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This information is for your personal use.

I am only posting this for those of you who want to know how to play the game.


The first set of rules and illustrations are from a Bocce set's instructions that I purchased by Franklin Sports Industries out of Stoughton, MA 02072

The second set of rules and illustrations is directly from Sportcraft's Official Rule book for 23 games copyright 1985,

General Sportcraft Co., Ltd. Bergenfield, NJ 07621


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From Franklin... 
Bocce originated in Italy and is one of the oldest of all lawn bowling games. It is now gaining popularity in the United States since it can be played by people of all ages and on a great variety of surfaces. Bocce is played between two players or two teams of up to four players on a team. Bocce is played with 8 large balls, 4 of one color, 4 of another color and one small target ball called the "Jack," or "Pallino." Players seek to place their Bocce Balls nearer to the target jack than their opponent or displace the opponent's Bocce Ball and so improve the position of their Bocce Ball in relation to the Jack, (Pallino). Bocce can be played in a variety of ways using various rules.
Open Bocce is the Italian game modified for American conditions. It may be played almost anywhere on a variety of surfaces, in the back yard or front yard, on a smooth lawn or rough grass, along a dirt road or grassy meadow, on a golf course or sandy beach, on level ground or hilly terrain. Variety in surface and terrain calls for variety in skills and techniques of play, producing a game rich in surprise and suspense. The target ball, called the "Jack," or "Pallino," is thrown out by a member of Team A. He may toss the jack ball any distance and in any direction that he chooses. The same player then rolls or throws his two Bocce Balls as close to the Pallino as possible. Then a player on the opposing team rolls and tries to place his balls nearer the target ball. Then the second player from Team A rolls and finally the last player from Team B. A variation to the above is allowed. The so called "Nearest Ball" rule may be adopted as follows: The first player rolls or tosses his first Bocce Ball only. He then steps aside and does not bowl again until the opposing side has gotten one of its Bocce Balls closest to the Pallino. The side whose Bocce is closest to the Pallino is called "Inside" and the opposing side "Outside." Whenever a team gets "Inside" it steps aside and lets the "Outside" team bowl. This continues until one side has used all its Bocce Balls. Players must follow their proper turn throughout the game. A player must use all his balls at each turn, except in a game of 2 individuals (singles). Then each player uses 2 balls at each turn. 

There are certain added rules and methods of play defined by the court layout. 
Bocce Court Layout 
The Pitch: Any type of surface may be used. The playing field should be traced on your playing surface as per illustration A. 

Throwing the Target Jack: At the beginning of the game the right of the first throw is decided by lot. Thereafter, it belongs to the team that last scored. The Jack is thrown from behind the foot line. A throw is valid when a Jack comes to rest in the Sm rectangle at the far end. The Jack's whole circumference must be within the lines. If the first throw fails, the same team has the right to throw again. After two attempts, the opposing team may place the Jack in the 5m rectangle (at least 50cm 120 in.] from any line). 

Position of the Players: When the Jack is thrown, all the other players must stand behind the same foot line as the thrower. 

Throwing the Bocce Ball: The team that throws the Jack throws the first ball. The first opponent then throws. If two opponents are at equal distance from the Jack, the team that threw last throws again. If the tie remains, the other team throws and so on. When one team has delivered all the balls, the other team continues until all its balls are delivered. The players then measure to decide the scores and then change ends. If two opposing balls tie for nearest, the end is void and is replayed in the other direction with the same team delivering the Jack. 

Type of Shot: Balls may be thrown in one of the three following methods: 

Bocce's Standard Shot 

(1) Standard Shot: The player must stand between lines A and B of the starting half and roll the ball towards the Jack. He must release the ball before line B but he may advance not further than line C after he releases the ball. The ball must stop at least on or beyond line F of the finishing half, must not run out of bounds and must not hit or move any other ball or the Jack in the court. The object of this shot is to get as close as possible to the Jack. If the ball thrown fails to comply with the above regulations, it is disqualified and removed from the court. All balls moved by such a foul shot must be returned to their original positions. 

Bocce's Call Shot 

(2) Call Shot: The player must stand between lines A and C and release his ball before line C but he may advance not further than line D after he releases the ball. The ball must stop on or before line F of the finishing half and must not run out of bounds. In this case, however, the player specifies his target beforehand and his ball must hit that target, or at least another ball or the Jack, if they happen to be within one foot of the target named. In the absence of any object within one foot of the target, the player must hit the target itself. The ball must hit the target (or another within one foot) first, before hitting or moving any other ball on the court. All measurements are made from the outer dimensions of the balls and not the distance between the balls. Failing to comply with any of the above regulations, the ball is disqualified and removed from the court. All balls (or the Jack) moved by such a foul shot should be returned to their original position and the game resumed. If the shot was good, however, then the balls (or the Jack) moved shall stand where they lay. All balls knocked out of bounds are disqualified. Also any ball knocked before line F of the Finishing Half is disqualified; and of course, if the Jack is knocked out of bounds or before line F of the Finishing Half, the whole Frame is invalid and must be repeated. 

Bocce's Aerial Call Shot 

(3) Aerial Call Shot: This shot is similar to shot No. 2 (call shot) in all respects, except that the ball is hurled through the air and must land either directly on or within 1 foot of the target named and immediately proceed to hit the target or an object (ball or Jack) within 1 foot thereof (the original target). The ball must, as in case of shot No. 2, hit the target (or another object within 1 foot thereof) before hitting or moving any other ball in the court. 

