- How to Play Bocce


The Joy of Bocce

“The Joy of Bocce” by Mario Pagnoni is the definitive book on the sport of Bocce. Whether your style of play is in the backyard, around a barbeque or in serious competition, there is something for you in this book.

The book explains the rules of the game, different types of shots, different types of playing surfaces, bocce strategy and the skills and drills required for improving your game. “The Joy of Bocce” goes into detail about the different levels of play from recreational bocce to professional tournament play.



If you wish to build your own bocce court, there is a whole section devoted to instructions on how to do just that, including pictures of the process. The book also includes information on how to buy the best equipment.

Reviewers have called this book the “Bocce Bible” and the “Manual for Bocce”.

In fact the book was featured recently by Newsweek Magazine. In it’s September 6 th issue in 2004, William Lee Adams spoke of the book this way:

The ancient sport of bocce suffers from an image problem. “It conjures up this picture of old Italians with a glass of wine and a stogie,” says Mario Pagnoni, author of the definitive guide to the sport, “The Joy of Bocce.” Male octogenarians long held a monopoly on the game because of tradition. “One of the problems was, old Italian men didn’t let women or kids play,” Pagnoni says.

But those days are gone. The sport, which involves rolling the four-inch bocce ball as close as possible to the pallino, a smaller target ball, is now surging in popularity. According to the World Bocce Association, it is currently the second most popular participatory sport in the world—and women are driving the charge. “If you’d asked me 20 years ago, I’d say 5 percent [of players] were women,” says Traci Peters, organizer of last week’s American Bocce Association national championships. “Now I’d have to say it’s 50-50.” Players are also getting younger. Though the average age at the tournament was 65, local YMCAs have established youth tournaments, and sporting-goods stores now offer glow-in-the-dark and water-filled bocce balls to attract younger players.

Bocce is trying another ploy to capture the hearts of the public—by getting to their stomachs. Trattoria di Bocce, opened last month in Orion Township , Mich. , is one of the country’s first bocce restaurants. Now the iconic bocce player can have some linguine with his (or her) wine.

If you are looking for the most comprehensive and definitive book on the sport of Bocce, look no further.