 points if the ball remains touching the jack at the end of the frame. Now the team is yet to throw all their bocce balls and bowl the rest of the balls trying to beat the opponentopponents’of distance from the jack. Finally, all eight balls will be clustered at different spaces around the jack at the end of the frame.
Scoring and continuation: After finishing a frame, the team having their bocce ball closest to the jack gets one point, and the other team gets no point for that particular frame. Not only this, the winning team of the specific frame gets one point per ball, which is closest to the opponent opponents ball. If any ball of the winning team remains in touch with the jack after finishing the frame, the team will get 2 points for that ball. If the distance of balls between both teams is equal, then no team will earn any point.
You can set any point target when you are playing a friendly bocce game. Thus, you finish one frame and jump to the next, switching ends of the court. This playing process continues until a team score 12 points. The team wins, which wins 12 points first, playing several frames.
So, these were the basic rules for playing the game bocce ball. I highly recommend playing this game at your family parties and friends’friends’ngs. I once introduced this game to one of my friends, and he truly admired this highly. Hopefully, you got found how easily you can enjoy this game. Still, I always respond to your questions if you have any queries. You only need to leave your queries in the comment section below.