SCORING: When all balls have been thrown, the Referee (or a delegation of the 2 teams) shall proceed to measure the distance of the balls from theJack, measuring from the outer dimensions. Each ball that is closer to the target ball than the nearest ball of the opposing team, scores 1 point. In case of a tie between two balls of opposing teams, the balls can cancel each other's score or may be played again by the same players. (An agreement on this point must be reached before the game is started.) In case of a tie between 2 balls of the same team, then both balls shall score. 

FINI for one version of Rules 
more below...

from Sportcraft


Bocce is played with eight large balls-and one smaller target or object ball called the pallino or jack. There are 4 balls to a side, or team, and they are made in two colors to distinguish the balls of one team from the 4 balls of the opposing team. 

A coin toss will determine which team has the pallino and which color bails that team selects. 

The pallino is thrown out by a member of the team having won the coin toss to start the game. The same player throwing the pallino must deliver the first bocce ball. The opposing team will then deliver their bocce balls until the point is taken or they have exhausted their 4 balls. This "nearest ball" rule governs the sequence of thrown balls. The side whose bocce is the closest to the pallino is called the "in" ball and the opposing side the "out" ball. Whenever a team gets "in" it steps aside and allows the "out" team to bowl. 

A team has the option of rolling, throwing, bouncing, banking, etc. its ball down the court provided it does not go out-of-bounds or the player does not violate the foul markers. A player also has the option of "spocking" or hitting out any ball in play in trying to obtain a point, or decreasing the opposing team's points. 

At the end of each frame (when both teams have exhausted 4 balls each), a designated official under the scrutiny of the captain/or designee of each team, will determine the points scored. Scoring points are all those balls of one team closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team, which can be determined by viewing or by mechanical measurement. 

In the event that the two balls closest to the pallino belong to opposing teams and are tied, no points will be awarded, and the pallino returns to the team which delivered it. Only balls which are distinguishably closer to the pallino than any opponent's balls may be awarded points. 


4 man team-1 ball/player— 16 points

3 man team-1 ball/player— 16 points

2 man team-2 balls/player—16 points

1 man team-4 balls/player—11 points


The Court-is an area approximately 12' wide by 60' long. Although this is the recommended court size, variations are acceptable provided foul lines and in-bound maskers are clearly established. 

The court surface may be composed of stone dust, dirt, clay, grass or artificial surface providing there are no permanent or temporary obstructions in the court that would interfere with the straight line delivery of a bocce from any direction. 

The side and end walls of the court may be composed of any material that would not move during play and be at least as high as the bocce balls. The side or end walls may be utilized for bank shots or rebound shots. All courts should be clearly marked for the following: 

(a) 1' from side boards-in-bounds for first throw of pallino. 
(b) 3' from back boards-in-bounds for first throw of pallino. 
(c) 4' from back boards-foul line for pointing. Distance may vary provided foul lines are clearly marked. 
(d) 9' from back boards-foul line for spocking or hitting. Distance may vary provided foul lines are clearly marked. 

(e) Half court marker-minimum distance palling may be thrown on. first throw of pallino. Courts may have additional minimum distance markets for pallino which would overrule half-court markers. During the course of play, the position of the palling may change as a result of normal play; however, the palling may never come to rest closer than the half point marker or frame is considered dead. 

Bocce Court Diagram


Balls may be of composition, wood or metal and of equal size. 
The pallino must be of a color visibly distinct from both bocce ball colors. 


Live Ball-Any ball in play or waiting to be thrown is considered a live ball. 

Dead Ball-Any ball that has been disqualified. A ball may be disqualified if: 
(a) it is the result of a penalty 
(b) it has gone out of the court 
(c) it has come in contact with a person, object or thing which is out of the court 
(d) it hits the top of the court boards 
Pallino-small object ball sometimes called cue ball, jack, etc. 

Spock-A throw which is thrown with sufficient velocity that it would hit the back board if it missed the target. The spock line may be used to determine a foul. 

Bank Shot-A ball which is played off either the side boards or back board. 

Pointing-A ball thrown or rolled to obtain a point close to pallino. The roll line must be used to determine a foul. 

Frame-The period in the game in which balls are played from one side of the court to the other and points awarded. 


Foul-line Fouls-In both pointing and hitting, the foremost part of the specific foul-line will not be surpassed by any part of the foot before the ball leaves the player's hand. 

One official warning may be granted each team after which penalties will be prescribed. 

The penalty for a team committing a 2nd foul-line infraction will be as follows: 
(a) the team fouled against will be awarded points as they were immediately preceding the foul and the frame will end. The team committing the foul will be awarded no points for the frame. 
(b) or the fouled against team may have. the option of declining the penalty and completing the frame. 

Illegal Movement of a Ball Belonging to Your Own Team-If a player moves one or more of his team's balls, it or they are removed from the court and considered dead and play continues. 
Illegal Movement of an Opponent's Ball-If a player moves one or more of his opponent's balls, those balls are removed and awarded one point each and play continues. Only one team is awarded points, so only the team fouled against can be awarded points. 


This information is for your personal use.

I am only posting this for those of you who want to know how to play the game. Enjoy!

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