following rules are adapted from the official tournament rules of the COLLEGIUM
COSMICUM AD BUXEAS. We have also listed the
basic rules of bocce |
The sport is played with one small ball (Pallino)
and eight larger balls [Bocce (singular), Bocci (plural)]four for each team.
The Pallino is thrown first and becomes the target. Then each Bocce is thrown
with the goal of placing it as close to the Pallino as possible.
full game of Bocce is called a Round, and it is seperated into a series of scoring
periods called Giri (plural) or Giro (singular). The team that reaches nine points
first wins the Round (15 point Rounds are used in international tournaments)
In each Giro (scoring period), only one
team may score points. A point is scored for the team with its Bocce closest to
the Pallino, and additional points are earned for each Bocce of the same team
that is closer to the Pallino than the closest Bocce of the opposing team. Hence,
if all four Bocci of one team are closer to the Pallino than any Bocce of the
opposing team, four points will be scored for the winning team and none for the
opposing team. The team that reaches nine points first wins the Round.
Players may throw each Bocce in one
of three ways:
- A Punto, or
point throw, has the goal of directly making a point. The throw is aimed at the
Pallino and attempts to seat the Bocce as close to the Pallino as possible without
hitting other Bocci along the way. The ultimate throw is one that seats the Bocce
touching the Pallinothis is called a Baci (kiss) and is worth two points
if it remains in place at the end of the Giro.
Raffa is a throw aimed at another Bocce in order to move that Bocce out of the
- A Volo, an aerial throw,
is aimed to move another Bocce or the Pallino.
throw must be called in advance with the call acknowledged by the Referee. If
a throw is executed properlya legal throwall balls moved by the throw
remain in place. They may be inbounds or out-of-bounds, the latter being out of
play (see Court Markings).
a throw is illegal, the Pallino and all Bocci are returned to their previous positions,
and the illegal Bocce is removed from play. It is for this reason that the locations
of all inbounds Bocci and the Pallino must be marked. Under the "Rule
of Advantage", however, the opposing team may waive the penalty.
Typical problems subject to penalties:
- Failure to properly call the throw
and receive acknowledgment by the Referee;
faultthrow must take place behind a designated line;
throwsee requirements of a Punto, Raffa and Volo as defined in the rules;
- Delay of gametaking longer
than 30 seconds to throw;
groundingBocce not thrown in a manner that advances the team's position;
- Disorderly conduct.
of the rules exist either to define the requirements of a legal throw, or to clarify
many of the situations that arise in implementing these very simple rules, and
hence reduce the arguments and debates that are endemic to a Bocce tournament.
Beginning the Round
Selecting Bocci Colors. The Morra. At the beginning of the tournament or
when two teams with equal Round records are to compete, the Morraman will represent
his team in a single Morra; the Referee will settle any disputes. The winner has
the first choice of either (a) Bocce colors or (b) the starting end for throwing
and designation of the team that has the right to throw the Pallino for the first
Scoring and Winning
Selecting Bocci Colors, Throwing Team and Starting End After the First Round.
When two teams of unequal Round records meet, the team with the weaker record
has the first choice of Bocce colors and starting end for throwing, and it designates
the team that has the right to throw the Pallino first. (Note: This rule is intended
to display the compassionate side of Bocce in which the underdog is given every
opportunity for advantage. Of course, any of these rights may be graciously transferred
to the opposing team.)
Player Positions. At the beginning of each Round, two players from each team
are positioned at opposite ends of the Court. They must play the entire Round
from the end of the Court where they started.
