Bocce is typically played on a court measuring roughly ninety by thirteen feet. The one I learned on was much smaller than this but the court really doesn’t matter, it turns out.
Images of Italian men with grappa playing after dinner fill my mind. They are portrayed with color and prose in many of the books I read. I learned from an older Italian man one summer in the mountains.
I never had a court so I always played out in the yard, where hills and trees and paths made the game more interesting. At a family reunion one year my grandma played and was a beast at this game. Through the woods, across a trampoline, my demure grandmother hooped and hollered and was extremely competitive.
Our new landscape made for a fine new field for us to play on. The teams are set (and often changed as we go) and each team has their designated balls. There are four pairs of different balls, two sets are the same color. We split into two teams. The first person throws the smaller ball, called the Jack, and he/she goes first. The object of the game is to get your team balls closest to the jack. You can knock a closer ball away or simply surround the jack but this is all much easier said than done as a patch of leaves, a rolling hill, or a fence post may divert your professional aim.
If one team has two of the closest balls than they get two points. If they only get one closest than they get one point. Make up a number to play to. We played to six then switched around the teams. I do not recall the exact rules from that summer twenty years ago but it doesn’t really matter. The rules come with the game. The main object is to have fun!
This game is every bit as fun with two people as it is with eight. We found an old bocce set at a garage sale but they are available at sports stores. We got one for Doug’s dad at Dick’s Sporting Goods one year.
Now, get outside and have some fun!