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Game Night: Bocce Ball

Explore a new yard game with the Gentlemen's Hardware Bocce Ball Set. This backyard game set includes bocce balls for two to eight players, a white pallino (target) ball to get the game started, and travel case with zipper closure and handle to easily carry this fun game with you wherever you go. Bocce ball is easy to play at the beach, in the backyard, or at the park. 

Bocce balls in the grass

What is Bocce Ball?

The Bocce Ball Game is linked to ancient times even though it's not very well known in the United States. The game of bocce ball was first documented in 5200 B.C. in a painting that was discovered in an Egyptian tomb. 

From crude beginnings with rocks and coconuts to a modern game, bocce ball has lost and gained popularity throughout the ages. Here at Gentlemen's Hardware, we are on a mission to bring back the enthusiasm for this simple, yet entertaining outdoor game. So let's keep that energy going and answer some simple questions like how do you play bocce ball, what are the rules, and how to score bocce ball! 

Bocce Ball Set - Let's Bocce! travel case with zipper closure and handle - blue exterior with orange interior; (2) solid orange, (2) solid blue, (2) striped green, and (2) striped black bocce balls; (1) white pallino (target) ball

Bocce Ball Equipment

Bocce Balls - Our bocce ball set includes 8 large wooden balls: (2) solid orange, (2) solid blue, (2) striped green, and (2) striped black bocce balls. The balls come four to a set in two different colors and patterns to easily represent each team. 

Pallino - the pallino ball is always referred to as the "jack" or "target" ball. It is smaller than the bocce balls and used as the "bullseye" during game play.

Bocce ball set with blue travel case laying in the grass with person laying down checking the closeness to the pallino

How to Play Bocce Ball

Bocce ball begins by splitting up the teams depending how many players you have. Boccee ball is suited for two to eight players. Split up the bocce balls by colors (orange, blue, green, or black) or pattern (solid or striped). Teams with one player will pitch all four balls, while two and four player based teams will have the balls divided evenly among them.

When playing socially, the bocce ball court can be any size and just needs to be played on a smooth, flat surface. For regulation play, the bocce court is 13 feet wide by 91 feet long. 

Once you have divided the bocce balls and set the court, you are ready to play! 

The pallino ball is tossed to determine the target. You can decide who throws the pallino by a coin toss or being kind and giving the other team the chance to toss it. The same player who tosses the pallino will throw their ball first. The "throw" is an underhand toss. The goal is to toss the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. 

Each team will rotate tossing their bocce ball until there is none left. Once all bocce balls have been thrown, it's time to count the score! To score bocce ball, go to the pallino and count the balls closest to it. Typically, one bocce ball is one point. Once a team reaches 16, or any arbitrary number that is decided upon - they win!

If you're having trouble visualizing how the game is played, check out this rules of bocce ball video below for an example of how bocce ball is played, scored, and more!

Basic Bocce Ball Rules

  1. It is best to play Bocce Ball on a flay, level playing surface. Dirt, sand, gravel and grass are best! 
  2. Divide all players into two teams. Each team can be made up one, two, or four players.
  3. Each team gets 4 balls. Divide the balls equally to each player. 
  4. From the throwing zone, one player will throw the pallino ball toward the opposite end of the playing area.
  5. That same player will then throw one of the boccia to land as close to the pallino as they can.
  6. Following that, the other team will have a chance to throw, alternating until between team players throwing until both team have used all of their balls.
  7. One point (per ball) is awarded to the team with the closest ball(s) to the pallino than the other team's closest ball.
  8. No points are awarded if the two teams' balls are equidistant from the pallino.
  9. Once all 8 balls have been thrown and the score has been totaled, the frame ends. The winning team starts the next frame. If neither team scored, the next frame will begin by the team that threw the pallino. 
  10. The first team to reach 16 points is the winner

Gentlemen's Guidebook is a blog for exploration, discovery, and adventure brought to you by Gentlemen's Hardware and Barrel & Oak. If you have any questions or requests, please reach out to


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