Rules of Bocce Ball

What Are the Rules of Bocce Ball? (Bocce Ball Terms)

Maybe you want to play a different game with your family in your yard, or in your fraternity house, bocce ball is the perfect game for you.

Bocce ball game has been in existence for a long time, it is mostly played in France and Italy, but it has gradually made a name around the world. This game is like regular bowling and pool.

We will explain the rules of bocce ball and how to properly play this fun and exciting yard game with your family and friends.

What Is the Bocce Ball Called?

Each player have a large ball called bocce and a smaller ball called pallino which is the target.

A bocce ball can be made of wood, various type of plastics, metal, and baked clay. Bocce balls are spherical in shape, and they have a diameter of 74mm to 107mm, but the most suitable size of bocce ball to use is 90mm to 100mm.

Recommended: How to Build a Bocce Ball Court on a Budget

Bocce Game Terminology

Like any other game, there are some important terms to be noted when it comes to bocce ball.


The team that gets to throw the pallino first have an advantage or is said to have a pallino advantage over the second team.

Bank shot

This is a shot achieved when you throw the ball so that it hits the sideboard and bounces back to get very close to the pallino, this move can also be called banking. We mentioned earlier that bocce ball is similar to pool, a game of pool has a move like a bank shot.


This involves two teams playing against each other, where each team consists of two players making a total of four players.


An end is also known as “frame” or “rounds”. An end indicates the period when every player has had their turn and scores have been awarded. After this, another end can begin.

Foul line

In bocce ball a foul line is the line on a court that a player should not cross before releasing the ball. Releasing the ball after crossing the foul line is a foul and a player can earn a penalty for such act.


This move involves hitting a ball to displace them to far ends. This move is normally forceful since you want the ball to move further away. This move can be referred to with other words like shooting and spocking.

Initial point

This refers to the first bocce ball you roll toward the pallino during the first frame. It is also the ball closer to the pallino during that time, the player that tosses the pallino should make the first roll to ascertain an initial point.


Another term for a kiss is “baci” which is also Italian for kiss. A kiss happens when a bocce ball is touching the pallion, kissing the pallion.


This move is great for beginners, as it involves gently rolling the bocce ball towards the pallino. It is a basic throw technique that should be learnt by all players.

No point

This is a tie between two teams, and it can happen when both teams have their bocce ball at an equal distance away from the pallino. The last team to roll must make another roll to break the tie.


It is a long throw of a bocce ball into the air to hit the other balls. This move is not allowed on a bocce court as it may break the bocce ball or the bocce court.

What are the Rules of Bocce Ball?

Here are some bocce ball rules to take note of.

  1. A bocce court should be 27.5 meters (90ft) long and 3 to 4 (9.8ft to 13.1ft) wide.
  2. A game can be completed by just two players or a team of two, three or four.
  3. A game begins with a coin toss or the act of rock, paper, scissors. The team that wins the coin toss or the rock, paper, scissors game may roll first or may choose the color of their bocce ball first.
  4. The aim of the game is for both teams to get their bocce balls as close as possible to the pallino which is the target.
  5. The team with their bocce ball closer to the pallino scores a point, the game may end when a point of 7 to 13 is attained.

How Do You Play Bocce Ball?

After a coin flip to decide which team rolls first, the pallino should be thrown into an area 5 meters from the starting point and the throw should end 2.5 meters from the end board, but if you are not playing bocce ball on a court, you are free to throw the pallino wherever you want.

The team that wins the coin flip also gets to roll the first bocce ball, the aim to get the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. An underhand technique is the most used technique in a bocce ball game.

After the other team have made a roll, the team whose bocce ball is farthest away from the pallino gets go roll their remaining bocce ball to get it closer to the pallino.

Allow the first team to complete their round, and them measure the distance between the bocce balls and the pallino, measurement should be done for both teams. Scores will then be assigned, and the game continues until 13 points is attained by one team.

What Is Another Name for Pallino in Bocce Ball?

If there is one thing bocce ball is known for, it is having more than one name for a component or term. A pallino in bocce ball can also be called “Jack” which is sometimes called boccino by Italians meaning little bocce.

What Happens If You Hit the Pallino in Bocce?

Remember when we said the aim of the game is to get the bocce ball as close to the palimo as possible, well it may seem like a taboo for the bocce ball to touch the pallino but it’s not.

We discussed a term called “kissing” earlier, well it happens when the bocce ball touches the pallino and this can be awarded 2 points if both balls keep touching till the end of a frame.

How Do You Keep Score in Bocce Ball?

Any team that gets their bocce ball closer to the pallino scores one point, any team that achieves a baci or a kiss (when the bocce ball and the pallino touches) will be awarded two points.


A simple and friendly game of bocce ball isn’t meant to be complicated, with these explained terms and rules on how to play bocce ball, you can get on with that fun new game for your kids and friends.

A lot of these terms should be taken seriously, you can also make in-depth research on them and find out what they mean, as they come in handy during the game. All the rules should be strictly followed to make the game more challenging and fun.

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