5 Best Bocce Ball Sets - Sept. 2022 - BestReviews (2022)

If you haven’t played bocce yet, you can probably bet your ancestors did. Historians have found evidence that Egyptians played a form of bocce in 5200 B.C., and the love of the sport traveled to Greece around 800 B.C. The Romans learned it from the Greeks, and Italian immigrants popularized the game in America. Now the outdoor sport is as much a part of summer as an icy Aperol spritz and a day at the beach. The world’s oldest sport boasts the world’s third largest number of participants, after golf and soccer. And you can play, too, with your own bocce ball set.

Bocce’s equipment has changed only slightly over the millennia. We aren’t tossing polished stone or coconuts like our ancestors did, but today’s resin bocce balls aren’t all that different. There are plenty of options out there, and if you’d like to buy a bocce ball set for competition or recreation, BestReviews can help.

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In Venice in the 1500s, bocce was banned, and playing the sport was punishable by fines. City leaders thought the game immoral and distracting to men.

Regulation vs. non-regulation bocce balls

Much like any other sport, you first have to decide whether you need regulation or nonregulation equipment. It all depends on who will be using the set, where, and why.

Regulation

If you want to play like the professionals, already play in a bocce league, or have dreams of joining one, you need a regulation bocce ball set.

  • Set size: Bocce rules dictate that a regulation set is eight balls identical in size, weight, and composition.

  • Ball color: Traditionally, bocce balls are red and green.

  • Ball diameter: Tournament-grade balls vary from 100 to 115 mm in diameter.

  • Regulation specs: The Bocce Standards Association (BSA) dictates that regulation balls must be made of hard plastic composite, 107 mm in diameter, and 920 grams in weight.

Non-regulation

These sets come in a wide range of sizes and weights to cater to all sorts of players, including children, the elderly, and beach-goers. These balls can vary in size from 74 mm to about 109 mm and be made of lighter materials. Non-regulation sets are often less expensive. If you plan to play bocce on an uneven beach, there’s no need to use perfectly weighted balls. You can find non-regulation sets in a variety of bright colors (which is a big help for color-blind players).

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Bocce balls come in a wide variety of sizes. We research each and every set and decide what level of play they will excel at.

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Most bocce ball sets come with enough equipment for at least two players to play with. We investigate each and every set to ensure that it will work well for a wide variety of situations.

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Bocce balls can be made from metal, plastic, wood, and even resin. Our research indicates how well each material works for various styles of play.

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We keep in mind the surface that each bocce ball set can be utilized for. Our investigation determines what sets will be suitable on sand, grass, and any other play surfaces.

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When vetting each bocce ball set, we investigate how heavy they are. The weight determines if the set is great for beginners or best for experts to handle.

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Durability is of the utmost importance when it comes to our research. Well-built bocce ball sets will be able to withstand impact without chipping or scratching.

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Many bocce ball sets come with a tool for measurement. We take into consideration the quality of the device and how easy it is to utilize during play.

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The target in bocce ball is called the pallino. During our research, we look for the pallino to have the right size of 40mm and for it to be durable under heavy impact.

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A great bocce ball set will also come with a high-quality case. Our exploration of each set determines if the case is built well and easy to use.

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The official play size of a bocce ball is 107mm, but some sets can go down to 90mm. We look at all the various sizes during our research and weigh the pros and cons of each.

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Bocce ball materials

Think about how you will use your set – and for how long – to determine what type of material your bocce balls should be made of: wood, plastic, metal, resin, or composite.

Wood

You might run across a decorative or antique set of wooden bocce balls for sale. They’re a neat collector’s item, but they won’t suit regulation play or withstand wear too well. Skip wooden bocce balls if your goal is to play with your set and not just look at it.

Plastic

Sets made for children, the elderly, and the beach often have lightweight plastic balls. These are more portable, making them great for parties. Budget-friendly options like this aren’t going to be perfectly weighted, but that doesn’t matter when you’re playing on an uneven lawn or the beach.

