An Introduction To Proper Bocce Equipment
One of most appealing aspects of bocce is its seeming simplicity and limited requirements for equipment. Balls are tossed, points are easily tallied and the game proceeds until one player (or team) reaches 13 points. The game doesn't require much equipment to get started. In that respect, it's similar to baseball; as long as you have a place to play, the equipment is the last thing that will hold you back. Below, we'll describe the bocce equipment you'll need to get started along with a few items that you may want to purchase in the future.
If you know how to play bocce, you realize that you'll need a Pallino or target ball. Usually between 1.875 and 2.5 inches, the Pallino is the small white ball that players try to place their bocce balls near. It's normally made from the same hard composite from which bowling balls are made. The Pallino is usually white or cream-colored (though any color that's different than the players' bocce balls will suffice).
The Bocce Balls
Each player receives 4 bocce balls. These are the balls used to either place near the Pallino or dislodge their opponent's ball. There's less variance in the size of these balls than is allowed for the Pallino. They should be between 4.2 and 4.33 inches. They're typically green and red (each set of 4 balls is the same color), but as long as the colors of the bocce balls are distinct from each other, any color can be used. Like the Pallino, bocce balls are often made with a hard composite material. However, they can also be made of wood.
Technically, any measuring tool can be used in bocce. The players (during a friendly game) or a referee (during a tournament) will need to measure the distance of the tossed bocce balls from the Pallino. It's usually recommended that a measuring tape and rod by used. The tape should be able to cover up to 25 feet and can be used to measure longer distances. The rod only needs to measure up to 24 inches. It'll be applied mainly for measuring short distances in the target zone.
The Bocce Scoreboard
A bocce scoreboard looks nearly identical to the face of a clock. It's numbered 1 through 12 in exactly the same manner as a clock. There are 2 hands of equal length on the scoreboard. 1 is red; 1 is green. These hands are moved according to which player (or team) is awarded points. You can plant the board into the ground near the court or fasten it on any structure. Buying a scoreboard isn't required because you can easily keep score on a normal pad of paper. But, it offers a convenient way for all players and spectators to track the progress of a match.
Enjoying The Game
There are a few other items in which you can invest if you decide to devote yourself to bocce. These include referee paddles and flags as well as a hand roller and court brush (to clear debris from the court and smooth its surface). The bocce balls and Pallino typically come together as a package. Any measuring tool should be fine and keeping score doesn't require the scoreboard (though it's nice to have). If you want to get started with bocce, invest in a set of balls and a measuring tape. Then, it's as easy as finding a court (or making your own). You can literally start enjoying bocce today.