American Bocce Ball Rules

American bocce ball is a fun game that can be played by people of any age. Once you’ve mastered the American bocce ball rules, playing is easy and fun. The rules seem complex but with better structure, they are easy to understand and follow. We put together the rules in a precise and simple way to aid understanding. 

American Bocce Ball Rules Basics 

Bocce ball is played with two teams against each other. The team member numbers and behavior vary. In the case of a team of four players on each side, such players have to split into pits of two and each pair stands at either corner of their side of the court. 

In the case of two players, they can stay together and move throughout the court as the game continues. In case each team contains a single player, the players shall keep moving from side to side together with the opponent. 

The two teams in the game are given four balls each. The balls of each team are differentiated with color. The main aim of the American bocce ball is to get your ball closer to the smaller target ball (pallet). 

To mark the beginning, one of the decision team members throws the pallet with an aim to land it as close as possible to the center. The ones to start can be decided in many ways, including throwing dice or a coin. The frame starts from one side of the court. 

Rules of the Throw 

For each throw to be legal during the game, it has to meet the following criteria: 

The player’s feet have to maintain behind the back wall. There are exemptions like when the player moves past the sidewalks to adjust and get their best angle for the throw. 

When throwing the ball, the player has to do it underhand and the throw has to reach the middle line of the court. 

Before the play, the ball is not supposed to get into contact with the back wall. It’s only after touching another ball in the game that this rule is an exception. 

A-frame refers to when both teams have exhausted their balls. The team whose balls are closest to the Pallino are said to be ‘in’ while the team whose balls are further are said to be ‘out’ in order to be ‘in’ the team that out has to keep on throwing balls till they run out.  

What determines whether a team is in and out is throwing a ball close to the Pallino, therefore, even when the thrown balls are at the same distance for both teams but are not closer to the Pallino, neither of them is ‘in’ 

During play, there are no repercussions of your ball hitting another ball or the side walls.  

As said earlier, a frame is when all the teams have exhausted their balls. The scores are calculated only after a frame is complete. The team whose balls are closest to the Pallino after the end of a frame is the only one that scores. The team that scores earn a point for each of their balls that is near the Pallino compared to their opponents. 

A tie is a situation where both teams have their closest ball to the Pallino at equal distance. In case of a tie, the second ball close to the Pallino for each team is considered to avoid the stalemate. 

The members of a team from both sides have to throw two balls during a frame, there is no specification or any order through which they achieve this provision. 

American Bocce Ball Equipment and Court  

Now that we have a grasp of the American bocce ball rules, let us understand the preferred American bocce court and equipment.  

The approved court of American bocce ball is a Packabocce court of Packaworld. Other permanent courts such as those of treated timber, PVC walls, rubber, or railroad ties are allowed. 

The Astro-tuff high-grade competition turf is preferred for American bocce ball. Other surfaces that are accepted include artificial grass, clay, dirt, stone-dust. The only exemption of artificial surfaces are those with instructions, be it permanent or temporary. However such obstructions do not include issues with the grade or terrain and consistency. 

The Following Courts Are Not Accepted: 

Instances where we have a small court to the extent of affecting the quality of the bocce ball game. 

The surface of the court is adversely uneven and has obstacles that affect the quality of the game. 

Instances where the court is unsafe for the bocce ball game playing. 

Where the surface and size of the court are challenging to the extend of bringing biases in the game. 

When it comes to the balls being used in a bocce game, they can be made out of plastic, resin, metal, or stone composite. They can be of any color provided the colors are clearly distinguishable for the two teams. The standard bocce ball size for the tournament is 107 mm. 

The color of the Pallino has to be clearly different from the other balls in the game. Also, the size of the Pallino has to be not 63mm or bigger.  

There is no specification as to the kind of device that may be used to measure. Any device can do, as long as it has the ability to accurately measure the distance between two objects. 

Gross Violations in the Bocce Ball Game 

Discriminatory language is considered gross misconduct in the bocce ball game punishable by expulsion. 

Using weapons or getting into physical violence is gross misconduct punishable by expulsion. 


These are the main American bocce ball rules. There are a lot of other rules and specifications for the bocce ball game. All the rules in the game have penalties for violations. For instance, a court that violates the standards cannot be approved for official bocce tournament games. 

We believe you grasped the rules and are ready to enjoy bocce, other complex and in-depth rules shall be known to you as you practice playing the bocce ball game.