STANDARD BOCCE COURT
BASIC RULES OF BOCCE
Bocce can be played with two,
four or eight players in one game. Regardless of the number of players,
there are always two teams. With two players, each plays against the
other, throwing 4 balls each. When the game includes 4 players, there are
two players on a team, each throwing two balls. With eight players, each
team consists of 4 players, each throwing 1 ball.
PLAYING THE GAME
The match begins with the flip of a coin between the capos (captains)
from each team. The winner of the coin flip may have the first toss of the
pallino or choose the color of the balls. A player may toss the pallino any distance so long as the pallino passes
the center line of the court and does not hit the back wall. If a player
fails to validly toss the pallino after one attempt, the opposing team will
have a chance to toss the pallino and put it in play. If the opposing team
fails to toss the pallino past the center line the pallino reverts to the
original team. In any case, when the pallino has been properly put in play,
the first bocce ball will be thrown by the team who originally tossed the
The team who originally tosses the pallino, whether successfully or not,
throws the first bocce ball. If the bocce ball hits the back board, that
team must roll again. Otherwise he/she steps aside and his team does not
roll again until the opposing team has either gotten one of its bocce balls
closer to the pallino or has thrown all of its balls. The team whose bocce
balls are closest to the pallino is called "inside" and the
opposing team "outside." Whenever a team gets inside, it steps
aside and lets the outside team roll. The team outside throws until it beats
(not ties) the opposing ball. This continues until both teams have used all
their bocce balls (a total of 8, 4 from each team). The team who scored
last, throws the pallino to begin the next frame.
A) If a player rolls the wrong colored ball, simply replace it with the
correct color when the ball comes to rest.
B) If a player rolls out of turn the opposing team may leave everything,
including the thrown ball, exactly where it is or may return any moved balls
to their approximate original positions and remove the thrown ball from
C) If a ball is moved before all 8 balls are played, the opposing team
replaces the ball to the approximate original position. This is to be done
in the spirit of good sportsmanship.
D) When a team wins a game players exchange ends of the court and
substitutions may be made. The team winning the previous game will toss the
pallino to start the next game.
E) Practice between games is limited to rolling up the court and back one
Should a player's bocce ball make contact with the back board, the bocce ball
is considered a dead ball on impact and is removed from play until the end
of the frame.
A) If the thrown ball comes to rest on the pallino or another ball that
is touching the back wall, that thrown ball remains in play. The ball
touching the back wall is removed from play. If the pallino is touching the
back wall it remains in play.
B) If a bocce, after hitting the backboard, strikes a stationary bocce,
that stationary bocce shall be replaced in it's original position. The
thrown ball is removed from play.
C) If a bocce hitting the backboard is not removed quickly enough and, as
a result, strikes a moving ball that likely would have hit the backboard,
allowing the moving ball to remain in play, that moving ball remains in play
where it comes to rest.
Once the pallino has been validly put into play, it remains in play even if
it hits the backboard. However, if the pallino is knocked out of the court
or it is knocked in the front of the center line, the frame will end, no
points are awarded, and the game will resume from the opposite end of the
court with the same team tossing the pallino.
Player's movements are limited to the foul line. The player may step on,
but should not step over the foul line before releasing the pallino or bocce
ball. When a player releases the pallino or bocce, both feet must be
on the court unless the player has a significant physical impairment.
Shooting is lofting the ball in the air beyond the center of the court.
Shooting is allowed if the thrown ball hits the ground before hitting the
ball. If the thrown ball does not hit the ground first, everything goes back
to its approximate original position. The thrown ball is out of play.
The teams playing will referee their own game.
Only the "inside" team scores. One point is given for each ball of
the inside team that is closer to the pallino than any ball of the opposing
team. If, at the end of any frame, the closest ball of each team is
equidistant from the pallino, the frame ends in a tie and no points are
awarded to either team. The game will resume from the opposite end of the
court with the same team tossing the pallino. Capos of each team are
responsible for keeping the score sheet and for reporting the results of the
match. The team who scores 12 points wins the game (must win by 2 pts).
All measurements should be made from the inside dimensions of the bocce ball
to the inside dimension of the pallino. Only an official and one
representative from each team may be present for the measurement.
If both teams agree on which team has the point(s) and it is later
determined that a mistake has been made, all balls played are valid. If both
teams have balls remaining, the team that does not have the closest ball to
the pallino rolls again. If all balls have been played, points are awarded
based on the balls that are actually closest to the pallino in accord with
the "Scoring" rule.
A) If a player is standing in the playing half of the court while the
opposing team requests that the player step aside, that request should be
B) Only participating players should be on the court while the game is in
progress. Spectators are not allowed on the courts at anytime during
C) Courtesy and respect should be displayed at all times. Profanity and
unsportsmanlike conduct is not permitted.