The Round. A Round of Bocce consists of a series of Giri that continue until
a team accumulates a total of 9 points. The first team that completes a Giro with
9 or more points wins the Round (official tournaments may use Rounds of 9, 11
or 15 points)
The Giro. In each Giro, one point is counted for each team Bocce closer
to the Pallino than any Bocce of the opposing team. Any Bocce leaning on the Pallino
(a Baci) is scored as 2 points. Two Bocci of opposing teams equidistant from the
Pallino cancel each other out, and no aditional points are scored for those Bocci
and any Bocci beyond them. The team scoring points in the Giro is the winner of
Bocce Play Parameters
Definitions of Balls in Play. A Bocce or the Pallino is officially in play
if it is thrown (from the moment of release by a thrower until it strikes the
Boards or stops), displaced (in motion after being struck by another ball until
it strikes the Boards) or seated inbounds (no longer in motion after being thrown
Boundary Lines Defined. Boundary lines are marked as follows (see Court
Markings): Sidelines are approximately one foot in from the Boards on each
side of the Court; Back lines are across each Court end approximately one foot
from the Boards; Pitch lines and Volo lines cross the Court from side to side
up to the Boards.
Line Requirements for Throwers. The Pitch line is the line behind which a
player must throw the Pallino and Bocce for Punto and Raffa shots. Volo throws
must be executed behind the Volo line. A player may stand in the out-of-bounds
area to throw as long as his or her feet are inside the Boards and completely
behind the respective throwing lines when the ball leaves the player's hand.
The Inbounds Area Defined. The area inside the sidelines and back lines defines
the Court's perimeter. The rectangle defined on each end of the Court by the Back
line, Side lines and Pitch line defines the inbounds area of play (see Court
Markings). Points are scored only by Bocci legally seated in this area. All
Bocci not so seated are immediately removed. The Pallino must always be seated
When Throwing a Bocce. The movement of a Bocce through an out-of-bounds area
is legal, but if it touches the Boards or is not seated in the inbounds area,
it is removed (lost).
BocceLegal Throw. All Bocci displaced by a legal throw and seated out-of-bounds
or having touched the Boards are lost. All Bocci seated inbounds are left in place.
Displaced PallinoIllegal Throw. All Bocci displaced by an illegal throw,
regardless of where they are eated or whether they have struck the Boards, are
returned to their marked location. Any unmarked Bocci are lost. (See Marking
Bocce and Pallino for Marking Procedures and see The
Advantage Rule, Section I for an exception.)
Bocce Striking the Boards. If a Bocce strikes
the Boards, it is lost immediately, and any subsequent ball movement is disregarded.
Inbounds Limit. If any part of a Bocce is inside the boundary line, the Bocce
is considered inbounds.
Throwing the Pallino. The rules for throwing and seating the Pallino are covered
in Section D.
PallinoLegal Bocce Throw. When the Pallino is displaced during a legal
Bocce throw, if it is seated inbounds, it is left in place even if it was first
knocked out-of-bounds or into the Boards. If it is seated out-of-bounds, it is
restored to its marked place. Any unmarked Pallino is replaced in accordance with
Fouls and Related Penalties. (See
Marking Bocce and Pallino for Marking
Procedures and see The Advantage Rule,
Section I for an exception.)
Displaced PallinoIllegal Bocce Throw. If the Pallino is displaced during
an illegal Bocce throw and is seated out-of-bounds, it is restored to its marked
place. If it is seated inbounds - even if it was first knocked out-of-bounds or
into the Boards - it is restored to its marked place unless The
Advantage Rule (Section I) is invoked. Any unmarked Pallino is replaced in
accordance with Fouls and Related Penalties.
(Marking Bocce and Pallino for Marking
d. Inbounds Limit.
If any part of a Pallino is inside the boundary line, the Pallino is considered
Throwing and Seating the Pallino
For the first Giro, a member of the throwing team as chosen in Beginning
the Round (above) throws the Pallino. For each succeeding Giro, the team earning
points is the winner, and the opposing team becomes the throwing team for the
b. To be seated in
play, the Pallino must be thrown from behind the pitch line. The Pallino may move
through an out-of-bounds area, but it must not strike the Boards and must stop
within the inbounds rectangle.
If the throwing team fails to legally seat the Pallino, the opposing team becomes
the throwing team. If this team also fails, the Pallino is turned over to the
Referee, who will seat the Pallino. The original throwing team then resumes play
and throws the first Bocce.
