BOCCE GLOSSARY

 

ADVANTAGE
The team throwing the pallino is said to have “pallino advantage” because they get to place the pallino where they want it on the court and have a clear shot to place the first bocce ball.

BACKBOARDS
The shorter court walls at each end of the court. Sometimes called endboards or backwalls.

BANKING
Throwing the bocce ball so that it hits and bounces off the sideboards towards the pallino.

BOCCE (sometimes spelled bocci or boccie)
Bocce is the plural of the Italian-word ‘boccia’ that means ‘ball’. The proper name of the sport is bocce (never ‘bocce ball’).

BOCCE BALLS
Eight larger balls (107 millimeters) in diameter that are rolled toward the pallino to score points. The balls are of 2 distinct colors, 4 in each color.

CAPTAIN
The person on a team designated to coach and make all team decisions during a game.

CHALLENGE
Similar to a tournament, but that takes place of an extended period of time — often played over a 1-3 month time-frame.

COIN-TOSS
The initial flip of a coin at the start of a game to determine which team throws the pallino the first time.

COURT
The rectangular playing area defined by a backboard at each end and two sideboards with a level and smooth playing surface.

DEAD BALL
A bocce ball removed from play during a frame because it hit the back wall without hitting another ball, or because it flew off the court.

END CAPTAIN
The person designated by the captain to coach and make team decisions at their end of the court.

FOOTWEAR
Shoes with smooth soles, like sneakers, that will not damage the playing surface.

FOUL
An act committed by a thrower that violates the game rules. A team/player is penalized as specified in the rules for committing a foul.

FORFEIT
The action taken against a team that does not have the designated amount of players starting — at the designated start time.

FRAME
The playing of all the bocce balls in one direction awarding points to the winning team of the frame. After points are awarded, a new frame starts in the opposite direction. Frames are played until sufficient points are accumulated to win the game. (A frame is sometimes called a Giro.)

HALF-COURT MARKER
A line marked on the sideboards/court surface exactly halfway between the two backboards.

HITTING (Or Spocking, Shooting, Bombing, Raffa)
An underhand bowling-type hard throw directly at the balls on the court to purposely hit and move an opponent’s ball or the pallino.

HITTING FOUL LINE
Played only in the game of Raffa, the second foul line marked on the sideboards/court surface, 10 feet from each backboard. It’s the line where ‘hitting’ occurs in Raffa. This location allows for a running delivery to gain momentum on the ball. (Sometimes called the spocking, shooting, bombing, or raffa foul line.)

ILLEGAL MOVEMENT
A legally thrown ball is moved from its resting position by a player or referee.

INTERFERENCE
A legally thrown ball is interfered with while it is moving — by someone or something not on the playing surface before the throw.

JACK
The pallino is sometimes referred to as the “Jack.”

KISS
A term describing the condition where the bocce ball is touching the pallino. Sometimes called a ‘baci.’ (‘Kissing’ the pallino does not reward a team with an extra point.)

LAGGING (Or Pointing)
The underhand throwing action of a player to roll the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible to score points. Throwing styles vary from player to player. (In Raffa, pointing is sometimes called punto, or puntata.)

LEAGUE
A group of bocce teams playing a prescribed number of matches or games over a set period of time — with records kept determining a winning team.

LIVE BALL
A bocce ball legally in play on the surface of the court.

MEASURE
The act of measuring the distance between the pallino and the bocce balls to determine whose team’s bocce balls are the closest to the pallino.

NO POINT (Or Tie)
When the closest balls of both teams are equidistant from the pallino. The team delivering the last ball must throw again; or, if all balls have been played, no points are awarded for that frame.

OPPONENTS
The two teams on the court who are competing against each other.

OUT TEAM
The team who does not have the closest bocce ball to the pallino.

PALLINO
Pronounced: pä-lean’-o. A small ball used as a target ball. Sometimes referred to as “object ball,” “jack,” “pill,” “cue ball,” “bullet,” or “pallina.”

PENALTY
Action taken against a team or player for violating game rules.

POINT
If your ball is closest to the pallino, you have established (or have) ‘point.’ Once you have established point, the other team rolls. (Sometimes referred to as the ‘in-team.’)

POINTING (or Lagging)
The underhand throw, rolling the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible to score points. Throwing styles vary from player to player. (Pointing is sometimes called punto, or puntata.)

POINTING FOUL LINE (Or the Pitch Line)
The first foul line marked on the sideboards/court surface 6 feet from each backboard behind which the pallino and bocce balls rolled for point must be released. Sometimes called the lagging, throwing, pitch, punto, or puntata foul line.

REFEREE
An independent official (often the Athletic Director) that enforces all game rules, directs play, makes measurements, and determines team points for each frame.

ROLLING THE BAY
The act of declaring you are ‘rolling the bay’ — to get an ‘extra’ point on the 8th ball of a given frame. ‘Rolling the Bay’ is a new bocce rule that has exploded on the west coast; often referred to as ‘the 3-point shot of bocce.’

SCOREBOARD
Numbers usually to 12 (or 15) – used to score games.

SIDEBOARDS
The longer court walls parallel to the direction of throwing.

SPOCKING (or Hitting) –
An underhand bowling-type hard throw directly at the balls on the court to purposely hit and move an opponent’s ball or the pallino. (Sometimes also called shooting, bombing, or raffa.)

SUBSTITUTE
Extra players on the team or on the league roster that replace a regular player.

TEAM
A team in a league (from 4 to 16 players). In most clubs, 4 team members must be present for a given match.

TIE (Or No-Point)
When the closest balls of both teams are equidistant from the pallino. The team delivering the last ball must throw again; or, if all balls have been played, no points are awarded for that frame.

TOURNAMENT
A tournament is a group of individuals or bocce teams playing matches until a single player or winning team remains.

VOLO
A high-arcing throw of a bocce ball in the air to intentionally strike a ball on the fly (or short bounce). This shot is outlawed at some clubs for safety reasons and because of damage to the court surface. It is primarily used in Raffa play.