Bocce as we know it in Australia, is a collective name for a wide range of similar style ball sports.
Developed into its present form in Europe by the Italians and French. It is closely related to British bowls and French Petanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire.
Bocce is played around western, southern, and south-eastern Europe, as well as in overseas areas with historical Italian and French immigrant population, including Australia, North America, and South America, principally Argentina and the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. More recently the sport has spread to Northern Africa, Middle east, and Asia.
Depending which country, you are in, the sport is also called Boules, Bochas, Bocce Ball, Petanque, Bocce Volo, Bocce Raffa or just Bocce. The sport can be played by all Ages, all Genders, and all Abilities with a growing interest in the Special Olympics games and in the Paralympics with this variation of the game called Boccia.
In Australia, bocce consists of three different codes each with slight variations to the rules, but all with the common objective of getting as many of your bocce closest to the target ball the ‘Jack’ or also known as the ‘pallino,’ as opposed to your opponent.
Depending on the bocce game being played the bocce bowls are different. For recreational past-time in the backyard, beach or on picnic’s, it is recommended that the coloured resin type bowls be used, as they are colourful, easy to distinguish between the teams and cost effective.
The metal ‘high quality Bocce ball sets’ these are for elite players that compete at Club, State, National or International events. These are made from brass and have line markings to distinguish between the players and teams. These are made in Europe and the cost for four bocce balls, can vary about three hundred Euro (AUD $490) plus shipment, to 400Euro, and depending on the exchange rate of the day could, the cost can be anywhere from AUD$650 to AU$750.
Before you buy, get the correct bocce size
Measure the bocce ball to your hand size
How to measure the correct bocce size for your hand size:
- Place and hold the ball or other round object in the two hands as in picture, joined hands, palms, with the two middle fingers just touching
- The middle fingers must meet and never overlap
- Use the diameter of the object as the size of bocce for your hand size.
Bocce ball colours
The latest generation of Boulenciel flight bowls is available in four colours: green, black, blue, fuchsia – all approved by the International Federation for the conduct of competitions.
These colours ensure a good colour contrast between the bowls in a playing field, making it much easier to distinguish the bowls of the teams, both by the players, and by the public on the sidelines or in the stands. Television footage also benefits from this high colour contrast.
Bocce ball diameters
The Boulenciel Bowls can be found with diameters ranging from 88 mm up to 102 mm.
Depending on the characteristics of your hand and your gaming habits you can choose the most suitable format.
Currently diameters from mm 88 – 91 – 93 – 94 – 95 – 96 – 97 – 98 – 99 – 100 – 101 – 102 are available.
Bocce ball weights
The Boulenciel Bowls can be found with WEIGHTS ranging from 820 gr. up to 1060 gr.
Based on the characteristics of your hand and your gaming habits you can choose the most suitable weight.
Bocce ball customisations
Boulenciel Bowls can be customised on request, such as engraved with your initials or name.
An engraving on each bowl will make it unique.
Ribbing line marks
You can choose the stripe that best suits your style of play and your characteristics.
They are hollow and made of metal (usually steel) with a diameter between 70.5mm and 80mm (2.78 and 3.15 in) and a weight between 650g and 800g (23 and 28 oz).
The balls used must be strictly in accordance with the specifications set by the F.I.B, included in the Regulations relating to the approval and compliance of the balls.
They must be exclusively made of metal or metal alloy, but their chemical composition has to be homogeneous (a very small variation is tolerated for the cap).
They can be completely hollow or filled. In the latter case the filling must not contain any liquid, nor any compound which could become unstable (gas) or could be dangerous. The filling of the balls must be statically balanced and that balance must be maintained after the balls have been used.
- be spherical, with a tolerance of ± 0.2mm.
- be balanced, with a tolerance not above 1.1% of the weight of the ball.
- have the hardness within the values of 20 and 30 on the Rockwell scale under the weight of 150kg, with a lower tolerance for the caps (minimum 17 on the Rockwell scale).
- have a diameter between 90mm and 110mm.
- have a weight between 900g and 1200g.
The bowls and the target ‘jack’ or “pallino” must be round and made of synthetic material, without adding any foreign substance which might impair their balance.
The target ‘jack’ or “pallino”:4 centimetres in diameter, with a 1 mm. tolerance (over or below), weighing 90g, with 7g tolerance (over or below);
The bowls in world, continental, intercontinental championships, in world cups and in open tournaments among national teams bowls must have the same diameter, weight and colour for each team, besides the following mandatory characteristics;
- Seniors: diameter 107mm, weight 920g;
- Juniors and women: diameter 106mm, weight 900g
For recreational players
We recommend purchasing the resin-coloured bocce ball sets.
These can be purchased from one of our sponsors Amazon (similar to the Franklin set) or our other local provider planetfinska.
Recommend the synthetic coloured resin style bocce ball size can vary from 80mm to 110mm as well as weight from 650g to 1100g.
Recommend whatever best suits the intended players.
- Adults: 90mm to 110mm, weight 900g to 1100g;
- Juniors: 80mm to 100mm, weight 650g to 900g.
Useful websites for purchasing Bocce sets
Bocce Australia has teamed up with a number of world bocce set manufacturers and through our world governing body, Olympic associations and Sport Australia, all sponsorship goes back into the sport of Bocce.
Any bocce set purchased from our partner sponsors earns Bocce sport in Australia funds that go directly to helping develop the sport, for juniors, females, and all abilities Australia-wide.