Landscaping Ideas

Browse Landscapes

Get ideas for your yard
Find a Local
Concrete Contractor
See contractor photos & info in
your area on
Search by city/state or postal code
Landscaping Videos

Bocce Ball Rules & Court Design

Get tips for bocce ball court design, shade, sizing, and more

A video transcript featuring Scott Cohen, The Green Scene

One great way to add entertaining value to your backyard, reduce your water use by making your lawn smaller, and add family fun is to install a bocce court in your own backyard. Bocce ball is growing in popularity ever since the Italians invented it thousands of years ago, but it's an easy game to introduce into your own backyard.

Court sizing
What you need is about 10 to 13 feet of space by 50 to 80 feet of space in length. The base for this can be made out of decomposed granite, sand, or in this case, we actually used crushed oyster shell. Crushed oyster shells are a fantastic, authentic Italian way to play bocce ball.

Rules of the game
The way you play the game is actually pretty simple. It's basically lawn bowling, but it's started out by using what's called a pallino or a jack. You toss this out past the center line of the course, and it needs to go at least past the middle line. Then you take an actual bocce ball, and the bocce ball is tossed out using a number of different throws.

You can use a punto, where the ball is thrown to try to hit the pallino, or you can use a volley, where the ball is shot up in the air. The idea is to get that bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. There are two teams and each team takes turns tossing the ball towards the pallino. The team that gets the ball closest is the one who gains the points. The ball that actually touches the pallino or the jack gets two points for kissing the ball. There are lots of different rules and regulations depending on how seriously you take your bocce, and I'll tell you some people really do take it quite seriously, but it's a lot of fun.

Shade arbor and borders
This is a hot backyard, and in order to create a little bit of shade, we have an iron arbor here that's been planted with climbing roses. Over time, these climbing roses are going to be able to provide shade in this area that's lit at night for entertaining after hours.

The borders are actually made out of cast concrete that's been casted in the shape of a curb and then stained with acid chemical stains. Bocce is a great way to add fun into your back yard. I recommend you try it.


Learn more about bocce ball

Free Weekly Newsletter

Love Landscaping Network? Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter from our sister site, Garden Design! You’ll join thousands of design-conscious readers to get gardening inspiration and innovative design solutions for enjoying outdoor spaces.

No Thanks

* Required

We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.