How do you Play Bocce Ball?
Bocce can be played one-on-one, or in teams from 2-4 players each. To start, each team chooses a player to throw one bocce ball in a "roll off" to determine which team goes first. Those players throw simultaneously - the object is to come as close to the mid-court line as possible, without going over. The closest player wins, chooses team colors and begins play.
The "LWB" (Little White Ball) and all bocce balls are to be thrown or rolled only underhanded and from behind the end of the court lines.
Both teams throw from one direction of the court each turn. For team play, players on each team alternate throws in a set order that remains the same for each game. New game, new team order if you like.
The first person begins and throws the LWB past the halfway mark, anywhere within the court boundaries. If the first team throws the LWB short or out of bounds, then the second team begins play. That same person continues and throws one of their colored bocce balls trying to get as close to LWB as possible. If the first bocce ball is thrown out of bounds then the team throws until they get a ball in play. That ball is now the closest, or the "inside" ball.
The second team goes next and throws their bocce balls, one at a time, until they get a ball "inside" the other team's ball. It might take more than one ball. Teams then alternate this sequence, until all the balls are thrown.
A bocce ball that touches any part of the line is considered in play. Bocce balls that land outside the court are out of play and no longer count. If the LWB is knocked out of bounds, play is stopped and the LWB is re-thrown and the frame starts over.
Only one team scores each frame. The team with the closest bocce ball(s) to the LWB scores points. Points are awarded only for each ball closer than the other team's closest ball. Teams can score from 1-4 potential points per frame.
Record the points on the scoreboard and then continue the next frame from the opposite end of the court. The first two games are played to 10 points (winning by one) and the third game
(if necessary) is played to only 5 points. A match is won by a team taking 2 out of 3 games.
The team that scored the most recent point(s) throws the LWB to begin the next frame.The team winning the previous game will toss the LWB first to start the next game.
What are the rules?
At the Villanova Bocce for Books tournament we’ve simplified the rules and scoring to make it easier and more enjoyable. Our matches are best two out of three games. The games are the first player/team to get 10 points. In case games are tied at 1-1 (1-all), then the third game is an abbreviated tie-breaker game with the first player/team to get to five (5).
How long does it take to play?
A full, two out of three game match usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Time will vary with strategy, skill level and competitiveness.
Who can play?
Bocce is great for players of all ages. It’s social and generational. It’s a great way to share time with friends, family members and meet new people. Kids as young as 5 can play and bocce is great for all ages and even for players with physical limitations or disabilities.
How do you throw the bocce ball?
First off, all throws are underhand, including the lwb. The "LWB" must be thrown past the center line. Then throws are made with the bocce balls underhand trying to get closest to the lwb.
What kind of throws are there?
Traditional bocce defines throws in the following categories:
Roll – the standard bocce throw. This throw, similar to bowling, rolls all the way along the ground to the intended target.
Bouncer Ball – this ball bounces along the ground on the way to intended target. It’s designed to bounce over, into or eventually next to the intended target.
Skyball – a ball thrown high designed to travel most of the way in the air, with little roll.
Destroyer Ball – this ball is intended to remove the opponents ball or balls, thus clearing the way for a big score.
For more information on the Tournament Oct. 6 from 10 am to 2:30 pm contact:
Director of Development
Villanova Preparatory School
805 646-1464 ext 126