Bocce Court Rules


Bocce Ball – How to play
The sport is played with one small ball (Pallina) and eight larger balls (Bocce), four for each team. The Pallina is thrown first and becomes the target. Then each Bocce is thrown with the goal of placing it as close to the Pallina as possible.


The game is played with two teams; each team can have one, two or four players.
Four Player Team--each player throws one Bocce ball
Two Player Team –each player throws two Bocce balls
One Player Team—player throws all four Bocce balls


The object of the game is for one team to get as many of their Bocce balls closer to the Pallina than the opposing team’s closest ball.


The toss of a coin determines which team will start.  The starting team chooses which color (or pattern) Bocce ball they will play with.  The first team member throws the Pallina and then rolls his/her first Bocce ball as close to the Pallina as possible. The Pallina must be thrown more than ½ way down the length of court but no closer than 24 inches from the end of the court. If the Palllina does not travel at least ½ way down the court or is closer than 24 inches from the end of the court, it must be thrown again. It is now up to the opposing team to roll a ball until one of their balls is closer to the Pallina than the starting team.  Play alternates with the team farthest away rolling their Bocce ball until they are closer than the opposing team’s closest ball or they have thrown all four of their Bocce balls.

While the object is to get close to the Pallina, it is permissible for a player to roll his/her ball as to knock an opponent’s ball away from the Pallina and/or move the Pallina toward his team’s balls. If a thrown ball hits the back wall of the opposite end of the court without first hitting , a Bocce ball , either the player’s or the opponent’s,  or the Pallina it is taken off the court and is considered “out of play”.

When all the balls have been played, this concludes the frame (Giro).  The team with its Bocce ball closest to the Pallina is awarded one point for each of its balls which is closer to the Pallina than the closest opposing team’s ball. 

Thus, a team may score up to four points per frame.  If the closest ball of each team is equal in distance from the Pallina, then NO points are awarded.  The team that scores in a frame starts the next frame by throwing the Pallina and playing their first ball in the same way as the game was started.  Play continues until a team wins by reaching a pre-determined number of points (usually 10) or by playing for time…usually 30 minutes.