How to Play

Bocce In a Nutshell

The object of bocce is for one or more of your team's balls to be closer than any of your opponent's balls to the pallino (small target ball, often white) at the end of every frame.  Typically, the game is played until one team reaches 12 points, and is the winner.


Rules - The Simple Version

  • Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target or object ball called the pallino.

  • There are 4 balls to a side, or team, and they are made in two colors to distinguish the 4 balls of one team from the 4 balls of the opposing team.

  • A coin toss will determine which team has the pallino, and which color balls the other team selects.

  • The pallino is thrown out by a member of the team having won the coin toss to start the game.  The pallino must travel at least halfway down the court, and must not touch the back wall.

  • The same player throwing the pallino must deliver the first bocce ball without stepping over the foul line.

  • 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 pallino 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 "pointing" - rolling its ball down the court to try to place it closer to the pallino - or "spocking" -   shooting or hitting out any ball in play in trying to obtain a point, or decreasing the opposing team's points

  • Any ball that hits the back wall without hitting another ball (or the pallino) is "dead," and is removed from the court.

  • 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 pallino 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 pallino belong to opposing teams and are exactly the same distance from the pallino, no points will be awarded, and the pallino returns to the team which delivered it.

  • Only balls which are distinguishably closer to the pallino than any opponent's balls may be awarded points.

Rules - The Complete Version

For a more complete set of bocce rules, see the Six Rivers Bocce Club's Draft Tournament Rules.