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Last updated: August 3, 2022
A game of bocce ball in the backyard is very easy to set up and doesn’t even need an official court. However, official championship bocce ball matches are played on regulation-size courts.
If you’re planning to build or set up your own bocce ball court in the backyard, this guide will explain the official dimensions of a court, in addition to the recommended size that is practical for casual play outside.
In this article, I will outline what a backyard and regulation bocce ball court looks like, including diagrams with the correct court dimensions, size, and length.
|Regulation bocce court length:||26.5 meters (87 feet)|
|Regulation bocce court width:||4 – 4.5 meters (13.1 – 14.8 feet)|
Bocce Court Size and Dimensions
In this guide, I am using the guidelines as set out by the U.S. Bocce Federation (USBF), the internationally sanctioned governing body for Bocce in the United States. The USBC, in turn, uses the international/European guidelines, which also means that the metric system is leading (meters vs feet).
It’s important to note that for casual backyard play, the official court dimensions don’t need to be honored at all. You can play on a smaller court, or you can even play without a court.
Typical dimensions for a backyard bocce ball court are 60 x 12 feet (18.3 x 3.6 meters). Compared to an official bocce ball court, a backyard version is usually much shorter and also wider relative to the length, for easier play.
In this section, I am going to discuss the size and dimensions of an official bocce ball court. Further below, I will dive a little deeper into casual backyard bocce ball games.
Here is a diagram of a regulation bocce court:
Let’s outline the dimensions and lines:
- Court length: 26.5 meters (87 feet).
- Court width: 4 meters (13.1 feet).
- Line A: Backmost starting position; coincides with the backboards.
- Line B: Maximum distance allowed to throw the pallino, or throw a punto or raffa.
- Line C: Maximum distance allowed to throw a volo.
- Line D: Minimum distance a ball must land on the court after a raffa throw and maximum distance a player may travel after a punto throw.
- Line E: Center line and minimum distance pallino must be thrown; in other words, pallino must be thrown between B and E.
Professional bocce players will understand the rules and terminology for the different throw types, which goes beyond the scope of this article.
Surface and Boards
A bocce ball court must be flat and leveled. The type of surface can vary, but the most common types are (synthetic) carpet, clay, and crushed stone.
The bocce court must be enclosed, usually by 25 cm high wooden planks; two sideboards and two backboards.
Backyard Bocce Court
As mentioned, when playing casual games of bocce ball in the yard, there is no need to create a regulation-sized bocce court with all the lines and markings.
To learn more about how to play this great game, read my guide on how to play bocce ball in the yard for an outline of the basic rules and scorekeeping.
For casual bocce ball in the yard, you have two options:
- Use a simplified court
- Play without court
1. Simplified Court
To create a simplified court for backyard play, it’s best to keep the court shorter and a bit wider than the regulation-sized ones.
Recommended dimensions: 60 x 12 feet (18.3 x 3.6 meters).
The lines can be similar to the lines on a regulation court, with 1 center line, 2x foul lines for spocking or hitting, and 2x foul lines for pointing. For an even more basic setup, stick with one foul line on each side.
For this type of court, rather than creating a permanent court with carpet and boards, you can also just use a flat patch of grass (nicely cut).
Then use spray paint, or something similar, to create the lines, sides, corners, and other markers.
2. No Court
The easiest solution is not to have a court at all.
Simply purchase a bocce ball set online, find a flat section of grass or concrete, and you can start playing right away.
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In this case, there is no need to worry about boundaries.
All you have to do is make sure the surface is nice and flat, such that the balls can roll properly.