How to Score in Bocce

by Jack Burton
Bocce orginated in Italy and traveled around the world with immigrants.

Bocce orginated in Italy and traveled around the world with immigrants.

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Bocce, a ball game played on a smooth lawn, is fundamentally a simple game of rolling or throwing hand-sized balls at one another to see which team can place their ball better than the other team. A designated ball, the pallino, is the target and each of the two teams has four balls to put into play. The size of a backyard bocce court is flexible but the recommended size is between 60 to 90 feet long and 10 to 15 feet wide.

Items you will need

  • Bocce set
  • Court
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Step 1

Start the game by having one member of a team roll or throw the pallino towards the other end of the court while standing behind the pitch line. The ball must land in a designated area for it to be an accepted throw. If it doesn't, the other team has an opportunity to throw the pallino.

Step 2

Roll or toss the remaining balls at the pallino to see which team places a ball closest to the target. Turns are alternated based upon who has the current closest ball. The other team has the turn until they gain the advantage. The goal of a turn may be to come close to the pallino or to knock an opponent's ball away from the pallino.

Step 3

Score points for the team that has the closest balls to the pallino, one point for each ball. Normally, the minimum score for a round is one and the maximum is four unless one or more balls are touching the pallino. That scores two points for each ball for the team wthat can raise the score to above five. A score of zero is possible if the two closest balls from the pallino are from opposite teams and are equal distance. They cancel either other out.

Step 4

Play the game to nine points, or to another agreed-upon score.

About the Author

Jack Burton started writing professionally in 1980 with articles in "Word from Jerusalem," "ICEJ Daily News" and Tagalong Garden News. He has managed radio stations, TV studios and newspapers, and was the chief fundraiser for Taltree Arboretum. Burton holds a B.S. in broadcasting from John Brown University. He is a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Navy/Navy Reserves and the Navy Seabees.

Photo Credits

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