Bocce Ball Sets
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Bocce - A Wonderful Sport
What is bocce?
Bocce, pronounced "bochy", is a ball sport that is popular in both Europe and the United States. It is most prominent in Italy, with Italian immigrants being credited for its modern form and presence in the United States. Within the U.S., the sport is played in myriad states and local communities.
Who plays bocce?
Bocce is played by millions of people worldwide. People of all ethnicities, financial backgrounds, age groups, and skill levels enjoy the sport on a daily basis. Bocce clubs, leagues, and tournaments exist in many cities throughout the United States, providing highly-skilled players a place to compete. In addition to providing a stage for serious players, entry-level bocce leagues and tournaments also exist. These leagues allow newcomers to be competitive and get better by playing people that share their skill level.
Bocce also boasts a large following with the backyard and weekend-warrior crowds. These people often purchase an inexpensive bocce ball set and play during cookouts, family gatherings, and other purely social events. Playing in the backyard with family and friends is a great way to spend little money, have fun, and enjoy quality time with those that matter most.
What Equipment is needed to play?
The equipment needed to play bocce consists of eight large balls, referred to as bocce balls and one small target ball, referred to as a pollino. The bocce balls usually come in two different colors as well as two different patterns. This allows for one to four player teams. Some backyard and family fun sets come in four colors and two patters, but these configurations are the exception.
Most bocce ball sets also come with a nylon carrying bag and rule book, giving the player a one-in-all package so they can start playing immediately. Bocce sets usually range between $20 and $150 excluding shipping. To see a wide selection of bocce sets and individual replacement balls, you can visit the Bocce Balls Sets Store. BocceBallsSets.com offers a wide selection, great customer service, and maintains free shipping on many of their sets. In addition to needing a set, a bocce court is also needed. Or is it? Bocce can actually be played on a court or any relatively flat surface.
Bocce courts measure around 90ft long and 15ft wide (sizes vary depending on the court). They consist of a smooth surface and are optionally surrounded by walls on all four sides. If walls exist, they are usually between eight and 15 inches tall.
If not playing on a court, any flat surface will do. A back or front yard with few divots works fine. Although the game is more unpredictable, playing in the yard can be a fun alternative to a court.
How do you play bocce?
Bocce is governed by official and open rules. A full rules discussion is beyond the scope of this article, but in general, the point of the game is to get your bocce balls closest to the pallino. Play starts by one team tossing the pallino down the court past the center line (they have a foul line they must stand behind). After the pallino is thrown, the same player will roll their bocce ball toward the pill (pallino). Next, the first player from the other team will either try and roll their ball closer or botch (hit) the other player's ball and move it away from the pill. Play continues until all eight balls are thrown. When finished throwing, both teams determine whose balls are closest to the pill and points are awarded.
Scoring works like a chain. The closest ball (point ball) starts the chain. Points are awarded to the scoring team until their chain is broken by an opponent's ball. For example, if the point ball is red, they start with one point. If the next closest ball is also red, then the chain remains intact and the red team is awarded two points. If the second closest ball is green, then the red chain is broken and red would only receive one point. Measuring continues until it is determined who receives points and how many. The most a team can score in one frame is four. At this point, the teams switch ends and start a new frame. The team that scored the last point throws the pallino.
A winner is declared when a team hits the winning point total. Winning totals usually range between seven and 15. It varies depending on the region and rules being used.
Now you know what bocce is, who plays, what is needed to play, and how to play. If you are interested in joining the ranks of bocce players, get yourself a bocce set (start out cheap), find a court or yard, add some friends, and begin playing. We're convinced you will at the least have lots of fun!