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Boccie Ball College Park

Bocce Ball (aka lawn bowling) is one of the oldest of all lawn or yard games. Best known in Italy, it is gaining popularity in North America since it can be played by people of all ages and on a great variety of surfaces. Bocce is played between two players or two teams of up to four players on a team. Bocce ball, also called bocci or boccie, is a relaxed but strategic game with an ancient lineage.

Bocce Ball The Woodlands

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The Objective of Bocce Ball:

To win a round of Bocce Ball is to get as many of your bocce (bigger, weighted balls) as close to the pallino (smaller target ball) as possible. If you are successful in getting your bocce closer to the pallino than your opponent, you are awarded points. The first player/team to score the pre-agreed point value wins the game.

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Bocce (/bɒtʃi/; Italian pronunciation: [bɔttʃe])

An overview: Bocce (/bɒtʃi/; Italian pronunciation: [bɔttʃe]), sometimes anglicized as bocci, is a ball sport belonging to the boules family, closely related to British Bowls and French Pétanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. The basics of the game can be traced back to games that were played in Egypt around 5000 BC when people first began settling along the Nile Delta. Records dating to the 3rd century BC also show the popularity of a Bocce-like game with Roman soldiers. Even with roots in ancient Egypt, bocce started to hit its stride with the Romans and Emperor Augustus. As the Roman Empire spread, this game was introduced throughout the European continent, Asia and North Africa. It gained massive popularity with the influx of Italian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Today, bocce is a calming, competitive way to spend a few hours outdoors in the pleasant company of friends.

Bocci Ball Set

Bocce Ball (aka lawn bowling) is one of the oldest of all lawn or yard games. Best known in Italy, it is gaining popularity in North America since it can be played by people of all ages and on a great variety of surfaces. Bocce is played between two players or two teams of up to four players on a team. Bocce ball, also called bocci or boccie, is a relaxed but strategic game with an ancient lineage.

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How to Play Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball (aka lawn bowling) is one of the oldest of all lawn or yard games. Best known in Italy, it is gaining popularity in North America since it can be played by people of all ages and on a great variety of surfaces. Bocce is played between two players or two teams of up to four players on a team. Bocce ball, also called bocci or boccie, is a relaxed but strategic game with an ancient lineage.

The object of Bocce is to get as many of your bocce (bigger, weighted balls) as close to the pallino (smaller target ball) as possible. If you are successful in getting your bocce closer to the pallino than your opponent, you are awarded points. The first player/team to score the pre-agreed point value wins the game. Bocce Ball can be played on a variety of flat surfaces such as: Bocce Ball Courts, Beach Sand and Yards or Parks. A large area is needed in order to make the game more challenging.

The game however is just as much fun without a formal court, although a defined court is preferred. A regulation court is a maximum 4m (13 feet) wide and a maximum 27.5m (90 feet) long, although any rectangular court measuring about 13'x90' should do (a regulation Bocce Ball court measures 76 feet long and 12 feet wide). Regulation bocce courts have a raised barrier around the edge of the rectangle. In most cases, this raised barrier measures a maximum of 20 cm (~8 in) high. Mark a foul line, if not already given, beyond which players cannot step as they bowl a bocce ball. Some players prefer to pound a regulator peg in the exact center of the court. This is the point beyond which the jack or pallino must pass when it is thrown out at the beginning of the game. This is one variation of how many people play bocce, although it is not standard.

Divide players into two teams of one, two or four players each. Bocce ball can be played by two single players pitted against one another, or by two teams with two, three, or four players each. Teams of 5 or more are not advisable, as fewer balls than players means that not everyone will get a chance to bowl. Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players. A coin toss determines who will play first. It doesn't much matter who gets to go first, as teams alternate throwing out the jack at the start of each round.

Rounds or Frames

To begin a frame, have a player from the starting team stand behind the foul line (which is 10 feet from the throwing end of the court) and throw the small ball, or "pallina," toward the opposite end of the playing surface. The same person who tossed the Pallino then throws the one Bocce Ball trying to get it as close to the Pallino as possible without touching it.

The next team then throws one ball trying to get closer than the first team. If team two gets closer, then it is Team one's turn. If Team Two's ball does not come closer then they continue to throw until they get a ball closer to the Pallino or until they are out of balls. Then Team One throws the reminder of their bocce balls. Knocking your opponent's balls away from the Pallino is a strategy to increase your score.

The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallina than the other team's closest ball. If two teams' closest balls are an equal distance from the pallina, no points are awarded; only balls that are closer to the pallino can be counted for points. End the frame after all eight balls have been thrown and appropriate points have been awarded. The scoring team begins the next frame. If no team previously scored, the team that threw the pallina last begins the next frame.

