A Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Bocce Ball

Bocce ball is one of those good wholesome fun entertaining kinds of games.

With a heritage deeply rooted in Ancient Rome, bocce ball has stood the test of time. This game could quite possibly be one of the oldest games known to mankind.

It’s a great game that provides hours of entertainment for people of all ages. Whether you already know how to play bocce ball, or you’re just starting out, this game is loads of fun. Just in case there’s any question about exactly how to play bocce ball, we’ll go over that now.

Setting up the Game

Bocce ball is typically played in a court, even when played socially. Ideally, you’ll want to be on a relatively hard surface like grass, sand, or even turf. Harder surfaces, like cement and asphalt, can damage your bocce balls.

Learning how to play bocce ball is really simple once you get the court set up. A regulation bocce ball court is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide. If you’re playing socially, you can make the court accommodate the space you have.

Mark out your foul lines about 10 feet from the end of the court, one on each side. Now mark out your center line. It helps if you have a raised barrier, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Now you’re ready to go. Pick your teams and give each team their own color bocce balls.  

How to Play Bocce Ball

  1. The first player rolls the pallino ball, or jack, which must make it past the center line without going out of bounds. If it does go out of bounds, then the opposing team gets to roll the pallino.
  2. The person who successfully rolls the pallino past the center line without going out of bounds gets to roll the first bocce ball. The goal is to get it as close to the pallino as possible. Some rules allow for a gentle touch or kiss.
  3. Teams alternate rolling bocce balls trying to get as close as possible to the pallino without going out of bounds.
  4. Sometimes players will intentionally hit other players’ bocce balls with their own to move them and get closer to the pallino. If the pallino is intentionally hit, it is known as moving the target which is another strategy.
  5. Teams alternate turns until all bocce balls have been rolled and then it’s time to score. This is known as a frame. Multiple frames are played until a team reaches the predetermined score, usually 16. 

Scoring Bocce Ball

Scoring is easy even when you are just learning how to play bocce ball. Points are handed out at the end of a frame. Teams get one point for every bocce ball closest to the pallino without going out of bounds, but there is a catch. The number of a team’s bocce balls that are closer to the pallino than the opposing team’s closest ball is the number of points awarded. A kiss is usually worth 2 points.

Learning How to Play Bocce Ball

Learning how to play bocce ball is simple. Playing is loads of fun and scoring is easy enough even for young children. Just get your bocce court set up, flip a coin to see who goes first, and roll the pallino. Then start with the bocce balls and play out the frames until one team wins the game. Easy, peesy. Bocce ball is a classic game for taking the family to the beach, neighborhood barbecues, and lots of other functions. Anytime you want to enjoy some fun outside entertainment, just grab a friend and teach them how to play bocce ball.