How to Bocce

Originally Published on September 16, 2015. Last Updated on November 21, 2023.

We here at POLYWOOD are a competitive bunch. From golf leagues to ugly Christmas sweater contests, we enjoy pitting ourselves against our fellow co-workers in friendly competitions.

However, the most prestigious and fiercely fought competition here at our Syracuse, Indiana headquarters is the Annual Bocce Ball Tournament. Spanning July and August, this round-robin style tourney has become the most well-known and widely talked about competition at POLYWOOD.


Our custom Bocce Ball Trophy is the most sought-after piece of hardware in all of POLYWOOD sports.


As we all begin our off-season bocce ball training regiments (in preparation for next year’s tournament), we thought we would share with everyone exactly how to play the game. That way, you too can get in on the bocce action with friends and family at your remaining backyard barbecues.


What You’ll Need:

If you have one available, an official set of bocce balls is great. Otherwise, you can use any type of ball so long as you have one small target ball and then two larger balls per player.


The Basics

At the start of the match, the target ball is thrown. Players then alternate throwing their bocce balls, with the goal of getting their balls closest to the target ball.


  • The player with his or her bocce closest to the target ball receives two points
  • The second closest player receives one point


  • If one player is both closest as well as second closest, they receive three points


  • If a player’s bocce is touching the target ball, they receive an extra point
  • The match continues until a player reaches 21 points


Now we know there are many ways to throw a bocce ball, but we’ve summed up some of the popular techniques seen in the POLYWOOD league:

1 — The Roll

As fundamental as it gets. The roll favors the precision player who likes to get the “feel” of it.


2 — The Shot Put

Also known as the “skyscraper”, this shot throws the ball high and takes out the roll factor.


3 — The Chuck 

When all else fails, chuck it. This shot requires little skill and a lot of luck. But when you throw a ball 20 yards and it lands three inches from the target, it feels pretty good.


That’s all there is to it! Now get out there and have some fun… and remember, bocce favors the bold!

4 thoughts on “How to Bocce

  1. I am using this game for my life skills classroom. I showed my students this website and used it as a teaching skill for them to learn how to play this wonderful game. Thank you for all your hard work on this site to promote this game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *