How to Play Bocce Ball and the Rules to Follow

**Articles may contain links that I earn compensation for if clicked and you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. These earnings do not actually impact the price of the product or service.

If you’re looking for a low-intensity game that still evokes so much excitement and fun, look no further than bocce ball. This game has been played for hundreds of years, and many people have a basic knowledge of the bocce ball necessary to have a good time with friends.

Mostly played at social gatherings like potlucks and picnics, there’s more to bocce ball than you realize. Its history is rich, starting as a welcome distraction during the Punic Wars for the Roman soldiers and gradually evolving into one of the most popular sports in Italy. Now, bocce ball is being played around the world.

And in the United States, the sport is growing in popularity and thankfully offers mental and physical health benefits. So, let’s walk you through a comprehensive guide to the game of bocce ball and teach you what you need to know.

In this guide, we’ll tell you about the rules, gameplay, deciders, and some free tips to get the better of your opponents as you play this fun game.

The Bocce Ball Court – Where the game is played

Once you have an area with considerable space, creating a bocce ball court shouldn’t be a problem. Most people love to engage in the game as an outdoor exercise, but we’ve seen indoor courts pop-up in recent times. Regardless of the size of your social group, bocce ball is perfect. Learning to play on the court is simple and only needs some level of strategy. So, you’ll be working with your team to win.

Officially, the dimensions for a bocce ball court range from 60’-90’ (length) and 8’-14’ (width), so it is normal to see variations in different courts. The United States Bocce Federation (USBF) recommends that open play or tournaments be carried out in 13’ x 91’ courts.

But you can play in a court with smaller dimensions because space constraints mean that indoor courts will most times be smaller. You can also set up a bocce ball court on different surfaces such as stone, sand, dirt, and clay, but you have to ensure that the surface is flat.

In general, especially for beginners looking to engage in a casual game, you mustn’t go with the official size recommendations. Just make sure you have access to a rectangular playing area, and you can get started. Apart from the surface materials mentioned above, you can play on grass or artificial turf.

Some other items you need to create the playing area are bocce ball court markers and lines in compliance with the rules of the game. You can give your court a more standardized look using paint or tape to create the lines as follows:

  • Create a centerline in the middle to divide the court.
  • Create a foul line on each side of the court measuring 4 ft. to 6 ft. from the end of the court.
  • Measure 8 ft. to 10 ft. from the foul line on all court sides and create a spocking foul line.

Bocce Ball Equipment For Players

As soon as you’ve got the court set up, you need the right bocce ball equipment to get started. For beginners, you’ll need 1 pallino, as well as 8 balls in two different colors (one color for 4 balls). But it’s also normal to have a bocce ball set where you have 2 balls to one color, giving you 4 different color pairs.

The Pallino

This ball is different from the bocce balls and usually comes in a different color. Generally, most pallino balls have a diameter of around 1.97″ in the United States. But this doesn’t apply to the rest of the world as different locations have varying average sizes. Pallino’s are created from materials similar to those used in constructing a bowling ball.

The bocce ball set

There are 8 bocce balls in a standard set, 4 of which have a distinct color from the other 4. The balls most times share the same features in terms of their weight, size, and material. But you’ll also see sets that have balls with varying sizes to ensure that people of all ages can play, especially children.

The bocce balls used for official tournaments in the United States have a diameter range of 100-115 mm, but 107mm size balls are regulation standard.

How much does a bocce ball weigh?

A standard bocce ball weighs an average of 2 pounds. These are the types of balls that experts prefer because it helps them practice better.

Do you have a bocce ball set already?

If not, check out our top 3 picks for the best bocce ball sets. These balls are great, and you will find one that is ideal for you and your friends.

1.      GoSports 100mm Regulation Bocce Set

This premium set gives you value for your money and is very affordable. We love the build quality, which seems surprisingly top-notch considering its relatively lesser price. The GoSports bocce balls are designed to comply with regulation, weighing 2 pounds 5oz each and measuring 100mm and 45mm for the bocce balls and pallino, respectively.

If you’re a beginner, this set gets you all the tools to start playing. The 8 bocce balls have square and circular markings (4 green and 4 red balls), rule book, measuring rope, shoulder straps, and a padded canvas case. It’s easy to see the level of quality possessed by this set. The balls are glossy and built to thrive in different terrains. Overall, its construction is great, but you will find other sets on the market that are somewhat better in this regard. However, the advantage is that you won’t have to spend as much as you would have on other bocce ball sets.

The GoSports bocce ball set can be used in different settings and is ideal for entertaining backyard games with friends, as well as tournaments. This set is great for any experience level.


  • Great value for your money
  • You get a measuring tape
  • Regulation size
  • Affordable pricing


  • A slightly inferior build quality