Father's Day Fun

How to Play Backyard Bocce Ball

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Bocce Ball has been popular for THOUSANDS of years! Yes, there are bocce courts, bocce leagues, bocce tournaments, and bocce champions – but the casual backyard version of the game can be played almost anywhere. If you're looking for a family activity for Father's Day, give it a try.

It's easy to learn and fun for ALL ages and abilities.


You'll need a flat, level playing surface. Any open space can be used as the "field."


You'll need bocce balls, which are typically made of resin and come in sets of eight (four balls per team, usually in two different colors), and a smaller target ball called the pallino or jack.


Divide players into two teams. Each team can have one, two, or four players. Each team gets four balls.

Starting the Game

A player from one team tosses the pallino (or jack) onto the playing surface, aiming for a distance of around 10-15 feet. This player then throws their first bocce ball, trying to get it as close to the pallino as possible.

Taking Turns

Players from each team take turns throwing their bocce balls, aiming to get them closer to the pallino than the opposing team's balls. Players can try to knock opponents' balls away from the pallino or use their own balls to bump their teammates' balls closer.


Once all the balls have been thrown, the round is over, and points are awarded. Only the team with the closest ball to the pallino scores points. They receive one point for each ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest opposing team's ball. For example, if one team has the two closest balls, they score two points.

Next Round

The team that scored in the previous round throws the pallino to start the next round. Play continues until a predetermined score is reached, usually 12-16 points, or until a set number of rounds have been completed.

Winning the Game

The team that reaches the predetermined score first wins the game.

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