The best thing about bocce ball is its simplicity – the game’s rules are easy to follow and it’s a sport that can be played with a ball in one hand and drink in the other. Kissing Tree’s six state-of-the-art courts are staggered down the slope of the Hill Country in the center of the amenity campus. It’s an easy game to play with two people or as many as eight of your favorite neighbors.
You’ll find evening lamps light your path and give a glow to the courts but the absence of large stadium-style lighting makes for a beautiful evening under the stars without the light pollution.
A Game for Emperors
Along with exercise and improving your overall stamina, playing bocce ball gives you the opportunity to meet your neighbors. Once a game of emperors and kings, bocce ball today is among the world’s most-played games. Also called “Italian lawn bowling,” bocce ball is thought to have originated in Egypt before it spread to Greece and Rome. Famous bocce players throughout history include George Washington, Galileo, and Queen Elizabeth, and you can include yourself among their ranks in just a few simple steps.
How to Play
Bocce ball games traditionally begin with a coin toss. The first team up then throws the pallina into mid-court, or about 30 feet from the line. Then, the same player throws a larger bocce ball. You can also roll the ball. The goal is to get the bocce ball as close to the pallina as possible.
Next, the second team gets their chance to throw or roll a bocce ball towards the pallina. You can aim for the pallina itself or the opposite team’s ball, in an effort to knock it away. If your ball is closer to the pallina after both teams have taken a turn, your team scores a point. You earn two points if your bocce ball touches the pallina. Neither team scores if the larger bocce balls are equidistant from the pallina.
The winner of the game is the team that reaches the set point goal first. While you can choose any number, 12 points is a typical goal in backyard bocce ball games.