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Art & Entertainment: Games: Bocce

This is the ancient game game of what is known as lawn bowling.  As theory has it, It came from North Africa region of Egypt and it spread up through the Middle East and Asia and ultimately Greece.  Around 600BC the Greeks introduced it to the Romans, from there, the Romans spread it throughout its empire including France, England and of course from there, migrating Italians brought it to the United States and Australia.

 The object of bocce is to simply get your ball closest to the pallino (the little white ball).  You can play in teams or person against person.  Someone tosses the pallino (the little white ball) into the field.  As shown above, one team is red, the other green.  The great thing about this game is that everyone can play, men, women, children, and elders.  It takes no real tremendous athletic skills, just patience, concentration and the minimal strength to throw the ball, aim is more important than stregnth in this game.

A regulation bocce court is 76' long and 10' wide, but most of the time if you are playing this in your backyard or in a park.  Sometimes, if you are lucky, the park has a bocce ball court.

Players should be in two teams of one, two or four players each.  Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players.   The winners throw the pallina (the little white ball) but the team initially tosses a coin for it.

Next, the first team throws their ball to come closest to the pallino.  The other teams goes trying to come yet closer.  The came continues in this fashion until all eight balls have been thrown.  The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallino than the other team's closest ball.  Sometimes you will need some form of measurement to see which team's ball is closer, this does not have to be a ruler, but maybe a belt or piece of string which can determine which is closer.

The players are allowed to use their balls to knock the other team's balls away from the pallino.  

In some rules you are allowed to use the the team's ball to knock  the pallino closer to their team's balls, but the version I know, you are never allowed to move the pallino.

TIPS:  Practice first; try to see where the ground is uneven; concentrate; remember its just an ancient fun Italian tradition, enjoy it! The name of the game is Bocce, not "Bocce Ball" (the bocce is the ball, so its like saying, let's go play football ball or baseball ball).  Enjoy and have fun, anyone can play this game!

More Bocce Links Here

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