From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bocce is a precision sport closely related to bowls and pétanque with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy, it is played around Europe and also in overseas countries that have received Italian migrants, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Argentina (where it's known as bochas), initially amongst the migrants themselves but slowly becoming more popular with their descendants and the wider community. In parts of the U.S. Croatian immigrants brought 'Bocce' to the U.S. In some instances, 'half-sized' Bocce courts were built because of land/lot size constraints.
Rules and play
Bocce is played on dirt courts approximately 20 to 30 metres in length and 2.5 to 4 metres wide, with wooden boards of approximately 15 centimetres in height surrounding the court. Bocce balls can be made of bronze, compressed wood, or various kinds of plastic. Unlike lawn bowls, bocce balls are spherical and have no inbuilt bias (they will roll a straight course).
A game can be contested between two players, or two teams of two or four. A match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack (called a pallino or boccino in some areas), from one end of the court into a zone about 5 metres in length, ending 2 metres from the far end of the court. If they miss twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the jack anywhere they choose within the zone.
The side that places the jack is given the opportunity to bowl first. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining bocce balls. Like lawn bowls, the team with the closest ball or balls to the jack is awarded one point for each ball that is closer to the jack than the other side's closest ball. The contest continues until one team scores 13 points (though this can vary regionally).
As well as the standard rolling bowl, in which the ball is rolled all the way along the court, players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another ball into a more favourable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the bocce bowl to land or roll it accurately.
As well as the traditional game, there are several variations that are essentially solo accuracy contests of bowling and throwing.
Bocha is a Brazilian game in which the objective is to hit one ball into another. Bocha is a modified version of the European game known in English as "bocce." The first rules for the game were established by the Portuguese prince Pedro Álvares Cabral in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Little modifications have been made since then, most of them concerning the break of the game into periods of time.
A more hardcore version of the game has been quite popular among the youth in the past 3 years, which brings attention once again to the almost forgotten sport of bocha.
- BocceVolo.com World Class Bocce
- Confederation Mondiale des Sports de Boules
- United States Bocce Federation
- Bocce Ball Rules, Bocce Courts, and More
- Bocce Victoria, Australia