Whether you want to have more family fun activities in your backyard or your frat house wants a new game to play while drinking, bocce ball is a great choice. But before getting started, you must build a bocce ball court to have a place to play the game properly. Building a bocce court takes time, and you must also figure out what the court is made of so you can know what materials you need to buy from Home Depot or Lowes.
This guide will go through all the materials that make up a bocce ball court and let you know what you need to consider before beginning your project.
Materials That Make Up a Bocce Court
Everything on this list is easy to find online if you don’t want to leave your home but also available locally if you want to make the trip. The material that you might have a problem finding is ground oyster shell flour. Amazon sells it but not in the quantities you need, so you should try local shops in your area.
Materials you’ll need
- Decomposed granite (Expect to pay $30 per 0.5 cubic feet)
- Base Rock (Cost Range from $320 to $1000 depending on the court’s dimensions)
- 1 Inch Stakes (Approximately $3 to $9)
- Crushed Oyster Shell Flour (50 pounds = $35 and 2000 pounds = $500)
- Wood Screws ($5 to $10)
- Rolls of String ($3 to $5)
- 4×4 Wood ($12 to $24)
Tool To Build Bocce Courts
If you don’t have any of the tools on this list, you should be able to rent them. But if you cannot, the only other option would be to hire a professional builder if you can’t afford to purchase the tools.
- Landscaping Rake or Lawn Roller (Price: $10 to $100)
- Sod Cutter (Normal version = $50 to $90 and Powered= $350)
- Laser Leveler ($25 to $100)
- Compactor (Normal = $30 and Powered=$500)
- Circular Saw ($40 to $1000)
How To Plot The Chosen Bocce Court Location
The first step is to plot the playing surface depending on the size you want it to be. As designated by the United States Bocce Federation, the regulation court surface size is 60 feet long and 12 feet wide. If that’s too large for your space, making your bocce ball court smaller won’t be an issue.
Warning: Don’t make your playing surface smaller than 22 feet long by 6 feet wide, even if you use artificial turf.
Always remember your calculation should include the border of the bocce court walls. Then start your measurements with the steps below:
- First, start measuring by picking your desired corner.
- Then mark it by using one of your stakes.
- Next, retake measurements and place a stake on the opposite side.
- Strings will be helpful at this point to plot the other 3 sides.
- Also, the twine will help you be sure the line is straight, so your bocce court isn’t built crooked.
- Lastly, measure the width of the left and right sides with your string, always keeping it at a 90-degree angle.
Never forget to double and triple-check the string lines, so you don’t make any errors and don’t end up with problems after.
How to Excavate The Designated Play Area
Using a shovel, start digging to ensure your bocce court surface is perfectly level and even.
The first step is to dig 3 to 5 inches deep of dirt because you will have to put the crushed oyster shell materials in here for your bocce court. Next, the area with the court’s border will need trenches dug, and you can save any excess dirt to the side yard.
Take your rake and make the entire bocce ball court surface look flat for the ball to move on. To be accurate, we recommend using a laser-level tool for the most balanced surface possible.
Proper drainage is vital, so the area you pick for your ball court must be the highest above-ground part of your backyard to avoid flood damage. If you put it in a lower place and there is a flood, your court’s surface will look like a lake.
How To Install The Border Of A Bocce Ball Court
Start by cutting up your lumber according to your chosen court dimensions. It’s easy to do with your circular saw, and you’ll get perfect cuts.
Next, put your 4x4s on the measured spot and stack them in two layers. Always inspect with your laser leveler to ensure it’s not uneven.
The last step is to take the excess dirt you saved on the side to keep the boards secured to the ground and screw the end of each board to connect them.
How To Apply The First Layer
The first step is to build a french drain surrounding the bocce ball court. All the holes should be facing down, so the pipes are filled with water when it rains. Now water can’t accumulate on the artificial turf of your court, which is why a french drain is essential.
Up to 4 inches of crushed stone should be under your initial layer to help absorb the moisture that goes into most bocce ball courts built without this issue in mind. The surface will be uneven again, so grab your compactor to crush the stone further, which results in a flat surface that looks even. Before moving on to the next layer, use a tape measure to ensure your regulation-size court installation is ready.
How To Apply Second Layer
Apply crushed stone gravel but only 50% of the amount you applied in the last step. It must be no more than 2 inches deep, so your bocce balls get minimal bounce when you use them. Use your laser-level tool to ensure everything is still, even before moving on to the top layer.
How To Apply The Final Layer
This step will require oyster shell flour, but you can also try to use sand, grass from your lawn, or an oyster/crushed stone blend.
No matter which option you go with, your top layer should be less than 1 inch thick. You will be done after this layer but before putting your tools away, use the laser levleer for the last time to test for the evenness of the surface.
Summing It Up
Always remember to find out precisely what a bocce ball court is made of before shopping and preparing for installation. Building it yourself will be both rewarding and frustrating, but you will save money not hiring a contractor. Lastly, we recommend you go through this whole process with your child so you can make it a bonding experience that they will never forget.