My husband found an inexpensive set online at Target and ordered it because it had free shipping. (This was a big deal because those buggers are really heavy!!) It came with a carrying case (similar to the one pictured here). However, because the balls weigh so much and because the case isn’t very sturdy, I don’t think the case will last very long.
We took this game with us when went camping with friends in southern Utah over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a hit. In fact, I’ll have to tell you a little story about it in a moment.
Bocce is easy-peasy to play — or at least the way we played it.
It can be played with two people or two teams with two to four players per team. First, determine the bounds of your ‘court’ which should be roughly 10 feet wide by 75 feet long. You should keep the balls within this area.
Select one person/team to throw the small bocce ball. Standing behind a predetermined foul line, that person throws the small ball onto the court. One player from the same team will throw one bocce ball trying to get it as close as possible to the small ball. One player from the other team throws one ball. Play continues alternating between teams until all of the balls have been thrown.
The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls that is closer to the small ball than the closest ball of the other team. If one of your ball is touching the small ball, it is ‘kissing’ and you get two points. The ’round’ ends after all balls have been thrown and points have been awarded. Continue playing more rounds until one team gets 15 points and wins the game.
Now the story I promised you.
We went camping with long-time friends. Some of their children came camping with them. We played bocce on Friday afternoon and also a little bit before supper. On Saturday as we talked about playing when we came back from hiking in a red sandstone slot canyon, one of the sons said, “I want Nina on my team.” I guess he thought that my grandma-flabby arm was pretty good at accurately hefting those balls.
When we got back from our hike and were preparing to play, the son said, “I’ve got to go get ready for my hot date.”
Hot date? Me, his hot date? What a cute thing to say.
We played the game and our team won (thanks to my highly skilled playing). Jokingly, I thanked the young man for a delightful date — and said that I felt relieved that I hadn’t felt any pressure to hold his hand or to worry about getting kissed as he walked me to my door. We all laughed.
Then, it hit me. This young man is not allowed to date until he is 16 years old. He turns 16 in two week so this meant that I was his ‘first’ date! I told him that this was a great story to tell his friends — and his children — that his first date was with a 56 year-old grandmother of 4.
Anyway, you might want to consider getting a set of bocce balls to play with your grandchildren. This is an especially fun activity for older grandchildren with their advanced skill level and ability to strategize.