Throughout the Round, team members must alternate in throwing the Pallino.
Order of Throwing
The player successfully seating the Pallino must throw the first Bocce. The failure
of the first Bocce to stop inbounds gives the next throw to the opposing team,
and so on in rotation until a Bocce stops inbounds. This Bocce becomes the "point"
b. Once a team establishes
a point Bocce, it is "in," and the opposing team becomes the throwing team. This
team throws its Bocci until it makes the point (seats a Bocce closer to the Pallino
than any Bocce of the "in" team) or uses up all of its Bocci.
If the throwing team knocks all Bocci out of bounds, the opposing team becomes
the throwing team.
d. Each team
member must throw two Bocci, but the order of play is the choice of the team and
is variable for each Giro.
In any Giro, each member of a team must throw two Bocci.
legal Bocce throw is one that meets the calling requirements and the rules of
this section for each individual type of throw. The rules governing displaced
balls after a legal or illegal throw are covered in Secion C.5 and C.6 above.
Calling ThrowsEach throw must be called beforehand and is either a Punto,
Raffa, or Volo. For a Raffa or Volo, the target must be specified. The Referee
must acknowledge the type of throw and the target.
PuntoA throw aimed to score a point.
The Bocce must be directed generally toward the Pallino with the objective of
b. The thrown Bocce
must strike the ground before the Volo line closest to the Pallino.
The thrown Bocce is not required to strike any Bocce or the Pallino but, if it
does, rules d. and e. (below) apply.
If the Pallino is struck first, the throw is legal, and the Pallino and/or any
Bocce can be displaced any distance.
If a Bocce is struck first, the throw is legal provided no Bocce and/or the Pallino
is displaced more than a "stick" length (15 inches) from its previous seat.
RaffaA throw aimed at a target Bocce.
The target Bocce can be that of the thrower's or the opposing team and must be
called. The thrown Bocce must be directed toward the target Bocce.
The thrown Bocce must strike the ground before the Volo line closest to the target.
The thrown Bocce is not required to strike any Bocce or the Pallino, but if it
does, rules d. and e. (below) apply.
If the target Bocce is struck first, the throw is legal, and the Pallino and/or
any Bocce can be displaced any distance.
If the target Bocce is not struck first, the throw is legal provided no Bocce
is displaced more than a stick length (15 inches) and/or the Pallino is not displaced
directly or indirectly.
VoloAn aerial throw aimed at any target ball.
The target can be a Bocce of the thrower's or the opposing team or the Pallino
and must be called. The thrown Bocce must be directed at the target.
The thrown Bocce must strike the ground beyond the Volo line closest to the target.
If no Bocce, nor the Pallino is struck, all balls are left in place.
The thrown Bocce must strike the target ball first.
If the throw meets the requirements of a, b & d of this section, any Bocce
and/or the Pallino may be displaced any distance.
Intentional Grounding. Thrower must throw every Bocce with the objective of
scoring or improving the team's position in that Giro. Intentional grounding is
In a risk situation
(such as when the throwing team can win or lose the Giro on the basis of the throw),
a Bocce that never goes inbounds, or the incurrence of a foul resulting in the
forfeiture of the thrower's Bocce, is presumed to be Intentional Grounding unless
a convincing argument to the contrary is made to the Referee.
Referee has the final say in an intentional-grounding call and, in making this
judgment, he will evaluate the quality of the throw compared to the player's previous
Foot Fault. A foot fault occurs when the thrower's foot is beyond the legal
throwing line (Pitch line or Volo line) when the Bocce leaves his or her hand.
Marking Bocci and Pallino
The players not throwing are known as the
"pointers". It is their responsibility to mark the location of the Bocci. Each
team marks its own point Bocce (Bocce closest to the Pallino) and others that
they so desire. Only marked Bocci are reseated to their previously marked position
if displaced illegally. The responsibility for marking the Pallino is initially
that of the team throwing the Pallino and later that of the team that is "in"
(the team with the point Bocce.)
