The Loma Prieta Sierra Singleaires
A Bocce Adventure
Not in Italy

May 1, 2011

The Bocce captains: Jim, Barbara, Ed and Karin, looking forward to an eventful afternoon of "Bocce" on the "Green."

Bocce?  What the H E double toothpicks is Bocce?

First a short history, it was invented in Italy, well maybe Ireland, the history path is a little muddeled.

Lets say Italy for arguments sake as the Irish have enough problems trying to get us to believe in those little green forest dwelling midgets.  

The Bocce game we play is traditional except for all of the rules we break.  Rules? What are the rules?

1.  Play for fun
2.  If in doubt, refer to rule #1

How does one play "Bocce?"  I am so glad you asked but to keep it fun, we will keep it brief.

Equipment: A bottle or three of fine wine(s) (no two buck Chuck).  Eight Bocce Balls to roll with; of two or more different colors and a Pallino, a ball about one eighth the size of the rolling balls. An expansive playing area such as a park lawn.

To start the game, teams of four are assembled in a random fashion and one person is designated as "Captain" or Bocce God, whichever fits best.  Two teams will play against each other. The two teams will face off, shake and hug PRN and then toss a coin.  The team that wins the toss gets to decide which color balls to use or to throw out the Pallino.  If the Pallino is chosen then the other team gets to choose the ball color for their team and vice versa.

THEN, the team with the Pallino gets to throw it out in any direction with enough force to place it 25 feet or more away from the players. If you can still see the Pallino, who ever threw it, chases the Pallino with a Bocce ball, attempting to get their ball to roll as close as possible to the Pallino just thrown.

Too much information, huh?  Don't worry, there are always enough experienced Bocce players playing to explain the methods and strategy's.

So, lets roll out that Bocce ball!  Here's a rank amateur throwing for the first time.  She was promoted immediately to a "Bocce Princess" Italian of course.

Actually form is incidental as long as the ball being rolled towards the Pallino gets reasonably close and closer then the other teams ball.

Whichever team gets closest to the Pallino after all of the balls have been: tossed rolled or thrown, they get a point for every ball that is closer to the Pallino then the opposing team.  You can get one to four points for your team determined by the closeness.

 Nice form, huh?

After the first ball is thrown, the opposing team throws a ball(s) until their ball is closer to the Pallino then the original ball thrown.  Balls are thrown in this fashion in that the team closest to the Pallino does not throw until the opposing team gets closer to the Pallino then they are.  If all of the balls have been thrown by the opposing team, then the team that is closest gets to throw their remaining balls.  Scoring is simple, the team with the ball closest to the Pallino gets one point plus a point for each ball that is closer to the Pallino then any ball from the opposing team.

The only thing left to remember is that the team that got the points, gets to throw the Pallino for the next round.  Play progress's until a certain score is reached, usually 11 or 15 sometimes less dependent on agreement with the teams and how fast the wine is burning a hole in the ice chest.

Ed Lange, instructing how Bocce is played.  He has a "Pallino" in his right hand and he is cradling two Bocce balls with his left arm and hand. There are several more balls on the ground of various colors.

To start, two teams are selected and each team splits in half.  Half of each team will split off and stand by the Pallino after it is thrown and advise the throwers of the Bocce Balls whose ball is closer to the Pallino.

After all of the balls are thrown, the score is taken and the idle teams now get the balls.  The team that won the round throws out the Pallino and game resumes with the other team now idle and watching the Pallino for the closest ball thrown near it.

The wine is good, the shade is wonderful, I think I will play some more Bocce!

Here's a link with some more tips and rules.

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