Bocci Ball The Woodlands

When not using a typical court or court sized area, throw out the jack into a prescribed zone which is acceptable to all players. The team that won the coin toss or was randomly selected to start gets two opportunities to throw the jack into a zone 5 m (~16 feet), which ends 2.5 m (~8 feet) from the end-board of the court. If the team that first throws the jack fails to get the jack into the prescribed zone, the second team gets to throw out the jack. When using a court, the jack need only travel past a regulator pin that marks the middle of court. If you're not playing bocce on a court, feel free to throw the jack wherever, provided that it's far enough away from players so that gameplay doesn't become too easy. One advantage to free form courts is that each frame can be played in a completely different area than the one before or after said frame, this creates a game that evolves, requiring different play strategies.

After the jack is successfully thrown or placed, it should not be moved prior to the end of a given frame-set. The team that threw out the jack is also responsible for throwing out the first bocce ball. The aim is to get the bocce ball as close to the jack as possible. Players who throw out the bocce ball (when playing on a court) must stand behind the fault line, or at least 10 feet (3.0 m) away from the jack when playing free-form Bocce Ball.

How to throw a Bocci Ball

There are several ways to throw a bocce ball. Most tend to throw the bocce underhanded, with their palm cupping the underside of the ball, and either lobbing the ball higher into the air or bowling the ball from closer to the ground. Some, however, choose to throw the ball cupping it from the top instead of from the bottom, and lobbing it the same way they would have an underhand throw.
A bocce ball can best thrown underhanded allowing the thrower the best blend of control and power.

It is highly recommended to throw the ball at least partially through the air, rather than rolling it. Two different throwing techniques are high, soft lobs, or low, stronger throws; players should try both methods depending on the range required for a particular throw. The most common way to grip the bocce ball is with the palm underneath and the fingertips resting on the front of the ball. Alternatively, the bocce ball can be gripped from above, with the palm above the ball and the wrist flicked forward at the point of release.

It is best to aim just in front of the point where you want the bocce ball to come to a rest. For lower angled throws, aim further in front of the target point to account for momentum. Higher arcs will not roll as far forward, so aiming closer to the desired resting point could be more effective. Let the second team bowl their bocce ball. The team which hasn't yet bowled gets a chance to now. One player from their team bowls, trying to get the ball as close to the jack as possible.

Decide which team gets to continue bowling all their remaining bocce balls. The team whose bocce ball is farthest away from the jack now gets to bowl its remaining three bocce balls in succession, each time trying to get as close to the jack as possible. (Note: International rules always give the next bowl to the team farthest from the jack as opposed to the rules outlined here). It is acceptable to hit the jack when bowling with a bocce. The only practical effect of hitting the jack is that is readjusts the nucleus of where you want to aim. Allow the team who hasn't completed their throws to bowl out. At the end of the frame, all 8 bocce balls should be clustered at various distances around the jack.

Scoring and Continuation

When all balls have been thrown, the teams shall proceed to measure the distance of the balls from the Jack. Each teams ball that is closer to the target ball than the nearest ball of the opposing team, scores 1 point. If a bocce ball is touching the jack after it stops moving, it's typically called a "kiss" or "baci." This throw is usually worth two points if the bocce ball remains touching the jack at the end of the frame.
Measure which team's bocce is closest to the jack. After everyone is done tossing, the team that collects points is the team whose ball is closest to the jack. This team will collect one or more points, depending on the position of their other balls, while the other team won't score any points.

Score one point for each ball from the winning team that is closer than the closest ball of the other team. If the two teams balls are equal distance away from the jack, no points are awarded and another frame is played.

When playing on a bocci court, switch ends on the bocce court to play the next frame. At the end of each frame, tally the points. Start the next frame at the opposite end of the bocce court.  Bocce balls can be made of metal or various kinds of plastic. Unlike lawn bowls, bocce balls are spherical and have no inbuilt bias. A game can be conducted between two players, or two teams of two, three, or four. Gather your bocce ball set. Standard bocce sets contain 8 colored balls — 4 balls each to a color, typically green and red — and one smaller ball, called the jack or pallino. Different skill levels are often associated with different sizes of bocce balls. Smaller balls tend to be used by beginners and kids, while the larger ones are used by professionals. Regulation-sized bocce balls have a standard diameter of 107 mm (4.2 inches) and a standard weight of 920 g (~2 lbs). Standard sets will run you at least $20, but if you're going to buy a professional set, you could need more than $100.

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