Metal

Some modern, mid-price sets have metal balls, which can be great so long as you buy stainless steel balls that won’t rust. These polished silvery sets have different markings to enable you to tell them apart. While metal bocce balls may look beautiful, it can be difficult to tell the teams apart from a distance.

Resin

Pure resin balls are what the professionals use because they’re weighted perfectly to roll true and are the least likely to crack or chip. These bocce balls consist of a foam core encased in resin. They’re kind of like miniature bowling balls. A good set of resin bocce balls can be passed down from generation to generation.

Resin composites

Some bocce balls are made of a combination of resin and recycled materials or fillers. These sets are less expensive and more likely to chip and scratch to the point that they lose their colour. The filler in the centre can cause the balls to roll unevenly.

Marbleized resin

Some of the most expensive bocce ball sets are made of marbleized resin. The purely decorative pattern is created from different colors of resin swirled together. It can include multiple colors or just red and white or green and white. These balls won’t help your aim, but they make a pretty nice gift.

Bocce ball set containers

If you’re going to spend your money on a nice bocce ball set, you’ll want to keep it in a container that will protect it and make transport easy.

Plastic carrier

A less-expensive bocce ball set for recreational use may come in a hard plastic carrier that has a slot for each ball and a handle. It’s convenient, but it doesn’t protect the balls from scratches and dents.

Nylon bag

These square bags look like lunch boxes but are the most common way bocce balls are stored and transported. Many have slots for the individual balls.

Wooden case

More protective but also more cumbersome, special wooden boxes are common containers for more expensive bocce balls.

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Did you know?

Galileo Galilei and Leonardo Da Vinci both enjoyed a good game of bocce. The sport was touted for its medical benefits during their day.

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BestReviews

Bocce ball set prices

Bocce ball set prices vary widely. You can pay from $15 to more than $300, depending on quality and extras. You can buy an inexpensive set to enjoy on summer afternoons for about $15 or a quality set to pass down through the generations for about $90.

Inexpensive: For $15 to $35, you can get a simple set of plastic bocce balls for that is perfect for the beach but not so great for honing your technique.

Mid-range: For $35 to $65, you can get a good-quality set of resin bocce balls that would satisfy most adult players. You will still probably experience chipping and wear on the balls with these sets.

Expensive: You should expect to pay between $65 and $100 for a professional-grade bocce ball set with perfectly balanced resin balls that roll straight and true.

Premium: You’ll pay from $100 to over $300 for bocce ball sets with more balls, hefty carrying cases, and accessories.

Tips

  • Check the ball composition. Are the bocce balls made of pure resin or only 2% resin? It’s the difference between buying a set that will last and a set that will crack.

  • Consider engraving. For a fun gift idea, have a bocce ball set professionally engraved. Some sellers offer engraving for an extra fee at purchase, and the engraving doesn’t affect the roll of the balls.

  • Clean your set after each use. To prevent dirt from building up in between the markings on the balls, make sure to wipe down your set with a cleaning agent and soft cloth before storing them.

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In 1896, Athens, Greece, hosted the first Bocce Olympiad during a resurgence in the sport’s popularity.

FAQ

Q. Do bocce balls have to be red and green to follow regulations?

A. No, some leagues play with blue and yellow, too. Red and green are just the traditional colors.

Q. My bocce ball set came with a measuring tape and rule book. Are they regulation grade?

A. Not necessarily. A measuring tape is a common accessory in bocce ball sets because you need it to settle the score on those super tough calls. You should check the publication date of the rule book because it could be out of date or incomplete.

Q. What’s the difference between bocce and pétanque balls?

A. While bocce and pétanque are similar in rules and general play, bocce players roll the balls while pétanque players toss the balls. Pétanque balls are made of metal, smaller, and hollow. Bocce balls are usually made of resin, larger, and solid. The size difference is something like that of an orange versus a grapefruit.

FAQs

What are the best bocce balls made of? ›

Bocce balls are usually made out of wood. These days, the best quality bocce balls are also made of solid resin; as they provide better durability and playing quality. The cheaper sets are made of recycled material or hard plastic, which aren't as durable as the resin equivalent.

