Bocce CourtThe Rules for Bocce -- When others are waiting, please limit your total play time to one hour.

Here is a simple set of common rules.  Tournament play requires additional rules.  For example see: bocce.org/rules.html

 

A game can be conducted between two players, or two teams of two, three, or four. A match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack (called a boccino or pallino in some areas.  If the first team misses twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the jack anywhere they choose within the prescribed zone.

 

The side that first attempted to place the jack is given the opportunity to bowl first. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining balls. 

Bocce ScoringThe team with the closest ball to the jack is the only team that can score points in any frame. The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls that is closer to the jack than the closest ball of the other team. Any ball touching the wall is not considered in this scoring.  The length of a game varies by region but is typically from 7 to 13 points.

 

Players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another ball away to attain a more favorable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the ball to throw or roll it accurately. Note that any ball that hits the back wall is immediately taken out-of-play.