Bocce

Rules revised January 2017

Bocce is a ball sport using spherical bowls played with 4 members on a team. Each team throws 4 balls per side, trying to land their team’s colour closest to the pallino (small white ball) in order to score points. It is usually played outdoors on a grass court.

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THE RULES

  1. The rules listed in this section shall be the official rules for any ALBERTA 55 PLUS event.

2. AGE GROUPS

  1. 55 plus open: One team of 4 participants.
  2. 70 plus open: One team of 4 participants.

3. THE BOCCE COURT

  1. The sport of Bocce will be played on a grass court. The ground shall be level and firm and the grass cut short, minimum ¾” and maximum 1 ½” high. For best results use lime or paint to mark the court.
  2. The total length of the lane is 80’. This includes a 10’ throwing zone at each end. Line B represents the playing zone. All play takes place within line B.

4. EQUIPMENT

  1. The legal sized bocce ball shall be #109.
  2. Bocce shall be played on grass courts, on lanes 80 feet in length by 13 feet in width.
  3. Lawn Bowling tapes should be used when measuring
  4. Referee’s paddle, one (1) foot long, with red and green on opposite sides (similar in shape to a table tennis paddle).

5. REGULATIONS

a) Players are not allowed beyond line B until all bocce have been played. The referee is the only one allowed at the pallino end.
b) The small ball (pallino) must cross the centre line (line D).
c) A coin is flipped by team leads to determine who throws first. The team winning the toss has the option of throwing first or last. The team that throws first has the choice of bocce color.
In subsequent ends, the team scoring the previous end shall throw first.
d) The team throwing the pallino has ONE attempt to place the pallino in the play area beyond the centre line (line D). If this is not accomplished, the opposing team throws the pallino and the team that threw the pallino first, throws the first ball. If the player from the second team also fails to place the pallino in the play area, the referee then centres the pallino at a point halfway between lines B and D at the opposite end. The team that first threw the pallino then throws the first ball.
e) At the start of an end, if the pallino lands closer than one (1) foot to the side line (referee can measure with paddle), the pallino is then centered (no closer or further from delivery point) by the referee. If the pallino lands closer than one (1) foot to the end line, the pallino is placed in the center of the court by the referee.

6. THE GAME AND THE TEAMS

a) The object of the game is to get one’s own boccia as close as possible to the pallino.
b) The boccia may be either rolled (raffa) or lofted (volo) down the lane. The boccia is rolled or lofted underhand only.
c) Nearest ball – If team A won the toss and chose to go first, team A rolls or lofts the pallino and then rolls or lofts one bocce. The first player on the opposing team (team B) then takes their turn. They must get their color of bocce closer to the pallino than team A’s color of bocce. The referee makes the decision who is closest, and shows the opposite color with his paddle (if red is closest, he shows green, so green throws next). If the team B member fails to get closer with his/her two bocce, then the next member of team B tries. If team B is unable to get closer to the pallino than team A, the remaining bocce of team A shall then be thrown. If a player from team B succeeds in getting his bocce closer to the pallino than team A’s bocce, team A begins to play again. The play shifts from one team to the other depending upon whose bocce is the closest to the pallino. Note: if the first player on team A rolls or lofts his first bocce out of bounds, then he loses his turn to the first player on team B. It will be considered out of bounds when it touches a boundary line.
d) Each team will consist of four players. The leads and seconds from both teams will each throw two balls from the same end of the court to constitute one end played. Next end, the thirds and skips will each throw two balls from the opposite end of the court, constituting another end played. Play will continue to rotate in this manner until the game is completed
e) Players may not change positions during a game. Any change or substitution must occur between games.
f) Each player is allowed up to one minute to deliver (1) boccia. Penalty for exceeding the time limit is loss of one ball.
g) Each team is allowed one 2-minute time out per game. This can be done only when a player from the team requesting the time out is about to play. During the time-out, players may go beyond line B to meet one another.

7. SCORING

a) The game shall consist of up to ten (10) ends. Total score declares winner. A team achieving fifteen (15) points prior to the completion of ten (10) ends shall be declared the winner.
b) Points are computed by assigning one (1) point to each boccia closest to the pallino with respect to the opponent’s bocce.
c) After an end has been played the determination of the score will be done by either the seconds or the thirds when the play is in their respective end of the court. No balls are allowed to be touched until opposing seconds or thirds in their respective ends agree to the score. If they cannot agree, then the referee will be called to measure and make that decision.
d) At the completion of each end thirds are responsible for the recording the count for their team and reviewing that their opponents scores are accurate. After completion of a game both thirds sign the score sheet verifying that the scores are accurate.

