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Away From the Everyday Sports Camp
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Lesson Plan & Official Rules


Overall Purpose of the Activity: To improve players aim and accuracy.

Objectives: for one team to get as many of their balls closer to the pallina than the opposing team's closest ball


  • bocce balls
    • eight large bocce balls (half of which are of a different color or pattern)
    • smaller "object ball" (sometimes called a "pallina" or a "jack")
  • Bean Bags

Saftey Considerations:

  • Players need to be aware of the objects being thrown
  • Players throwing need to control throws to avoid hitting other players

Planning and Organizational Notes:

  • Tell players: 
    • To use underhand throw to maximize control and precision
    • To slowly throw and not rush to improve accuracy of throw

Activity Description:

  • Bocce is played in two teams of either 1, 2 or 4 players
    • Four player team- each player throws 1 ball
    • Two player team- each player throws 2 balls
    • One player team- player throws four balls
  • A coin toss determines which team starts. The starting team chooses which color (or pattern) ball they will play with.
  • The first team member throws the pallina and then throws his/her first ball as close to the pallina as possible. It is now up to the opposing team to throw a ball closer to the pallina than the starting team. If the opposing team uses all four balls and fails to get closer to pallina than the starting team’s ball, the starting team throws each of their remaining balls, trying to place them closer than the opponent's closest ball.
  • If the opposing team places a ball closer to the plllina then the starting team then the starting team must throw again attempting to get closer or better the point.
  • When all balls have been played, this concludes the frame and ONE team is awarded one point for each of its balls which is closer to the pallina then closest opposing team's ball. Thus, a team may score up to four points per frame.
  • If the closest ball of each team is equal in distance from the pallina, NO points are awarded.
  • The team that scores in a frame starts the next frame by throwing out the pallina and playing their first ball.
  • Play continues until a team wins by reaching a score of sixteen points.

Refinements to Look for:

  • Alternate players from each team to throw the ball
  • Use two pallina’s to make more interesting

Simplification and Extension Ideas:

  • Simplification:
    • Use lighter easier objects to throw at pallina (bean bags)
    • Use a bigger target (beach ball, soccer ball)
    • Allow player to move closer to pallina  
  • Extension:
    • Create a playing area that the balls have to land in order to count towards teams score

Create a bigger playing area to increase the distance players will have to throw the balls at the pallina

Bocce Official Rules

Created By:
Melissa Carroll, Andrew Timmers, Fil DaSilva & Kevin Moote