Tips to Get Better at Bocce Ball

Bocce ball is a simple outdoor game that can be enjoyed during the summer, and is considered a cousin to lawn bowling.

In a way, it’s kind of like curling as well, but let me give you a quick rundown as to how the game works. Firstly, it is a game played between two teams. A member from either team will first toss the leader ball referred to as the pallino. If the Italian influence isn’t apparent enough now, we don’t know what to tell you. Then, the opposite team will get to throw first. The teams will alternate throwing balls until all balls are thrown. Whichever team is closest to the pallino will receive a point for that frame, and if both teams are the same distance away nobody will receive a point. Most games typically go until one team has scored a total of 12 points.

Want to be the bocce master? Try out these tips:

Place Your Hand Properly

Don’t just grab the bocce ball the same way you would a baseball and throw wildly, it takes a certain level of finesse to be the best in bocce. A bocce ball set requires careful handling to get yourself close to the fabled pallino. Use the thumb and the index finger to squeeze the ball, while the rest of your hand remains relaxed.

Stay Loose

Don’t tense up and take bocce too seriously, it’s a casual sport meant to be enjoyed among friends. Keep your upper and lower body loose and flowing for quick, snap movement as opposed to raw brute force power moves. It was made by Italians enjoying the summer weather, they have a certain laid-back quality about them.

Refine Your Personal Style

Bocce isn’t a game of rigid rules and high-level strategy, so don’t let yourself get pigeonholed into playing in a way that isn’t comfortable for you just because it works for someone else more experienced. Whether you’d like to shoot while standing or crouching, or with or without taking a step, it doesn’t matter. Figure out what gets you close to that pallino.

Put Some Spin On It

If you want to stop the ball instead of haphazardly rolling past the pallino each time you toss, you’ll have to add some backspin to your ball. The easiest way to do this is to throw with your palm facing down, this will give you a much more controlled toss that will halt much easier than a more forceful palm-up toss would.

Know Your Surface

Bocce can be played practically anywhere, a bocce court isn’t a prerequisite for bocce ball to be played. This means that it can be played on soft grass, asphalt, or even sand. Take note of the surface you’ll be tossing onto and adjust your throwing technique accordingly. Sand will stop your ball right in its tracks while asphalt will allow it to roll much more. Be tactical if you want to impress your fellow teammates.


Personally, I think the best tip for enjoying bocce ball is to do so with a drink in your hand, but that’s just my opinion. It’s a great way to get some casual fun in with friends outdoors and all share some laughs together. The balls are pretty hard though, so be careful!