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Bocce

From Academic Kids

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Bocce_set.jpg
A set of Bocce balls

Bocce is a precision sport closely related to bowls and pétanque with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy, it is played around Europe and also in overseas countries that have received Italian migrants, including the United States, Canada, and Australia, initially amongst the migrants themselves but slowly becoming more popular with their descendants and the wider community.

Contents

Rules

Unlike bowls, bocce is played on dirt courts of approximately 20 to 30 metres in length and approximately 2.5 to 4 metres wide, and has wooden boards of approximately 15 centimetres in height surrounding the court. Bocce bowls are made of brass, and unlike lawn bowls they are spherical and have no inbuilt bias (they will roll a straight course).

Like bowls, a game can be contested between two players, or two teams of two or four. A match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack (called a pallino or boccino in some areas), from one end of the court into a zone near the other end of the court of about 5 metres in length, ending 2 metres from the end of the court. If they miss twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the jack anywhere they choose within the zone.

The side that places the jack is given the opportunity to bowl the first bocce bowl. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four bowls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining bocce bowls. Like lawn bowls, the team with the closest bowl or bowls to the jack is awarded one point for each bowl that is closer to the jack than the other side's closest bowl. The contest continues until one team scores 13 points (though this can vary regionally).

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Bocce_score_detail.PNG
Red gets 2 points

As well as the standard rolling bowl, in which the ball is rolled all the way along the court, players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another bowl into a more favourable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the bocce bowl to land or roll it accurately.

As well as the traditional game, there are several variations that omit the competitive aspect and are essentially solo accuracy contests of bowling and throwing.

Organizations

The Confederation Mondiale des Sports de Boules, http://www.cmsboules.com/ , is the international organization for the sport of bocce, based in France.

At the élite level, there are world championships held regularly, and Bocce is part of the quadrennial World Games, a multi-sport event for lesser-known sports.

See also

boccia - a closely related sport designed to be played by people with disabilities.

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