Traditional Bocce


  • 4 Bowls per person (unbiased)
  • 1 Jack (smaller target ball)

Bocce is played with an even number of players on each team as follows

  • Singles (4 bowls per player)
  • Doubles (2 or 3 bowls per player)
  • Triples (2 bowls per player)
  • Quadruples (2 bowls per player)


  • The aim is to bowl or throw your bowl closest to the jack with the option of knocking out well placed opponents balls.
  • Bocce can be played on any flat/ sloping surface such as: carpet, grass, sand or anywhere.
  • A game is played with an even number of players on each team (as stated above).
  • Each team player has the same colour or line type patter bowl/s and different to that of their opponent.


  • At the beginning of the game the team, which has won the jack, throws it and then okays its first bowl.
  • Subsequently, the team which does not hold the point, must play until it regains the point by bowling or throwing.
  • If, after the bowling or throwing by a player, there are no bowls left in the court, the opponent team will play.
  • When a team has delivered all its bowls, the other team plays on and attempts to source further points by bowling or throwing, if necessary, at the bowls in its way. It can also throw at the jack.
  • If the jack is out of play (regular or irregular- accepted throw) while in the court there are still bowls belonging to both teams, the game will be played again in the same direction.
  • In this case the jack is thrown by the team that had originally thrown it.
  • In all other cases the game will start again in the opposite direction.


  • The team with the closest bowl to the jack at the completion of the end scored 1 point.
  • And a further point for each of their bowl.s closer to the jack than any of the opponents bowls.
  • the game is played in ends and an accumulative score is tallied at the completion of each end.
  • First to 7, 11, 13 or 15 points wins.

Several useful tips in securing your points

  • Read the surface: before bowling or throwing your bowl always plan your approach by reading the surface and picking a landing spot (try to avoid soft sand or high grass areas).
  • The technique: for a high level of accuracy and control, hold your bowl with a normal firm grip and with the back of your hand pointing towards the target.
  • Use tactics: make the first decisions at the right time, bowl to place your ball closer to the jack or throw to knock out an opponents bowl.
  • have fun: smash an opponents bowl out, play with friends, family or even colleagues.

Bocce Techniques