Bocce ball is a popular outdoor game that has recently become more common. The simple and quick gameplay makes it a perfect game for backyard BBQs, restaurant waiting areas, or family trips to the park. Easily transportable, bocce ball is an excellent way to enjoy some outdoor time. Here’s how to play bocce ball!
What is Bocce Ball?
Popular in Italy, bocce ball is a common outdoor game that utilizes small weighted balls that must be tossed to score points. Bocce possibly dates all the way back to 5000 BC, where Egyptian carvings illustrate young boys playing something quite similar.
Regardless of how bocce ball got started, it quickly became popular and has stood the test of time, sticking around for thousands of years. While the game has changed throughout the years, originally being played with coconuts, melons, wood, and other makeshift components, it evolved into a game for the elite class, such as emperors and other public officials.
Now, it has evolved even further into a common outdoor game that many restaurants have adopted in their waiting areas, along with other popular games like cornhole and horseshoes.
One of the reasons bocce ball is so popular is its simplicity. People of all ages can enjoy bocce ball, even if they’ve never played it before, making it the perfect game to pick up for your next backyard get-together. Check out our Triumph Competition Bocce Ball set to make your next outdoor experience one to remember!
The Goal of Bocce Ball
The goal of bocce ball is simple – score more points than your opponent. Each team is given four bocce balls, and they can be split up between players. For example:
- 1v1 = 4 balls each
- 2v2 = 2 balls each
- 4v4 = 1 ball each
After each player takes their turn, points should be awarded, and then the court should be reset. Once a team has reached a preset amount of points (12, for example), the game is over!
Bocce ball is a quick and fun way to pass the time and make memories with friends and family.
How to Play Bocce Ball
While the goal of bocce ball is simple, the rules should be adhered to in order to ensure a fair and accurate game.
Setting up for Bocce Ball
To set up for bocce ball, divide into even teams and distribute the colored balls to each player. Each team should have two of the four colors. The 9th ball, a little white one known as the “pallina” or “jack,” is set aside for now.
To determine who goes first, flip a coin. The winner of the coin toss can choose to either place the pallina, or choose the color of bocce balls they want to use.
Whoever throws the pallina must do so underhanded, and it must pass the center line of the court while also staying within the court’s boundaries. If the player fails to follow these guidelines, the opposite team is given a chance to place the pallina. This continues until one team is able to toss the pallina into an appropriate space.
Bocce Ball Gameplay
Once the pallina has been placed and you’re fully set up, the player who placed the pallina takes the first turn. The goal is to throw (always underhand) or roll your bocce ball to land it as close to the jack as possible. If the first throw goes out of bounds, the turn is repeated until you are able to place it within the bocce court.
Each team takes turns throwing one ball. Strategy involves:
- Getting your ball as close to the pallina as possible
- Knocking your opponent’s balls away from the pallina
- Hitting the pallina to move it closer to your balls or further away from your opponent
If a ball is thrown out of bounds, it is considered dead and is removed from play immediately. If the jack is knocked out of bounds, the “frame” is over, no points are awarded, and a new frame begins.
After all of the balls have been thrown, you must count the points. The winning team scores one point for every ball they have that is closer to the pallina than the opposing team’s closest ball.
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