Bocce Ball Rules

SSC Policies

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Bocce Ball Rules


All games will be self-officiated, however the SSC will provide a Gameday Coordinator for each location to help direct payers, resolve disputes, etc.


The SSC will provide all Bocce equipment.


The maximum numbers of players on a team is four.  The minimum number of players is three.  The maximum number of males is two.  The minimum number of females is one.

Teams may pitch in any order they choose.  Any or all players may throw in a frame.  A female player must participate in at least every other frame.  All team players must participate in at least one frame.

If one team is short the minimum number of players by game time, that team will automatically forfeit the first game only.  If that team is still short the minimum number of players 15 minutes after the originally scheduled game time, the match will be ruled a forfeit.

The minimum number of players to play an officiated exhibition game, and avoid the forfeit fine, is two.

Teams lose the ability to challenge a player’s eligibility after the second game, except in the case of a late-arriving player.


Matches are played best of three games with a 60 minute time limit.  The team to first reach a score of 12 points wins the game.  It is not necessary to win by two points.  If the time limit is reached in the middle of a frame, the frame shall be completed.

Each team plays one match per night for seven weeks.  Playoffs will be played by the top four teams in the league in the seventh week.

Prior to the first game, both captains will meet to determine initial pitching order with a game of rock, paper, scissors.  Subsequent pitching order is determined by scoring in each frame.  The team that has last scored points shall pitch first in the following frame.

Games are broken down into frames of play.  The top of a frame begins with one team throwing the pallina (the smaller ball) to a point in the playing area past the center line and not past the end line.  That team will then throw their first bocce ball.  The opposing team will then throw their first bocce ball.

The frame continues with the team throwing who does not have the ball in play closest to the pallina.  The frame is completed when all bocce balls have been thrown.


All throws must be underhand and made from behind the endling opposite the target endline.

All throws must remain in the playing area in order to count.  If a thrown ball contacts anything outside of the playing area prior to contacting the pallina or another thrown ball, it is dead, shall be removed, and any subsequently displaced balls returned to their approximate initial position.


Cancellation scoring shall be used without “skunks” or “busts”.  At the conclusion of a frame, only the team with bocce balls closer to the pallina than any of their opponent’s bocce balls scores points.  One point is awarded for each bocce ball the scoring team has closer to the pallina than the opponent’s closest bocce ball.

Scores shall be reported to the SSC Gameday Coordinator.

Any rules not specifically mentioned here follow those of the Bocce Standards Association.


Teams earn three points for a win, one point for a tie, and zero points for a loss.  Teams are ranked in order based on the following criteria:

  • Total Standings Points
  • Head to Head
  • Total Games Allowed
  • Total Game Differential


Everyone loves a little competition, but one team dominating a league season after season can spoil the fun for everybody.

If a team retaining more than one player has won three championships in consecutive seasons for which they have been registered, the SSC will have the option to, in its discretion, request that team to form two or more separate teams to promote parity in the league or withdraw their registration. That team will then have the opportunity to form two separate teams with each subsequent roster approved by the SSC.