Imagine a game almost anyone can play that combines the best of skee-ball, bowling, and shuffleboard. Welcome to the ancient sport of bocce.
You Will Need:
* A set of bocce balls
* Open space or a court
* Two to eight players
Step 1: Find friends to play with
Grab as few as two and as many as eight people, and divide into two even teams, Team A and Team B.
Step 2: Get the right gear
Get a set of bocce balls, and find an open outdoor space. If you'd like to play at a bocce venue, visit sites like joyofbocce.com and ibocce.com to find a local court — or even information on building your own.
Step 3: Get started
There are lots of variations, but the easiest way to play is called "open" bocce. A member of Team A throws out the smallest ball — known as the "pallino" or "jack" — which acts as a marker. The same person gets the first chance to throw one of their larger balls as close to the pallino as possible.
Step 4: Alternate turns
Now, Team B gets their chance to throw a ball as close to the pallino as they can. The play alternates until all the larger balls are gone. Whoever lands closest to the pallino wins that set, making them the "in" team.
Step 5: Count up the score
After all the balls have been thrown, the "in" team scores one point for every ball that's closer to the pallino than the other team's best ball, meaning the one they got nearest to the pallino.
Step 6: Start another round
After the score is counted, the balls are gathered up and the "out" team throws the pallino to start another round. Play continues until one team scores a set number of points, usually about 13.
Step 7: Try the nearest ball rule
A member of Team A pitches the pallino and his or her larger ball. Team B then bowls, and tries to get closer to the pallino. If Team B lands a ball closer, Team A bowls again. If Team B uses all their balls and doesn't get closer, Team A wins.
Step 8: Use strategy
Play both offensively and defensively to become a bocce