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. A 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 *eleven 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 *eleven points first, or *seven points to none by the other
team (this is called a shutout), 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 Pallino—this is called a Baci (kiss) and is worth two points if
it remains in place at the end of the Giro. A Raffa is a throw aimed at
another Bocce in order to move that Bocce out of the way. A Volo, an aerial
throw, is aimed to move another Bocce or the Pallino. Each throw must be
called in advance with the call acknowledged by the Referee. If a throw is
executed properly—a legal throw—all balls moved by the throw remain in place.
They may be inbounds or out-of-bounds, the latter being out of play (see Court
If 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; Foot fault—throw must take place behind
a designated line; Illegal throw—see requirements of a Punto, Raffa and Volo
as defined in the rules; Delay of game—taking longer than 30 seconds to throw;
Intentional grounding—Bocce not thrown in a manner that advances the team's
position; Disorderly conduct. All 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.
__Explanation of bocce courtesy of Bocce.org
* These rules are specific to the Activities Club and differ slightly from