Bocce (or Bocci, or Boccie), is a precision sport belonging to the boules sport family, closely related to bowls and pétanque with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy (where it is called Bocce, the plural of the italian word boccia which means "bowl"), it is played around Europe and also in overseas countries that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America and South America (where it is known as bochas; "bolas criollas" in Venezuela), initially amongst the migrants themselves but slowly becoming more popular with their descendants and the wider community. The game is also well-known in Serbia as boćanje and in Croatia as boćanje, bućanje, or balote, depending on the region.
Bocce is traditionally played on an oyster shell court, but has also been played on decomposed granite, soil, or asphalt courts approximately 20 to 27 metres in length and 2.5 to 4 metres wide, sometimes with wooden boards of approximately 15 centimetres in height surrounding the court. Bocce balls can be made of metal, wood, stone, or various kinds of plastic. Unlike lawn bowls, bocce balls are spherical and have no inbuilt bias.
A game can be contested between two players, or two teams of two, three, or four. A court match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack (called a pallino or a boccino in some areas), from one end of the court into a zone about 5 metres in length, ending 2 metres from the far end of the court. If they miss twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the jack anywhere they choose within the prescribed zone. At this time the team that attempted to put the jack into play first gets to roll the first ball.
The side that places the jack is given the opportunity to bowl first. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining bocce balls. The team with the closest bocce ball to the jack is the only team that can score points in any frame. The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls that is closer to the jack than the closest ball of the other team. The length of a game varies by region, but is typically played to 11, 12, or 13 points.
Players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another ball away to attain a more favourable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the bocce ball to throw or roll it accurately. (Credit: Wikipedia)
Chinese Bocce Association
President: GUO Min
Secretary-General: YANG Chao
Add: A39 Xingfu Street, Chongwen District, Beijing 100061,China
Tel: (86-10) 67156619
Fax: (86-10) 67114994
In 1985 China joined the IBF in the name of the All-China Sports Federation. Up till now, a total of 16 provinces and municipalities in China have formed their own bocce associations, and the game is played in 25 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. Over the years Chinese players have achieved noticeable results at the World Championships, placing 16th in the 2nd World Championships in 1985, 10th in 1987, 6th in 1989 and 2nd in 1991. At the 1st World Cup Tournament for Champion Clubs in 1992, the Chinese team beat a strong field to win the title. In 1997 China made its debut at the World Singles Championships, where Zhang Meiling managed to take a silver medal in the women's division.
In February 1986, the State Physical Culture and Sports Commission (now the State Sport General Administration) issued a notice concerning the popularization of bocce in China and decided to conduct the National Championships annually. Since the 1st National Championships in 1986 12 editions for men and 10 editions for women have been held. The National Junior Championships were started in 1989, and the National Competition for the Aged in the following year.
International Bocce Association (IBF)