How do I choose a bocce ball? ›

There are three major factors that determine a quality bocce ball set: material, size, and weight. A quality set will be well balanced and will last for many years. While there are regulation sizes and weights, good bocce balls will range in measurement depending on age and level of skill.

What are professional bocce balls made of? ›

The material is called RESIN. Real and original bocce balls are made of expensive Phenolic Material. Perfetta uses a special phenolic blend.

What is the best surface for a bocce ball court? ›

Professionals recommend using sand, crushed stone or oyster blend. These materials allow the balls to roll fast and track straight. They also absorb bounce and allow better drainage.

What color should bocce balls be? ›

Fun for backyard barbecues and sunny afternoons at the park

Our Bocce Elite sets includes 8 bocce balls and a white 50mm Pallino target ball, that meets the bocce association's standard guidelines. 4 colors (2 - Blue, 2 - Green, 2 - Red, and 2 - Yellow) are provided for up to four participating players.

What size are professional bocce balls? ›

Ideal for professional tournament competition game, backyard, lawn, beach, sand and grass. Each international standard size of 107mm ball weight is 920g/2.03LBS. Take It Anywhere: With a durable heavy duty zip-up carrying case, it stores 107mm bocce ball sets nicely, holds its shape for travel and ease of storage.

What kind of sand do you use for a bocce ball court? ›

Sand or Pea Gravel

Sand and pea gravel also help reduce bounce in game play. Cons: Sand can harbor bacteria and, like pea gravel, must be raked after use. If you're installing a bocce ball court at your brewery, hotel, country club, or even at home, you'll need to rake the court after each use which slows down play.

What is the average cost of a bocce ball set? ›

Bocce sets can cost anywhere between $15 and $200, but many decent sets can be found for no more than $50. Pricing primarily depends on the material that the balls are made of. Plastic sets, for example, will be significantly cheaper than balls made of baked clay or resin.

Can you move the pallino in bocce ball? ›

3. Once the pallino is in play, it can be knocked anywhere on the court except back over the center line or out of the court (frame ends, play resumes at opposite end, and same team throws the pallino). Bocce Ball Throw: 1.

Why do some bocce sets have 4 colors? ›

Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target or object ball called a pallina. There are four balls per team and they are made of a different color or pattern to distinguish the balls of one team from those of the other team.

Where is bocce ball most popular? ›

In Italy, bocce's popularity spans all demographics; it is considered the perfect activity on a relaxing afternoon!

How heavy should bocce balls be? ›

Older bocce were made of wood or bronze. The game is played on a natural surface and regulation volo balls must be made exclusively of metal and must weight between 900 and 1,200 grams, about 32 to 42 ounces. Women and children may use lighter balls that must weigh at least 800 grams, or a little more than 28 ounces.

Who is the best bocce player in the world? ›

2019 World Champion Robert Ferraro

The bocce world rankings are the official system of ranking professional bocce players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the WCBIF. As of January 2019, the number one-ranked player is Robert Ferraro.

How much does a standard bocce ball weigh? ›

The International Standards of Bocce Ball have determined that a circumference of 107mm (4.2 inches) and a weight of 920g (2lbs.)

How do you maintain an oyster shell in bocce court? ›

Bocce Ball Court Maintenance

Occasional maintenance (once a month for home courts, one a week for commercial) requires brooming, wetting, then rolling the court. Additional oyster shell flour can be added. For spring maintenance, loosen the surface of the court with a rake, broom, wet, and roll the court.

What is Spocking in bocce ball? ›

Like Reilly, players spock, meaning they throw a bocce ball hard to knock an opponent's ball away from the pallino, a small ball that's the target for the game's other skill — pointing. To point, players try to throw their balls as close as possible to the pallino to score points.

How do you drain a bocce court? ›

Bocce Ball Court Construction Tips - YouTube

What are 2 rules that players must follow when playing a game of bocce? ›

All players should then stand behind a line to make their throws. Generally, everyone agrees on where it is fair to stand. The team that threw the pallino throws the first bocce. Teams and players alternate throws until all eight balls have been thrown.

