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Official Bocce Rules

Bocce is an Italian game, popular worldwide, that combines skill and strategy. It is typically played on natural soil or on a dedicated bocce court with a set of bocce balls. Here are the detailed rules for playing bocce


The objective of bocce is to throw your balls closer to the pallino (a smaller target ball) than your opponent's balls. The game can be played individually or in teams.


  • 1 Pallino: A smaller target ball, also known as the jack.

  • 8 Bocce Balls: Larger balls, with four balls of one color and four of another color.

  • Court: A flat, rectangular surface (optional, can be played on any suitable ground).


  1. Choosing Teams:

    • Bocce can be played one-on-one or in teams of two, three, or four players.

    • Each team gets four bocce balls of the same color.

  2. Determine Starting Team:

    • Decide which team will start. This can be done by a coin toss or any other method.

  3. Mark the Court (if using a dedicated court):

    • A standard bocce court is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide, with a centerline, foul lines, and a 10-foot throwing zone at each end.


  1. Throw the Pallino:

    • The starting team throws the pallino to any point within the playing area, ensuring it passes the centerline and does not touch the back boundary of the court.

  2. First Bocce Ball:

    • The team that threw the pallino throws the first bocce ball, aiming to get it as close to the pallino as possible.

  3. Alternate Turns:

    • The opposing team then throws their bocce ball, attempting to get closer to the pallino than the first team's ball.

    • Teams continue to alternate throws until all eight bocce balls have been thrown. The team whose ball is farthest from the pallino always throws next.


  1. Determine Closest Balls:

    • After all balls are thrown, determine which team's balls are closest to the pallino.

    • Only the team with the closest ball to the pallino scores points in that round.

  2. Points Awarded:

    • Points are awarded based on the number of bocce balls closer to the pallino than the nearest ball of the opposing team.

    • Each ball closer than the opponent's nearest ball scores one point.

  3. Winning the Round:

    • The team that scores points starts the next round by throwing the pallino.

Winning the Game:

  • The game continues until one team reaches the predetermined number of points, typically 12, 16, or 21 points.

Additional Rules and Variations:

  • Foul Lines: Players must throw from behind the foul line. Throws from in front of the line do not count.

  • Hitting the Pallino: If a bocce ball hits the pallino and moves it, play continues with the pallino in its new position.

  • Dead Balls: If a ball goes out of bounds or hits the backboard (if playing on a court), it is considered out of play and does not count.

Tips for a Fun Game:

  • Strategic Play: Think about blocking opponents' balls or knocking them away from the pallino.

  • Pace Yourself: Take your time to aim carefully and consider the best approach for each throw.

  • Enjoy the Game: Bocce is a social and leisurely game, so enjoy the interaction with friends and family.

Bocce is a timeless game that blends precision, strategy, and fun. Whether playing casually in the backyard or competitively on a court, it provides an enjoyable experience for players of all ages.

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