Bocce Ball

Spring Bocce returns in 2020!!! Stay tuned for details​​​​​

A Brief History of Bocce 

Bocce Ball is based on one of the most primitive concepts in sports history: throwing an item at an inactive target.  The egyptians are credited for the origin of the sport.  Instead of the fancy modern balls that we use today, the Egyptians used polished stones.  A painting dated back to 5200 B.C. was discovered in an Egyptian tomb depicting this primitive game in action.  Even though the game has evolved and changed greatly over the years, the overall goal of trying to toss an object as close to a target as possible still remains.

Bocce ball history continued to evolve and in the year 800 B.C. the game of bocce made its way to Greece and then on to Rome.  The Romans are credited for giving it the name which we know it as today.  "Bocce," is derived from the latin word "bottica," which means "boss."  The Romans were the first culture to play the game in a way resembling the way it is played today.  They introduced the concept of using rounded bocce balls as opposed to uneven rocks or stones.  The Romans often used coconuts as makeshift bocce balls.  This evolution toward round bocce balls continued and eventually balls were carved from the trunks of olive trees.  Bocce was more popular than ever, and it even had the endorsement of European rulers.  Emperor Agustus, Galileo, Queen Elizabeth I, and Sir Francis Drake were all known to be bocce enthusiasts. 

The game of Bocce was introduced in America by the French, and it was played primarily on short cut grass.  It is rumored that former president of the United States George Washington build a bocce ball court at the top of Mount Vernon in the late 18th century.  Americans took quite a liking to the game and accepted it with open arms.  By the late 1940's, Bocce World Championship had been established - a proving ground for people all over the world to showcase their Bocce skills and love for the game. The history of bocce ball is rich, and offers a fascinating glimpse of how the captivating game of bocce ball evolved to what it is today.

Bocce Rules 

Bocce Ball Rules


  1. Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller ball called the pallino.   


  1. The game may be played with a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 8 players (must have even number of players for both teams to play match).


  1. Divide the bocce balls evenly between the numbers of players.  You will notice that your bocce ball set has balls with 2 different colors.    


  1. At random, choose a player/team to throw the pallino. 


  1. After the pallino is thrown, the same player/team will throw his first bocce ball. 


  1. The purpose of the game is to get your bocce balls as close as possible to the pallino. 


  1. A player may toss the pallino any distance as long as the ball passes the center line of the court and does not hit the back wall, although it may be bounced off the sideboards.


  1. If the thrower fails to toss the pallino pass the center line or hits the back wall, the thrower is given one more toss.  If the second toss fails to pass the center line or hits the back wall, the thrower loses their turn and the opposing team takes over. 


  1. Once the pallino has been validly put into play, it remains in play even if a bocce ball hits it against the backboard. However, if the pallino is knocked out of the court or it is knocked in the front of the center line, the frame will end, no points are awarded, and the game will resume from the opposite end of the court with the same team tossing the pallino.


  1. If any bocce ball hits the back wall after it is thrown without touching the sideboards or any other ball, including pallino, the ball is no longer in play and must be removed from bocce ball pit. 


  1. If a bocce ball hits the side wall after it is thrown, the ball shall remain in play.  If a bocce after hitting the backboard strikes a stationary bocce, that stationary bocce shall be replaced in its original position. The thrown ball is removed from play.


  1. After the first player/team has thrown his first bocce ball, he is considered "inside" because his ball is closer to the pallino than any of the competitor’s balls. 


  1. All other players are considered "outside."  Whenever a player/team is considered “inside,” he will forfeit his turn throwing bocce balls. 


  1. All "outside" players will take turns throwing their bocce balls until one of theirs gets closer to the pallino than the "inside" player. 


  1. After all players have thrown their bocce balls, the player/team that is "inside" will be awarded points.


  1. One point will be awarded to this player/team for every ball that is closer to the pallino than his closest competitor's ball. 


  1. Any bocce leaning on the pallino is scored as 2 points. Two Bocce of opposing teams equidistant from the pallino cancel each other out, and no additional points are scored for that bocce and any bocce beyond them.


  1. Teams may play best of 3 frames.  A frame/game is won when a player/team reaches 7 points.  


  1. After the points are awarded, the frame is completed.  Start a new frame by electing the other team who lost the previous frame, to throw the pallino and to throw the first bocce ball. 


  1. If the pallino is knocked out of the court, the current frame has ended.  Restart the frame with the same team who started the last frame, going first. 


  1. Teams consist of 4+ players and play head to head (not split to each end).

A 4-player team rolls 1 ball per person.

A 5 + player team plays 4 players per frame throwing 1 ball per person. - The additional players will rotate in on the next frame and any player on that team must rotate out.

No player may throw more than 1 ball consecutively

  1.  If teams cannot meet during scheduled games, please reschedule with opposing team captain
  • Email or call team captain with enough time before game time to arrange another time
  • Be sure to make contact or receive a response from the team captain to acknowledge the reschedule
  • Captains be sure to be available by email or phone before the game so you can respond to a reschedule request