The Memphis Italian-American Society and Bocce Club rules and regulations were defined in the 1870’s, when the club charter was formed. We do not follow the more stringent International Bocce Rules and feel that our club rules allow the average Bocce Club member a competitive and enjoyable game. Our game caters to the lagger, because we have pits at each end of the alley that are considered ‘off’. But before we describe the basic rules of our game, let’s describe the courts.
We have 4 Indoor Rubico Clay courts/alleys that are each 75ft x 9ft wide. Each alley has pits at each end, a half court line and lagging line. The courts are watered once per week from underneath as well as from above. This allows the courts to not dry out or harden. The alleys are worked once per week with a drag or broom. We apply new Rubico Clay roughly 2-3 times per year to help level and maintain the courts. Because of the Rubico clay, we have some of the most challenging and competitive alleys in the country. These alleys will always play somewhat different, depending on the amount of moisture exposed to the courts. Our Courts all play high on the boards and low to the middle, allowing balls to ‘break’ to the middle.
Assuming that most readers have a basic understanding of the game of Bocce, we will define rules that may be different from other clubs. We keep it simple, all balls thrown off the alley are out, all balls thrown shorter than the half way (middle) line, are out as well. The Pallino must be thrown past the approximate half-way mark and not off the alley to be in play, if not, the opposing team gets control of the Pallino and first ball. If the Pallino goes off the back end of the alley and falls into the pit, we play to the ‘Nail’, which is in the middle end of the alley. This makes for a very challenging lag (without going out).
We have a lag/shooting foul line about 15 ft from each end of the alley that cannot be passed. If shooting/Raffa, you are allowed to pass this foul line as long as you release the ball before your foot touches the ground. There are no distance limitations on how far a ball must be air born when shooting, and Volo (air born) shots are allowed.
The first team to 12 points is the winner. Our League Play usually has 4 players per team, sometimes 3, depending on attendance. Once a year, we have Testa-Testa, which is one-on-one match play, that produces our A-players, from which team captains are chosen.
We have different types of League Play throughout the year, lasting from 8-12 weeks each, from set teams to randomly picked teams, allowing for players to partner with different club members.
We feel that our rules accommodate the average 1-2 days per week Bocce player and provides a competitive, challenging game for the novice to experienced player.