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The Game of Bocce

The Game of Bocce

Bocce, also known as Italian lawn bowling, is a ball sport belonging to the boules sport family, which also includes bowls and p├ętanque. The game is popular worldwide, especially in Italy, where it originated during the Roman Empire.

Here are some key points about how to play bocce:


Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller ball called the pallino or jack. The eight balls are typically divided into two colors, four balls of each color. The Pallino is a distinct color.


The game is played with two teams, each trying to get their bocce balls closer to the pallino than the other team.


  • To start the game, a player from the first team throws the pallino into a predefined area of the court.
  • The same player then throws one of their team’s bocce balls, trying to get as close as possible to the pallino.
  • A player from the second team then throws one of their bocce balls, also aiming to get it close to the pallino. If this ball does not end up closer to the pallino than the first team’s ball, players from the second team continue to throw until they get a ball closer or run out of balls.
  • Play then alternates back to the first team, and so on, with the aim always being to get the bocce balls as close to the pallino as possible.
  • After all, balls have been thrown, the round (or “end”) is over, and points are awarded. Only one team scores in a frame. One point is given for each ball that is closer to the jack than the closest ball of the opposing team.
  • The game continues with the next round, usually until a team reaches a predefined total (typically 12, 15, or 21 points).


Bocce can be played on a variety of surfaces (grass, sand, a dedicated bocce court) as long as they allow for the balls to roll freely. A regulation bocce court is a level, rectangular surface, measuring 27.5 meters (90 feet) in length and 4 meters (13 feet) wide, with back and sideboards.


Bocce requires strategic thinking. Players need to decide whether to aim their balls to get closer to the pallino, knock the opponent’s balls away, or hit the pallino itself to move it closer to their own balls. This is a simple outline of the game; rules can vary widely and are often adapted to suit the players’ preferences.