How to Play Beach Bocce
You should read about The Rules, but they’re really not required to have fun.
PlayersIndividual: 2-4 Players
Doubles: 4 Players (2 per team)
Ball Distribution2 Players: 2 pair of color-matched balls per player
3-4 Players: 1 pair of color-matched balls per player
Doubles: 1 pair of color-matched balls per player
ObjectivePlayer or team to get their ball closest to the jack (small ball) wins the round and scores a point for each ball closer than the nearest ball of their opponent. Player or team to reach 13 points first wins the game.
To PlayDraw a shooting circle in the sand approximately 5 to 8 feet wide. If you are not in the sand you can use markers such as a rock or stick to mark the shooting circle.
To Decide Who Throws FirstAny player stands inside and tosses the jack away from the shooting circle. Each player tosses one of their balls at the jack. The player with the ball closet to the jack throws first to begin a round.
ScoringOnce a round begins, the player or team trailing tosses balls until landing one closer to the jack than the nearest ball of their opponent. The round ends when all balls have been thrown.
Winner throws to begin a new round either from the original circle or by drawing a new circle at the jack’s location at end of the previous round.
Game ends when player or team reaches 13 points, though any pre-determined total is acceptable.
Measuring string is provided for use on close calls.
Tips and Strategies
The challenge is not to overthrow and end up rolling your balls into the surf, out of play. A lob with some back spin, or a roll-to-target approach might be best in this situation.
Watch that seaweed. It can be spongy and literally bounce your balls away from the jack. If you master this, you can give your opponents fits.
Soft sand poses two challenges: one, the ball can end up partially buried and difficult to see. (If completely buried, the rules permit raising it to the surface to make it visible.) And, the soft sand doesn’t provide much roll or bounce. You pretty much have to lob it right on target.