HomeSportsBocce BallWhat is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts – All...
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What is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts – All Details

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Bocce, often known as bocce ball, bocci, or boccie, is a ball sport. It evolved into its current form in Italy and is connected to British bowls and French pétanque, with a shared ancestor in ancient Roman sports. It is a popular throughout western, southern, and southeastern Europe and in countries with a long history of Italian immigrants, such as Australia, North America, and South America, particularly Argentina and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. Initially played only by Italian immigrants, the game has gradually gained popularity among their descendants and the general public.

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What is Bocce Ball Game?

What is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts – KreedOn
Image Source- The Spruce

Bocce takes place in two teams of two players each. Each team uses four bocce balls that are colored differently. The game aims to roll the balls closer to the pallino (the smaller target ball) than the other team’s bocce balls. Each frame begins with the pallino being rolled from one side of the court.

History of Bocce Ball

What is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts – KreedOn
Image Source-

Bocce evolved from games played in the Roman Empire to its current form in Italy, where it is known as bocce, the plural of the Italian term boccia, which means ‘bowl’ in the wider sports sense. Bocce expanded throughout Europe and into places where Italians have moved. First form of regulation was described in the book “Gioco delle bocchie” by Raffaele Bisteghi in 1753. It is known as bochas in South America, bolas criollas (‘Criollo balls’) in Venezuela, and bocha in south Brazil. Bocce has grown in popularity among Special Olympics programs across the world due to its accessibility to individuals of all ages and abilities.

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  • Bocce Balls: There are usually eight larger balls, divided into two colors (four of each). They are made of wood, metal, or synthetic materials and vary in size but are generally around 4 inches (approx) in diameter.
  • Pallino: The smaller target ball, often white or another contrasting color, serves as the focal point for scoring.

Also Read | Exploring 25 Most Popular Ball Games

Gameplay of Bocce Ball

Source: Casa Belvedere

Points are awarded only to the team whose bocce is closest to the pallino. The closest, or inside, team earns points for the number of bocce on their team that are closer to the pallino than the opponent team’s nearest bocce. When a player’s bocce touches the pallino, the team scores two points for that ball. A round of bocce is a game that lasts until one team earns a certain number of points. Nine, eleven, twelve, and fifteen are the most regularly used point values. Use a tape measure or perhaps a stick to settle any variations in distance from the pallino. In the case of a tie or an unresolved disagreement, neither team receives any points.

Rules in Bocce Ball Game

  1. The player must stand behind the foot fault line.
  2. The ball should be thrown in an underhand manner and roll past the halfway point of the court.
  3. The ball must not make contact with the back wall unless it hits another ball already in play.
  4. To ensure safety, no ball is allowed to be thrown higher than the height of the overhead lights.


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Scoring in Bocce Ball 

What is Bocce Ball? It’s History, Equipment, Gameplay, Scoring, Facts – KreedOn
Source: Daily Press

The team that goes first tosses the pallino, and the spot where it stops becomes the objective. To make their throws, all players should stand behind a line. In general, everyone agrees on where it is appropriate to stand. The first bocce is thrown by the team that threw the pallino. Teams and players take turns throwing until all eight balls are hurled. Players compete to see whose bocce is closest to the pallino. Players should rotate by allowing the team closest to the pallino to throw; yet, in many friendly games, players just switch from one side to the next.

Global Impact

The sport is also immensely popular on the Adriatic’s eastern shore, particularly in Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it is called in Serbo-Croatian as Boanje (‘playing boe’) or Balote (colloquially as buanje). Balinanje (from Italian bocce and Venetian bae, meaning ‘balls’) is the sport’s name in Slovenia. There are various bocce leagues in the United States.

Facts on Bocce Ball

  • Bocce is one of the third most popular sport in the world.
  • More than 25 million people play bocce in the United States alone.
  • Bocce Ball was first documented in a 5200 B.C. painting of two boys playing, which was discovered by an English scientist, Sir Francis Petrial, in an Egyptian tomb.
  • Bocci was a game played by the Roman Emperor Augustus, Hippocrates, and Galileo.

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