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Basic Bocce Strategies For Winning

Even though bocce looks simple, there are a number of strategies used by experienced players to gain an edge on their competition. Watching a few games played by veteran players can provide insight on how to formulate your own strategies. But, before you can learn the advanced tactics, you need to master the basic moves. In this article, we're going to describe the fundamental shots (or tosses) that every beginning player should master. Then, you'll learn a couple of bocce strategies employed by proficient players.

Mastering Basic Shots

There are 3 basic shots that you need to practice: the pointing shot, hitting shot and bank shot. Most advanced bocce strategies stem from these 3 shots. So, mastering them will give you the foundation you need to build a more competitive strategy later. A pointing shot is the simplest of the basic tosses. Delivered while you're in a crouching position, the ball is rolled from your hand. The goal is to either place your ball near the Pallino (the target ball), block an opponent's ball, or setup your ball to be hit into a better position later in the frame.

The hitting shot is a forceful roll. The goal of this type of shot is to disrupt one or more balls within the target area of the court. It requires accuracy. To perform this shot, you roll the ball strongly across the ground toward either the Pallino or an opponent's ball (or balls). Your ball should be rolled as close to the ground as possible to minimize any bounce and leverage the power of the roll. This shot if often referred to as "bombing" or "spocking."

The last of the 3 basic shots is the bank shot. When aimed well and used with the right amount of force, it can be a devastating shot against your opponent. A bocce court uses a small wall around the court's perimeter. When you toss one your balls, they're allowed to bounce off the wall. Though many players haven't developed their accuracy and therefore, use the walls haphazardly, you can learn to use bank shots to your advantage.

Sacrificing Your Ball

During a frame, there will be times when your opponent's ball is so well-placed against the Pallino, you're unable to place your ball closer. Whether their placement is due to luck or skill, you can use a hitting shot to dislodge their ball. Typically, a strong hitting shot will not only carry your opponent's ball away from the Pallino (and outside the target zone entirely), but will carry your ball away as well. Though you're sacrificing one of your bocce balls to dislodge your opponent, the sacrifice will give you the opportunity to gain better placement near the Pallino.

Other Strategies

Once you gain accuracy with your shots, you can take advantage of a variety of strategies. For example, with a perfectly-aimed bank shot, you can place your ball directly between your opponent and the Pallino. Even though it's likely to invite a hitting shot from your opponent, such a shot will probably carry away the Pallino, too. Another strategy used by expert players is to lightly "spock" the Pallino with their fourth bocce ball. They set up the "spock" by placing their previous 3 balls in a well-guarded position. Then, using a bank shot with their fourth ball, they push the Pallino closer to their other balls.

Bocce is all about accuracy and planning. Once you master the 3 basic shots and gain experience playing, you'll begin to see the various strategies that can be used to dominate your opponent. But, remember, bocce is a friendly sport that encourages a sociable competitive spirit. Practice and have fun. That's the best way to enjoy a rewarding bocce experience.