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   Crockett Bocce
   League Rules and

     The Game
      Starting the Game
      Playing the Bocce
      Disqualified Balls
      Start Time and Players
      The Playoffs
      Court Maintenance
      2003 Rule change

      Download Printable Rules

           Rules New for 2003
           (MS Word Doc-43.5KB)



The game of "Open" Bocce is played on a 91'x13' court with eight large bocce balls and one small target ball called the "pallino." The object of the game is to roll the bocce ball closest to the pallino. There are two balls per person, and four players make up a playing team. Teams must have a minimum of six and a maximum of twelve players. Anyone 16 years of age or older may play on a team.

Two players from each team are permanently stationed at each end of the court for the game. Games consist of 12 points, but you must win by two points.


The match shall begin by tossing a coin. The team that wins the coin toss may either toss the pallino, or choose the color of the balls. A player may toss the pallino any distance so long as the pallino passes the centerline of the court, and does not hit the backboard. If a player fails to toss the pallino past the centerline, or it hits the backboard, the opposing team will toss the pallino and put it in play. If the opposing team fails to toss the pallino past the centerline, or it hits the backboard, the pallino reverts to the original team. In any case, when the pallino has been properly put into play, the player who originally tossed the pallino will throw the first bocce ball.


The player who originally tosses the pallino, whether successfully or not, throws the first bocce ball. If the bocce ball hits the backboard, that team must roll again. Otherwise, he/she steps aside and his team does not roll again until the opposing team has either gotten one of its bocce balls closer to the pallino or has thrown all of its balls. The team whose bocce balls are closest to the pallino is called "inside" and the opposing team "outside." Whenever a team gets inside, it steps aside and lets the outside team roll. The team outside throws until it beats (not ties) the opposing ball. This continues until both teams have used all their bocce balls. The team, who scored last, throws the pallino to begin the next frame.

When a team wins a game, players exchange ends of the court and substitutions may be made. The team winning the previous game will toss the pallino to start the next game.


Should a player's bocce ball make contact with the backboard, the bocce ball is considered a dead ball and is removed from play until the end of the frame. The bocce ball that hits the backboard should be removed as soon as contact with the backboard is made. However, should a bocce ball hit the backboard, and then roll back in the court and make contact with other bocce balls, the other bocce balls shall be returned to their original position (as agreed to by the team captains).

If the pallino is knocked into the backboard it remains where it rests. If the pallino is knocked off the court, play ends. The pallino will be put into play at the opposite end of the court by the original team.

Should a player throw the wrong colored ball, it shall be replaced with the right colored ball and play shall continue.


The player must not step on or over the foul line upon or when releasing the pallino or bocce ball. All balls or pallino moved by a foot foul shot will be returned to their original position. The player who made the foul shot will re-throw the pallino or bocce ball.


Shooting is lofting the ball in the air beyond the center of the court and is not allowed.


The teams playing will referee their own game. A team captain from the opposite court shall decide any dispute, which cannot be resolved by the team representatives. Upon his/her decision, the game shall continue.


Only the "inside" team scores. One point is given for each ball of the inside team that is closer than any ball of the opposing team. Team representatives of each team are responsible for keeping the score sheet and for reporting the results of the match (by depositing the score sheets in the box located in the storage building).


All measurements are made from the inside dimension of the bocce ball to the inside dimension of the pallino. Only the captain, or designated representative from each team, may be present for measurements.


  1. Matches begin at 6:30 p.m. A team that is not present within 15 minutes after the starting time forfeits 1 game, if not present by 7:00 p.m. forfeits all three games. The team that wins by forfeit shall be awarded a win for each forfeit. Scores by forfeit will be excluded in determining playoff seeding.
  2. Matches consist of three games.
  3. A player arriving at the court after the pallino is thrown is not allowed to enter the game.
  4. Four players from each team play at one time.
  5. When teams arrive with insufficient team members to start play, they may not borrow, or otherwise use persons not registered as members of their team to field a team. If a team fields less than two players, the game is considered a forfeit.
  6. A 2 or 3 member team may play by throwing only 2 balls per player.
  7. Players may not be substituted or, players enter into play once the game has started.
  8. No player may play two consecutive games from the same end of the court.
  9. Players need not alternate throws. Consecutive or alternating throws by teammates shall be at the option of the players.
  10. Only the participating player should be on the court before the ball is thrown, and while the game is in progress. Player shall stand behind the foul line when balls are being thrown. Spectators are not allowed on the courts at anytime during regulation play.
  11. Teams with less than twelve players may add additional players up until July 1st. Teams needing to add players after July 1st must get permission from the Board before a player is added to the roster. Team captions will collect dues from the new members and submit to the Secretary/Treasurer.
  12. Games that are rained out or postponed must be made up before the end of July. Postponements after August 1st must be made up as soon as possible. The Board may set the date for makeup's if the Captains cannot agree.
  13. At the discretion of the team captains, a meeting may be held mid season to review/revise rules.
  14. * Players may play on more than one team in the League. However, they may not play on more than one team in the same Division.


Playoffs will be determined by games won (wins by forfeit will be excluded in determining seeding). Playoffs will determine the top 8 teams in each division. The first place winners in each division shall play the 8th place team in the opposite division, then the 2nd place team shall play the 7th place team in the opposite division, etc. For example, the first place team in division A will play the 8th place team in division B.

Playoff games for the league championships will consist of 3 games, and the winner determined by winning 2 of the 3 games. The team captains playing for first or second place will mutually decide which court to use. If the team captains cannot mutually agree, then the court will be decided by coin toss. During playoff games, team captains may select someone to measure and referee the playoff game. The person(s) selected must be mutually agreed to by both team captains, and cannot be a member of either team.

Players who are on more than one team that make the playoffs, must declare to the league President which team they will play on before playoffs begin. They are only allowed to play on one team during the playoffs.
Tiebreakers will be played as necessary to establish division placement.


The responsibility for maintaining either court is with the two teams who are scheduled to play on the court. If you want your court in good playing condition, you must take it upon yourself to groom it.

Allow approximately thirty minutes to properly groom the courts.
  1. Pick up any debris that may be on the court.
  2. Use the flat drag board with the carpet on the bottom side and pull this up and down the court until the court is smooth.
  3. Sprinkle the court with a fine spray of water and allow it to dry for about ten minutes.
  4. Roll the court with the roller.

Rules REVISED April 11, 2003.

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Contact Information

Postal Address
Crockett Bocce League
P.O.Box 174
Crockett, CA 94525
Electronic Mail
League Information: Ron Wilson

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Last Modified April 18, 2005