Simple Bocce Rules for Beginners - Date Box Club

Simple Bocce Rules for Beginners

Are you considering playing Bocce on your next date? It’s fun and easy, and pairs perfectly with a nice glass of wine.

A simple way to describe the object of the game is relate it to the game of soccer. In soccer the only real object of the game is to get the ball into the goal of the opposing team more often than they do, within an allotted time period. In bocce the only object is for one or more of your teams balls to be closer than any of your opponents balls to the pallina (small target ball, often white) at the end of every set. Rather than a time period you can play a fixed number of ends and total the higher score to win or the first team to a predetermined score. Typical is 11 13 or 15.

Of course as in soccer there are other governing rules. It is with these rules that each of the various styles varies and denote the difference between casual backyard fun and all the other variations up to International competition level of play.

Simple Bocce Rules:

  • Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target or object ball called the jack.
  • There are 4 balls to a side, or team, and they are made in two colors to distinguish the balls of one team from the 4 balls of the opposing team.
  • A coin toss will determine which team has the jack and which color balls that team selects.
  • The jack is thrown out by a member of the team having won the coin toss to start the game.
  • The same player throwing the jack must deliver the first bocce ball.
  • The opposing team will then deliver their bocce balls until the point is taken or they have exhausted their 4 balls.
  • This “nearest ball”, rule governs the sequence of thrown balls. The side whose bocce is the closest to the jack is called the “in” ball and the opposing side the “out” ball. Whenever a team gets “in” it steps aside and allows the “out” team to bowl.
  • A team has the option of rolling, throwing, bouncing, banking, etc. its ball down the court provided it does not go out-of-bounds or the player does not violate the foul markers.
  • A player also has the option of “spocking” or hitting out any ball in play in trying to obtain a point, or decreasing the opposing team’s points.
  • At the end of each frame (when both teams have exhausted 4 balls each), a designated official under the scrutiny of the captain/or designee of each team, will determine the points scored.
  • Scoring points are all those ball of one team closer to the jack than the closest ball of the opposing team, which can be determined by viewing or by mechanical measurement.
  • In the event that the two balls closest to the jack belong to opposing teams and are exactly the same distance from the jack, no points will be awarded, and the jack returns to the team which delivered it.
  • Only balls which are distinguishably closer to the jack than any opponent’s balls may be awarded points.


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