Measurement procedure: Point the lawn bowling tape in a direct line from the pallino to the boccia that appears closest to the pallino. Place the tape on the ground, gently touching the point to the pallino. Pull the string and lock into place to measure the closest boccia, and compare to other ball(s) to determine which color is shot.

If the pallino is knocked out of bounds, then the team committing the error shall be penalized. Two (2) points shall be awarded to the opposing team and the end shall count as an end played.

At Area and Zone playoffs, when time does not allow a complete round robin, a modified round robin shall be played. When round robin or modified round robin completed, calculate total Win/Tie/Loss points to determine winner. (A win shall count two (2) points; a tie shall count one (1) point; a loss shall count zero (0) points.) Team with most Win/Tie/Loss points is declared winner.
At Playoffs: It is recommended that tie-break procedures/options be clearly outlined before play begins. If a two-way tie occurs among those in the top three ranking positions, a tie-breaker game shall be played, if possible (format/number of ends to be determined according to time available). If time does not permit, or if more than two teams tied, utilize procedures outlined below for more than two teams tied at Provincial Games.(a,b,c).
At the Provincial Games, a complete round robin shall be played. When round robin completed, calculate total Win/Tie/Loss points to determine winner. (A win shall count two (2) points; a tie shall count one (1) point; a loss shall count zero (0) points.). Team with most Win/Tie/Loss points is declared winner.
Please note the following tie-breaker information. It is recommended that tie-break procedures/options be clearly outlined before play begins.
* If after the round robin, two teams are tied among those eligible for medals, a four (4) end game shall be played to determine the winner.
* If after the round robin, more than two teams are tied among those eligible for medals, the following tie-breaking procedures will apply.
a) If three-or more-way tie exists, go to most wins in round robin.
b) If three-way tie still exists, go to “who beat who” in round robin (among those tied).
c) If three-way tie still exists, go to total of points scored in round robin.
Note:
• If a two-way tie occurs at any stage of this procedure, a four-end game shall be played to determine the winner.
• If more than two teams remain tied after all of the above procedures have been utilized, the referee will centre the pallino and the captains of each tied team shall each throw one ball with ball landing closest to the pallino to be declared the winner (balls to be cleared from the court after each throw, and the pallino re-centred, if necessary).

8. THE PLAY AT POINT (PUNTO)

a) The play at point consists of throwing one’s boccia as close as possible to the pallino. The player must not step on or beyond line B. If the player’s foot steps on the line, his boccia is removed immediately.
b) It is not permissible to play another boccia before the previous boccia comes to a stop.
c) If two opposing bocce are equidistant from the pallino at the conclusion of an end, a blank end is declared.

9. THROWING OF THE BOCCE

a) During the game, it is not permissible for the players to go beyond the throwing line (line B) until both teams have finished playing.
b) A player cannot go beyond line B if he still has bocce to play. If he does cross line B, he will lose one (1) boccia.
c) Any bocce or pallino that exit a lane during regular play are considered to be no longer valid.
d) All bocce are valid as soon as they are delivered across the near line B. There is no hog line.
e) When a player delivers a ball belonging to the opposing team, a ball belonging to his/her team will be put in its place by the referee.
f) When a player delivers a ball out of proper turn, it shall be stopped and removed from play by the referee and returned to the player to be delivered in proper order. If the ball has struck another ball or the pallino, the opposing team shall have the option of allowing the end to remain as it is after the ball so played has come to rest or having the end declared dead.
g) If a foul is committed other than while throwing a ball, the referee shall give one warning and then on any other fouls committed by that same person, an undelivered ball shall be removed. If all balls have been delivered, the referee shall remove that team’s ball that is closest to the pallino.

10. DEFINITIONS

a) Punto – point – at punto is the attempt to get a point.
b) Raffa – the roll ( a form of delivery)
c) Volo – loft or fling
d) Pallino – small ball
e) Boccia – large (game) ball – the plural of boccia is bocce

11. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

The game is similar to lawn bowling and carpet bowling. The object of the game is to get as many bocce as possible closest to the pallino.