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It's Italian - Torre's Heritage Blog

Playing Bocce Ball

published: Sunday May 01st, 2011

OK, so after my last post I just had to go out and play Bocce Ball, and found it to be a lot of fun,
the rules are pretty simple. Bocce is played with eight large balls (le palle, le palle di bocce, or il bocce) and one small ball (il pallino). The game can be played with 2, 4, or 8 players.

The bocce balls are distributed evenly between the players. Ideally, each bocce player will use balls from the set that are unique in design or color from all the other balls in play. This is helpful in distinguishing one player's bocce from another's. A player is picked to throw the pallino by a quick game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. After the pallino is thrown, the same player will throw his first bocce ball. The purpose of the game is to get your bocce balls as close as possible to the pallino. After the first player has thrown his first bocce ball, he is considered "inside" because his bocce is the closest to the pallino (inside by default, since it is the only bocce in play). All other players are considered "outside." Whenever a player is considered "inside," he will forfeit his turn throwing bocce balls. All "outside" players will take turns throwing their bocce balls until until one of their bocce is closer to the pallino than the "inside" player.
After all players have thrown their bocce balls, the player that is "inside" will be awarded points. One point will be awarded to this player for every ball that is closer to the pallino than his closest competitor's ball. After the points are awarded, the frame is completed. Start a new frame by electing a new person to throw the pallino and to throw the first bocce ball. A game is won when a player reaches 13 points. Play as many frames as necessary until a player reaches this point level. Of course, this point level can be decreased or increased depending on the number of players and time constraints between players.

I'm pleased to report that I won my first frame of Bocce Ball, and learned a new word. I guess it was beginner's luck, because I lost the game - lowest score amongst three other fiercely competitive older Italian gentlemen. As for the word I learned, I can't repeat it, but it's Italian!

tdevito.com: The official website for the poetry of Torre DeVito

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