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Bocce Ball Instructions

Italian immigrants introduced bocce ball, one of the world’s oldest yard games, to the United States. Some believe Egyptian cave art may have presented proof of the game’s origins. The classic game is still popular and can be found everywhere, from brunch to the beach. Bocce is a game that anyone can enjoy and is also played competitively around the world.

Before you begin playing, you must understand the tools, court, and teams. Bocce requires little equipment, making it easy to transport to a park or the beach. To play, you only need a bocce collection, which includes two types of balls:

1. Bocce balls

A bocce set comprises eight more giant balls, or “bocce balls.” They may vary in size depending on age and ability level, but a regulation-size ball has a diameter of about 4.2 inches. Four balls in two colors are provided per set to distinguish each team easily. They are usually red or green, but other colors can be found.

2. Pallino

The Pallino, also known as a “jack,” is a smaller ball that targets bocce balls during the game.

Jack of Bocce

It would be ideal if you could play Bocce in a friendly, flat area. Turf, sand, or grass could all be used. A standard bocce court is 91 feet long and 13 feet wide. Yet, for social play, the court can be any length you need to fit your location. A raised barrier covering the outer rectangle of the court is recommended but not required for social play.

Draw two foul lines on each side of the court’s rectangle to show where gamers may not step when throwing. This is usually done 10 feet from the court’s end.


Bocce can be played by two to eight people, making it suitable for small and large groups. The team size determines the number of bocce balls distributed to each player. Couples with one player will ‘bowl’ all four balls, while two- and four-person teams will have the balls distributed evenly.

Bocce Playing Rules

1. Once your court has been ready and divided into teams, it is time to play. Per round in a bocce match is referred to as a “frame,” and points are awarded after each frame. The following is how the game is played:

2. The thrower of the Pallino will bowl a bocce ball. Toss the ball underhanded and try to cup it from the bottom. The goal of the toss is to get the Bocce as close to the Pallino as possible.

3. The next step is for a member of the opposing team to throw one of their bocce balls closer to a Pallino than their opponent. If they succeed, the ball is considered “inside.” Otherwise, they will continue to toss all of their balls while disseminating turns among their gamers until one of them lands within.

4. The team to throw will invariably be the one with the ball closest to the Pallino. After all the balls have been tossed, the frames will be revealed.

It’s also important to remember that you can hit your opponent’s Pallino or even bocce balls during your turns. This could be a strategy to move the target’s region closer or further away from it.

Keeping score for Bocce

At the end of a frame, one or more points may be awarded to one team. A point is awarded to the team whose bocce ball is closest to the Pallino (s). If the distance between the two groups and the Pallino is equal, no points are given in the frame. Most of the time, this can be determined solely by sight, but a measuring tape can also be used for accuracy.

Each ball inside is usually worth one point. A team with more than one ball in this field will score one point for each ball nearer to the Pallino than the opponent’s closest ball.

Bocce balls that communicate closely with the Pallino, or “kiss,” score two points, according to some interpretations of the rules.

The game continues until one team hits the predefined number of points, usually 12, but it may be any number that meets a player’s needs or the amount of time available.

Now that you understand the game’s setup, rules, and scoring, you can start playing Bocce at your next outdoor gathering. Check out our other outdoor game suggestions for more fun yard games.


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