Delay of Game and Timeouts
1. Repairs. Within a Giro, each team
may interrupt play once to call for the grounds crew to repair a single Volo mark;
otherwise the Referee determines when the Court should be repaired and resurfaced.
Throwing-Time Limit. An individual player has 30 seconds to throw. A delay
beyond this time limit causes the Bocce about to be thrown to be forfeited unless
the Referee allows the team to take one of its timeouts for the Round.
Timeouts. A team may call a timeout at any time during a Giro. Each team is
entitled to three timeouts limited to two minutes each in every Round. The Referee
keeps time. The Referee can call timeouts at any time.
Fouls and Related Penalties (Indicated by
Delay of GameExceeding Throwing Time Limit. See Delay
of Game and Timeouts, Section 2. |
P: Thrower forfeits his throw, and
his Bocce is lost. |
of GameExceeding Timeout Limit. See Section Delay
of Game and Timeouts, Section 3. |
P: Offending team loses a Bocce selected
by the Referee at the end of the then-active Giro. This penalty is repeated for
each succeeding violation within the Round. |
Penalty: Referee discretion. |
Fault. See Bocce Throws, Section
P: The thrower's Bocce is forfeited, and the throw is illegal. (Referee can waive
this penalty on a first violation, especially with a Rookie.) |
Intentional Grounding. See
Bocce Throws, Section 5. |
| || P: Removal of
the team's Bocce closest to the Pallino. |
FailureBocci. Failure to mark, or inadequate marking of, a Bocce that
has to be restored to its seat. See Marking
Bocce and Pallino. |
P: Bocce from unmarked seat is lost. |
Marking FailurePallino. Failure to mark, or inadequate
marking of, a Pallino that has to be restored to its seat. See Marking
Bocce and Pallino. |
P: Pallino is replaced by the opposing team using its best judgment
as to the approximate previous location. |
Interference. Players must remain still during a throw and not disturb the
P: Referee may call a foul and designate an appropriate penalty
at any time on this matter. |
Interference. Bocce strikes a player or is moved or touched illegally by a
P: Referee may call a foul and designate an appropriate penalty
at any time on this matter. |
| 10. ||
Illegal Throws. This involves
a violation of The Rules of Bocce Throws defined in Bocce
Throws, Sections 1 through 4. |
P: All marked Bocci and the Pallino
are returned to their previously marked positions, and the thrower's Bocce is
| 11. ||
Throwing Bocce Out of Order.
See The Giro, Section 2. |
| || P: All marked
Bocci and the Pallino are returned to their previously marked positions, and the
thrower's Bocce is lost. |
| 12. ||
Throwing The Pallino Out of Order.
See The Giro, Section 1. |
| || |
A. If a member of the
throwing team throws the Pallino out of order, any call of the foul by the Referee,
and the resulting penalty, must take place before the opposing team throws its
P: Right to throw
the Pallino moves to the opposing team, and the Giro is restarted.
If the wrong team throws the Pallino, to incur a penalty, any call of the foul
by the Referee, and the resulting penalty, must take place before the opposing
team throws its next Bocce.
Team committing the foul loses one point, and the Giro is restarted with the correct
team throwing the Pallino.
| 13. ||
Throwing the Wrong Color Bocce.
P: Throw is illegal. The Bocce is returned to the opposing team, and the thrower's
team forfeits a Bocce. Referee decides which Bocce (played or un-played) is lost.
The Advantage Rule
When any penalty is imposed, the
opposing team may waive it, with the following consequences:
Bocci remain as positioned after the violation, including Bocci knocked out-of-bounds
or having struck the Boards, which are lost.
Pallino seated out-of-bounds is replaced to its previously marked location.
- A Pallino seated inbounds, even if previously
knocked out-of-bounds and off the Boards, is left in place.
Bocce of the wrong color thrown by the team in violation remains where seated
and is presumed to belong to the team of the appropriate color.
