Bocce is a fun game that was popularized by North American Italian immigrants, but likely dates back to Ancient Egypt!
It’s a great way to pass the time on a lawn or at the beach, but the most serious games include a framed court so that the balls can roll within bounds.
If you’re eager to take part in a game of bocce, but you want to know how to throw first, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll look at the proper way to throw a bocce ball and some of the best throwing styles and techniques for both beginners and professionals.
How to Throw A Bocce Ball
To throw a bocce ball, get into a strong stance with your knees slightly bent and your primary foot forward. You can stand tall or crouch down, depending on your preference. Decide whether you will throw overhand or underhand. An overhand throw can knock another ball out of the way, while an underhand bowling-style toss can give you more precision. Spread your fingers and grip the ball tightly. Pull your arm back at your side, and then launch it forward and release the ball while looking at your target.
There are many correct ways to throw a bocce ball, but expert players understand that there are some proven techniques that will always be effective.
They embrace these techniques and alternate between them to form winning strategies.
What you don’t want to do is to throw a bocce ball with a wide overhead arc like a baseball.
The increased speed you generate only decreases your precision and makes the result more random.
You don’t want to pretend bocce is bowling and take it easy with underhand rolls, either.
These are both exaggerated versions of the classic bocce technique, where you keep your arm close by your side
and release the ball forward in an understated and controlled motion that keeps the arm beneath the shoulder.
When your feet are firmly fixed and your grip is good, you don’t need to use very much force at all to direct the bocce ball exactly
where you want it to go, even if you’re knocking another ball out of place in the process.
What Is The Proper Way To Throw A Bocce Ball?
You can throw a bocce ball palm up (underhand) or palm down (overhand).
Palm up is more common since it offers more control, but players use overhand throws all the time and there is nothing wrong with throwing that way.
There are two different throwing styles in bocce that are used for different strategic reasons:
Punto refers to a gentle underhand throw that you can use to send your bocce ball close to the Pallino where none of your opponent’s balls are in the way.
Raffa is an overhand throw with a spin, intended to displace an opponent’s ball.
Skilled players alternate between these two throwing types within a match to use whichever is most effective at the moment.
There are 3 different tactics you can use in bocce. Any of them can technically be accomplished with an overhand or underhand grip.
Bumping is rolling the bocce ball into the Pallino to get closer to it. This is often used to win a match in the last competitive moments.
Blocking is how you keep your opponent from winning. You surround the Pallino with your own balls so that your rival can’t get any closer than you can.
Banking is a way to avoid being blocked. When you bank, you use the court’s wall to ricochet the ball into a position past the blocking balls.
If you have a good stance and a good swing, you are conscious of your grip, the throwing style you want to use,
and the tactical goal of your throw, you are throwing a bocce ball the proper way.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Throw a Bocce Ball
Where Do You Stand To Throw A Bocce Ball?
The fault line measures the minimum distance a player must have from the baseboard (10 feet).
When you are playing bocce, you can stand anywhere behind the fault line. You are too far forward if your foot is on the fault line.
You take your stance in the center of the court, just behind the fault line.
Can You Overhand Throw In Bocce?
Yes, overhand (or palm down) throws are a normal part of bocce.
However, the overhand technique in bocce is not at all like an overhand throw in baseball or softball.
Instead, your arm remains below the shoulder. It’s more like a toss than a throw, and the goal is still precision rather than force and speed.
It’s a little bit like shooting a basketball at a very low net.
Can You Roll the Ball in Bocce?
Yes, rolling the ball underhand is one of the best ways you can get your ball close to the Pallino and is one of the most common throws in bocce.
Just as in bowling, a good stance and keeping your eyes focused on where you want the ball to go will help you guide it precisely.
In uneven terrain, like a grassy lawn or a sandy beach, rolling can present an entirely new kind of challenge.
Conclusion on How to Throw a Bocce Ball
Good technique in bocce starts with a good stance. Finding your footing behind the fault line and getting a good, wide grip on the bocce ball is essential.
There are different throws available for different tactical purposes, and the more you play, the more you will intuitively select the right approach.
You might want to roll underhand to try to get your ball as close to the Pallino as possible.
You might be executing a maneuver to block your opponents’ balls, or get past a block yourself by banking.
Understanding where you want the ball to go and what you want it to hit can help you design the throw that will work best for that purpose,
whether it is overhand or underhand, spinning or straight.