Can you hit the back wall in bocce? ›

All bocces must come to rest between the midway point of the court and the back wall- but not touching the back wall- in order to remain in play. Whichever team is furthest away from the pallino must continue to throw until they obtain a closer position or run out of balls.

What is the white ball called in bocce ball? ›

The root of “bocce” is “boss.” The game starts with a small white or yellow ball called a “pallino” and is also know as a “boccino” or “jack.” It has to be thrown across the middle to start play. If it does not cross the middle, it is either thrown again or given to the other team.

What size is a pallino for bocce ball? ›

Built to regulation size, the eight bocce balls measure 3.5 inches while the pallino spans 1.6 inches.

What is the smallest size bocce court? ›

The tiniest courts usually measure only 22-by-6 feet.

What size is the White bocce ball? ›

White Pallina, made by EPCO They are 57mm (2.25") in diameter so are easy to see over a long distance or when playing on grass. Made from the same Partek composition resin material that the EPCO Bocce Balls are made from To get better value for money on buying pallinas, please see 2-packs and 3-packs of pallinas.

What is a good size for a backyard bocce court? ›

THE COURT suggested for a backyard , is an area approximately 12' wide by 60' long. Although this is the recommended backyard court size, variations are acceptable provided the foul lines and in-bound markers are clearly established.

How do you grade a bocce ball court? ›

Bocce Ball Court Construction Getting It Level - YouTube

Can I use stone dust for a bocce court? ›

Clay, decomposed granite, stone dust, fancy tennis court clay, or even sand are other options. And of course you can also play on short grass or dirt.

Can you buy a bocce ball court? ›

Own your own easy to assemble, portable full size 60'x12' indoor bocce court. This court is made out of 2" standard PVC and special corners and connectors designed to present the perfect indoor playing surface that is safe for hardwood gym floors.

How do you build a bocce ball court for grass? ›

How To Build a Bocce Ball Court - DIY Network - YouTube

Where is bocce ball from? ›

Bocce Ball was first documented in a 5200 B.C. painting of two boys playing, which was discovered by an English scientist, Sir Francis Petrial, in an Egyptian tomb. Bocce Ball spread throughout Palestine and into Asia Minor. In 600 B.C., Bocce was picked up by the Greeks and passed to the Romans.

What happens if pallino hits back wall? ›

If the opposing team fails to toss the pallino past the center line (or it hits the back wall) the pallino reverts to the original team, and so forth until the pallino has been put in play.

What happens if you hit the jack in bocce ball? ›

The player that threw the jack will throw the first bocce ball. After the first bocce ball is thrown, the opposing team will throw a bocce ball. The two teams will continue to alternate throwing bocce balls until all have been thrown.

Do you alternate turns in bocce ball? ›

Teams alternate turns until all eight bocce balls have been thrown. The team with the ball closest to the pallino gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallino than the opposing team's best ball.

Can 3 people play bocce? ›

➢ A minimum of 2 players per team must be present to play a game. If the minimum 2 players are present, each team member will toss two bocce balls per frame. If 3 players are present, then all team members must toss at least once per frame and alternate who tosses the additional bocce ball.

How do you measure in bocce ball? ›

Kestrel Bocce Measuring Device - Product Review Video - YouTube

Can you build a bocce ball court on concrete? ›

Concrete is the best surface for playing bocce ball. Of course, you want to be sure that it has been finished well so there are no dips or bumps on the surface. If it is not one solid slab of concrete, you may need to negotiate around breaks in the surface which can cause your ball to get stuck.

What is bocce ball called in England? ›

In England, they have “bowls,” a lawn version of the game using a flattened ball which is rolled like a wheel (bocce balls are always spherical). The Latin word bottia (ball) is the root of the Italian word boccia or bocce.

Why is it called bocce? ›

Having developed from games played in the Roman Empire, Bocce developed into its present form in Italy (where it is called bocce, the plural of the Italian word boccia which means 'bowl' in the general sporting sense), it spread around Europe and also in regions to which Italians have migrated.

