Bocce 101 - An Introduction
A set of bocce balls is composed of 8 large bocce balls (4 green and 4 red) and one smaller target ball called a ”pallino”.
League or tournament play has 4 players on each team. A social game can be played between two teams with from 1 to 4 players on each team. If each team has:
1 Player - 4 balls each – walk end to end.
2 Players - 4 balls each with one player at each end or 2 balls each & walk end to end.
3 Players - 2 balls each for 2 players at one end and 4 balls for 1 player at other end or to even out the teams, it may be desirable to have one player alternating on the 2 player side each frame walk to the other end to simulate a 4 player team.
4 Players - 2 balls each with 2 players at each end.
The object of the game of Bocce is for one team to get as many of their balls closer to the pallino than any of the opponent's balls.
The toss of a coin determines the team that throws out the pallino first and selects the team’s ball color. The first team member throws the pallino and then rolls the first ball as close to the pallino as possible. The pallino must cross mid-court mark, must be 12 inches from either sideboard and the backboard. Next, a player of the opposing team rolls a ball and tries to get closer or “better the point”. Each team must continue to roll its balls until it beats the point of the opposing team. The player must deliver the ball from behind the Pointing Line (first foul line).
While the object is to get close to the pallino, it is permissible for a player to play the ball in order to knock away an opponent’s ball. A player "hitting" out the opponent’s ball may go as far as the Hitting Foul Line (second foul line) to deliver the ball. Likewise, a player may play the ball so as to knock or move the pallino toward another of their own team’s balls. The pallino is live anywhere on the court, except if it comes back behind the mid-court line or knocked out of the court, at which time the frame is dead and play begins again at the opposite end.
When all balls have been played, one team is awarded one point for each of its balls which are closer to the pallino than the closest opposing team’s balls. Thus, a team may score 1-4 points for each end of play. If the closest ball of each team is equal in distance from the pallino, no points are awarded.
The team that scores in one frame starts the next frame by throwing out the pallino and playing the first ball.
The game is won by the first team scoring 12 points.
Game description originally from Bocce Standards Association