Referees are the bosses of the Round and will make the final decision on any disagreement
or interpretation of the rules. In the event of a foul or other violation, they
may impose any one of the following penalties:
warning to the player or team.
admonishment of the player or team.
annulment of one or more Bocci.
annulment of the right to seat the Pallino.
of the Giro in progress with the points awarded to the Team in accordance with
the Bocci positions prior to the throw in/or after which the foul occured.
- Termination of the Giro in progress and
awarding one point to the opposition.
Players on the Courts. The only players permitted on the Court are those actively
participating in the Giro in progress.
Measurements. Measurements for "Points" are taken from the center of the Pallino
to the edge of the Bocce being measured. All other measurements between two balls
are taken from the edge of each ball, and measurements between a mark and a ball
are taken from the center of the mark to the edge of the ball.
Substitution of Players. Once the competing teams are constituted, substitution
of players is not permitted. Replacement of a player is permitted for illness
or injury certified by the Bocce Doc. The replacement player will be selected
by the Team Coach.
Artificial Aids. Use of artificial aids (manmade) to assist the players is
not permitted without advance approval by the Bocce Doc.
Captain: The Captain will be responsible for assuring that the team members
are all at the appropriate Court on time for practice and Giri. His duties will
be as follows:
a. Call the strategy
of the Giro and the proper throw.
Call the order of play during the Giro.
Interface with the Referee and the opposing Coach on any disputes.
Speak for the team on any official releases.
Replace a player who is ill or injured.
Standard Bearer. The Standard Bearer will carry the Team Standard during
the Opening Ceremonies and will ensure that the Team Standard is appropriately
displayed at the side of the Court on which the team is playing.
Morraman: The Morraman will be responsible for representing the team during
the Morra conducted on the opening night for the determination of team color and
name. He will also represent the team in the Morra conducted before the first
Round and in any subsequent Morra required.
Scorekeeper: The Scorekeeper will be responsible for ensuring that the
scoring displayed on the courtside Score Board is correct and that the scoring
on the Main Score Board is also correct. He will bring any discrepancy to the
attention of the Coach.
The Basic Rules of Bocce
A set of bocce balls : consisting of eight large bocce balls (half of which
are of a different color or pattern) and a smaller "object ball" (sometimes called
a "pallina" or a "jack")
The playing surface
should be reasonably flat and level and can consist of packed dirt, fine gravel
or short grass. While some prefer to play on a manufactured court, a gravel driveway
or backyard make acceptible playing surfaces.
game is played with two teams; each team can have one, two, or four players
Four Player Team - each
player throws one ball
Two Player Team - each player throws two balls
One Player Team - player throws all four balls
The object of the game of bocce is for one team to get as many
of their balls closer to the pallina than the opposing team's closest ball.
The toss of a coin determines which team will start. The
starting team chooses which color (or pattern) ball they will play with. The first
team member throws the pallina and then rolls his/her first ball as close to the
pallina as possible. It is now up to the opposing team to roll a ball closer to
the pallina than the starting team.
If the opposing team uses all four
balls and fails to get closer to pallina than the starting ball, the starting
team rolls each of their remaining balls, trying to place them closer than the
opponent's closest ball.
However, if the opposing team succeeds in placing
one of their balls closer to the pallina, the starting team must then roll again
to attempt to get closer or "better the point". Each team continues to roll until
it beats the point of the opposite team.
While the object is to get
close to the pallina, it is permissible for a player to roll his/her ball as to
knock an opponent's ball away from the pallina. Likewise, a player may knock or
move the pallina toward his/her own team's balls. The pallina is playable anywhere
on the playing surface.
When all balls have been
played, this concludes the frame and ONE team is awarded one point for each of
its balls which is closer to the pallina the the closest opposing team's ball.
Thus, a team may score up to four points per frame. If the closest ball of each
team is equal in distance from the pallina, NO points are awarded. The team that
scores in a frame starts the next frame by throwing out the pallina and playing
their first ball. Play continues until a team wins by reaching a score of sixteen