Prepare for the Italian festival by learning the game of bocce

By Rachel Betz - ReminderNews Intern
Enfield - posted Fri., Jul. 22, 2011
Contributed
- Contributed Photo

Bocce is a popular sport in Italy. Next to soccer and golf, bocce is the third most-played sport in the world, and it is considered the oldest known sport in history. The Romans were the first to play what resembles the modern-day bocce. In 1947, the first Italian bocce league was formed, and consisted of 15 teams from around Rivoli (Torino). The Bocce World Championships also began during the same year.

Bocce is the plural of the Italian word boccia, which means “bowl.” Bocce is a lot like bowling; the point is to roll the balls as close to a target as possible.

A set of bocce balls consists of a small pallina and eight large bocce balls, half of which are a different color. Bocce is played on a flat, level surface, ranging from a regulation bocce court to a backyard. To play, there must be two teams, consisting of one, two, or four players each.

After the pallina has been thrown, the starting team rolls their first ball to get as close to the pallina as possible, and the opposing team does the same. When a ball is thrown closer to the pallina than any other ball that has already been played, the other team gets another chance to throw. This continues until all the balls have been played to end the frame.

When the frame has ended, one team is awarded one point for each of its balls which are closer to the pallina than the closest ball of the other team. The team that scores starts the next frame. The game ends when a team reaches 16 points.


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