What does bocce stand for? ›

The name “bocce” actually comes from the Latin word meaning boss. However, it also is the plural form of the Italian word boccia, which means bowl in the sporting sense (like bowling). If someone asks you what bocce is, you can tell them it's the best pizza in Western New York. You can also say it's lawn bowling!

How many bocce balls are in a set? ›

Bocce Balls – A bocce set consists of eight larger balls known as “bocce balls.” They may come in different sizes depending on skill level and age, but a regulation-size ball has a diameter of about 4.2 inches. The balls come four to a set in two different colors to easily represent each team.

Is there professional bocce ball? ›

The bocce world rankings are the official system of ranking professional bocce players to determine automatic qualification and seeding for tournaments. They are maintained by the sport's governing body, the WCBIF. As of January 2019, the number one-ranked player is Robert Ferraro.

What bocce balls are made in Italy? ›

Many believe that Perfetta are the best bocce balls in the world. Made and imported from Italy. This set consists of four 107mm red balls, four 107mm green balls, one white pallino, and a well-constructed nylon carrying bag.

Why are bocce balls different colors? ›

Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller target or object ball called a pallina. There are four balls per team and they are made of a different color or pattern to distinguish the balls of one team from those of the other team.

Can you move the pallino in bocce ball? ›

3. Once the pallino is in play, it can be knocked anywhere on the court except back over the center line or out of the court (frame ends, play resumes at opposite end, and same team throws the pallino). Bocce Ball Throw: 1.

What size are professional bocce balls? ›

Ideal for professional tournament competition game, backyard, lawn, beach, sand and grass. Each international standard size of 107mm ball weight is 920g/2.03LBS. Take It Anywhere: With a durable heavy duty zip-up carrying case, it stores 107mm bocce ball sets nicely, holds its shape for travel and ease of storage.

How much does a bocce ball set cost? ›

Bocce sets can cost anywhere between $15 and $200, but many decent sets can be found for no more than $50. Pricing primarily depends on the material that the balls are made of. Plastic sets, for example, will be significantly cheaper than balls made of baked clay or resin.

What kind of sand do you use for a bocce ball court? ›

Sand or Pea Gravel

Sand and pea gravel also help reduce bounce in game play. Cons: Sand can harbor bacteria and, like pea gravel, must be raked after use. If you're installing a bocce ball court at your brewery, hotel, country club, or even at home, you'll need to rake the court after each use which slows down play.

How do you build a bocce court in your backyard? ›

How To Build a Bocce Ball Court - DIY Network - YouTube

What are 2 rules that players must follow when playing a game of bocce? ›

All players should then stand behind a line to make their throws. Generally, everyone agrees on where it is fair to stand. The team that threw the pallino throws the first bocce. Teams and players alternate throws until all eight balls have been thrown.

Where is bocce ball most popular? ›

In Italy, bocce's popularity spans all demographics; it is considered the perfect activity on a relaxing afternoon!

Can 3 people play bocce? ›

➢ A minimum of 2 players per team must be present to play a game. If the minimum 2 players are present, each team member will toss two bocce balls per frame. If 3 players are present, then all team members must toss at least once per frame and alternate who tosses the additional bocce ball.

What happens if your bocce ball hits the back wall? ›

If the thrown bocce ball hits the back wall, it is immediately removed from play. If the thrown bocce ball that first struck the back wall hits another bocce ball, the other bocce ball is returned as close as possible to its original position.

What is Spocking in bocce? ›

Like Reilly, players spock, meaning they throw a bocce ball hard to knock an opponent's ball away from the pallino, a small ball that's the target for the game's other skill — pointing. To point, players try to throw their balls as close as possible to the pallino to score points.

What happens if you hit the jack in bocce ball? ›

The player that threw the jack will throw the first bocce ball. After the first bocce ball is thrown, the opposing team will throw a bocce ball. The two teams will continue to alternate throwing bocce balls until all have been thrown.

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