What is Bocce?

Bocce Court

Bocce is an Italian-originated game, which is a cross between bowling and shuffleboard. In bocce the only object is for one or more of your team’s balls to be closer than any of your opponent’s balls to the pallina (small target ball, often white) at the end of every set. Rather than a time period you can play a fixed number of ends and total the higher score to win or the first team to a predetermined score. Typical winning scores are 15, 18, or 21.


Step One


Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target or object ball called the pallina.

Step Two


There are 2 teams consisting of 1-4 players. Each team gets 4 balls of their selected color.

Step Three


A coin toss will determine which team gets first control of the pallina and which color balls that team selects.

  • 4

    The starting team may roll/toss the “Pallina” (small white ball) into the playing area so it lands between the half line and the back foul line (2 fouls gives the opposing team the starting toss). The starting team then rolls/tosses their first ball attempting to get as close to the pallina as possible

  • 5

    Player’s may only take one step toward the center line when tossing their ball. Hard or aggressive throws are not allowed.

  • 6

    The opposing team will then deliver their bocce balls until the point is taken or they have exhausted their 4 balls.

  • 7

    This “nearest ball”, rule governs the sequence of thrown balls. The side whose bocce is the closest to the pallina 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 take their turn.

  • 8

    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. The pallina may also be knocked out of place by a bocce ball in order to gain points, or to decrease their opponent’s points.

  • 9

    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.

  • 10

    Scoring points are all those balls of one team closer to the pallina than the closest ball of the opposing team, which can be determined by viewing or by mechanical measurement. The highest score per frame for a team is 4.

  • 11

    In the event that the two balls closest to the pallina belong to opposing teams and are exactly the same distance from the pallina, no points will be awarded, and the pallina returns to the team that delivered it.

  • 12

    Only balls that are distinguishably closer to the pallina than any opponent’s balls may be awarded points.

Café Michelangelo Bocce House Rules

People playing Bocce

  • 1. Play at your own risk
  • 2. No on under the age of 16 is allowed on bocce courts without adult supervision
  • 3. No on under the age of 18 is allowed to play on the small court
  • 4. No one us allowed on bocce courts when the courts are in poor muddy conditions
  • 5. Any one who is not playing bocce in a proper manner or jeopardizes anyone’s safetly will be asked to leave the bocce courts
  • 6. A $20 deposit is required(given to the bartender) for the bocce balls
  • 7. If any of the bocce ball game piece are missing when they are returned you will be charged $20 per piece