General Information

Basic Rules of Bocce

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  1. The equipment consists: one (1) pallino (usually white), eight (8) bocce balls (e.g., four red and four green), and a measurement device (e.g., a tape measure). The match shall begin with the flip of a coin. The winner of the coin flip may have the honor of the first toss of the pallino or the choice of the color of the bocce balls they wish to use for the match.
  2. The game commences when a player with the honor tosses the pallino. The pallino may be tossed any distance so long as the pallino passes the center line of the court and does not hit the back wall. If a player fails to validly toss the pallino after one attempt, the opposing team will have a chance to toss the pallino for the sole purpose of putting the pallino in play. If the opposing team fails to toss the pallino past the center line (or it hits the back wall) the pallino reverts to the original team, and so forth until the pallino has been put in play.
  3. The player who originally tossed the pallino, whether successfully or not, throws the first bocce ball with the objective of placing it as close to the pallino as possible. If the bocce ball hits the back wall it is removed from play for that frame and that team must roll again until a bocce ball is put in play. Once a bocce ball has been put in play, the player steps aside and his team does not roll again until the opposing team has either rolled one of its bocce balls closer to the pallino or has rolled all of its bocce balls.
  4. The team whose bocce balls are closest to the pallino is called "inside" and the opposing team "outside." Whenever a team gets inside, it steps aside and lets the outside team roll. The outside team rolls until its bocce ball rests inside (but not equidistant) the opposing bocce ball. Play continues until both teams have rolled all of their bocce balls. This constitutes a “frame.” Only one team may score per frame. The team that scored in the frame has the honor and tosses the pallino to begin the next frame.
  5. If the teams cannot determine who is inside, a measurement may be taken. All measurements should be made from the inside dimensions of the bocce ball to the inside dimension of the pallino.
  6. If a player rolls the wrong color bocce ball, that ball is replaced with the correct color when the ball comes to rest. Play then continues as before. If a player rolls out of turn the opposing team may leave everything, including the thrown bocce ball, exactly where it is (accepting the roll) or may return any moved balls to their approximate original positions and remove the thrown ball from play. The opposing team must call the roll out of turn before the next bocce ball is rolled, otherwise the violation is waived.
  7. If the thrown bocce ball hits the back wall, it is immediately removed from play. If the thrown bocce ball that first struck the back wall hits another bocce ball, the other bocce ball is returned as close as possible to its original position. If the thrown bocce ball strikes the pallino and causes the pallino to strike the back wall, the pallino remains in play. If the thrown bocce ball first strikes another bocce ball and the struck bocce ball touches the back wall, the struck bocce ball is removed from play. The thrown ball, so long as it did not strike the back wall, remains in play.
  8. Once the pallino has been validly put into play, it remains in play even if it hits the back wall. However, if the pallino is knocked out of the court or is knocked backwards and comes to rest in front of the center line, the frame will end, no points are awarded, and the game will resume from the opposite end of the court with the same team tossing the pallino.
  9. Player movements are limited to the foul line. The player may step on, but not over, the foul line before rolling the pallino or bocce ball. When a player releases the pallino or bocce ball, both feet must be on the court unless the player has a significant physical impairment.
  10. Tossing the bocce ball in the air beyond the center of the court is never allowed. If a player shoots the bocce ball, it will be taken out of play for that frame and the pallino or any bocce balls impacted will be returned to their approximate original position.
  11. Only the "inside" team scores. One point is given for each ball of the inside team that is closer to the pallino than any ball of the opposing team. If at the end of any frame the closest ball of each team is equidistant from the pallino, the frame ends in a tie and no points are awarded to either team. The game will resume from the opposite end of the court with the team that had the honor tossing the pallino.

Other Information

About Clayton Bocce

Ipsen Family Bocce Park

House Rules


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