Basic Rules of Open Bocce

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1. To play Bocce, you need two equal teams of either one, two, or four persons per team. On a four-member team, two players from each team are stationed at the opposite ends of the court and play alternate frames.

2. Once a team has been selected by a toss of a coin, a player from that team begins by tossing the pallino anywhere s/he wants between the yellow center line and the far most white line. The same player, or another teammate, then rolls one of the larger balls as close as possible to the pallino.

3. The opposing team then rolls one of its balls, trying to get it closer to the pallino than the first team. If the team has not successfully rolled its ball closer to the pallino, it must continue rolling balls until it has done so, or has used up all its balls. If the team does roll closer to the pallino, then the other team rolls until it has a ball closer to the pallino, or has used up its balls. Play continues back and forth in this manner until all the balls have been rolled, ending the frame. Play moves to the opposite end of the court, after the points have been counted and marked on the scoreboard.

4. A point is awarded to one team for every ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team. The team that wins the frame rolls the pallino to start the next frame. A game is played to either 10 or 12 points.

5. The ball must leave the hand before the player steps over the foul line. 

6. Strategies include knocking away an opponent’s ball, knocking the pallino to change its position, and banking shots off the side walls of the court.

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