We all love beach games, and one of the most fun games to play is bocce.
Bocce is a game intended to be played on a court, often times on grass. (insert pun here) Even still, it makes a great beach game for a couple of reasons.
It’s great for groups, as it allows up to eight people to play at once, although four is ideal. There are four balls per team that are thrown per frame, and the goal is to land the balls closer to the target than your opponent(s) The target is a tiny white ball called the ‘jack’ or the ‘pallino’. The ‘jack’ or ‘pallino’ is thrown by one of the teams, and can be thrown as close or as far as they wish, depending on their “game”. Some are better shooting short, some like the longer tosses. The throwing of the ‘jack’ to start the game is usually determined by the ‘odds or evens’ method. Afterwards, the ‘jack’ is thrown by the team that scored in the previously completed frame.
Unlike standard bocce where the balls are rolled, more often than not, when playing on the beach you have to toss the balls as thick sand makes any rolling impossible. The fun twist with playing bocce on ‘The Spit’ is that if you are playing out toward the mouth of the rivers, at low tide, you can actually get a hard flat surface to play on. In other words, roll your balls versus tossing them.
Beach bocce is a game up to 11. You must win by 2 as well, so a 11-10 final becomes overtime so to speak.
Maximum scoring per round is 4 points, and the scoring works similar to horseshoes where as only one team can score per frame. Which ever teams balls are closer to target gets the point until the opponent’s ball is next closest, then nullifying all other balls.
The balls are thrown opposite of each other. Example: team/player A throws the ‘jack’ and then throws balls 1,3,5 and 7.
Most agree than going first is an advantage, especially when playing in sand. If you can land right on the jack, you are looking secure for at least one point and are “sitting pretty”.
There is many variations of the game, but when on the beach why make it complicated? Chances are you’ve been in the sun all day, may have had a few beverages that relax your brains general speed, so why not keep it simple and have fun playing bocce the Spit Dude way!