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Best Bocce Ball Sets

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 12 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 125 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best bocce ball sets

    Last Updated September 2018

    If you haven’t played bocce yet, you can probably bet your ancestors did. Historians have found evidence that Egyptians played a form of bocce in 5200 B.C., and the love of the sport traveled to Greece around 800 B.C. The Romans learned it from the Greeks, and Italian immigrants popularized the game in America. Now the outdoor sport is as much a part of summer as an icy Aperol spritz and a day at the beach. The world’s oldest sport boasts the world’s third largest number of participants, after golf and soccer. And you can play, too, with your own bocce ball set.

    Bocce’s equipment has changed only slightly over the millennia. We aren’t tossing polished stone or coconuts like our ancestors did, but today’s resin bocce balls aren’t all that different. There are plenty of options out there, and if you’d like to buy a bocce ball set for competition or recreation, BestReviews can help.

    We’ve reviewed the market and highlighted the top bocce ball sets in the matrix above. Our shopping guide below has plenty of information to help you choose the right set. So warm up your tossing arm and get ready to let the good times (and bocce balls) roll!

    In Venice in the 1500s, bocce was banned, and playing the sport was punishable by fines. City leaders thought the game immoral and distracting to men.

    Regulation vs. non-regulation bocce balls

    Much like any other sport, you first have to decide whether you need regulation or nonregulation equipment. It all depends on who will be using the set, where, and why.

    Regulation

    If you want to play like the professionals, already play in a bocce league, or have dreams of joining one, you need a regulation bocce ball set.

    • Set size: Bocce rules dictate that a regulation set is eight balls identical in size, weight, and composition.

    • Ball color: Traditionally, bocce balls are red and green.

    • Ball diameter: Tournament-grade balls vary from 100 to 115 mm in diameter.

    • Regulation specs: The Bocce Standards Association (BSA) dictates that regulation balls must be made of hard plastic composite, 107 mm in diameter, and 920 grams in weight.
       

    Non-regulation

    These sets come in a wide range of sizes and weights to cater to all sorts of players, including children, the elderly, and beach-goers. These balls can vary in size from 74 mm to about 109 mm and be made of lighter materials. Non-regulation sets are often less expensive. If you plan to play bocce on an uneven beach, there’s no need to use perfectly weighted balls. You can find non-regulation sets in a variety of bright colors (which is a big help for color-blind players).

    EXPERT TIP

    It’s inevitable that your bocce balls will get scuffed, but don’t worry. It won’t impact your performance. Professional players think of scuffs as badges of honor.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Bocce ball materials

    Think about how you will use your set – and for how long – to determine what type of material your bocce balls should be made of: wood, plastic, metal, resin, or composite.

    Wood

    You might run across a decorative or antique set of wooden bocce balls for sale. They’re a neat collector’s item, but they won’t suit regulation play or withstand wear too well. Skip wooden bocce balls if your goal is to play with your set and not just look at it.

    Plastic

    Sets made for children, the elderly, and the beach often have lightweight plastic balls. These are more portable, making them great for parties. Budget-friendly options like this aren’t going to be perfectly weighted, but that doesn’t matter when you’re playing on an uneven lawn or the beach.

    Metal

    Some modern, mid-price sets have metal balls, which can be great so long as you buy stainless steel balls that won’t rust. These polished silvery sets have different markings to enable you to tell them apart. While metal bocce balls may look beautiful, it can be difficult to tell the teams apart from a distance.

    Resin

    Pure resin balls are what the professionals use because they’re weighted perfectly to roll true and are the least likely to crack or chip. These bocce balls consist of a foam core encased in resin. They’re kind of like miniature bowling balls. A good set of resin bocce balls can be passed down from generation to generation.

    Resin composites

    Some bocce balls are made of a combination of resin and recycled materials or fillers. These sets are less expensive and more likely to chip and scratch to the point that they lose their color. The filler in the center can cause the balls to roll unevenly.

    Marbleized resin

    Some of the most expensive bocce ball sets are made of marbleized resin. The purely decorative pattern is created from different colors of resin swirled together. It can include multiple colors or just red and white or green and white. These balls won’t help your aim, but they make a pretty nice gift.

    Professional quality at a reasonable price

    This St. Pierre bocce ball set is your best bet for optimal performance that would please the most serious of players. The eight solid resin tournament-grade balls are striped for two or four players and will hold up to heavy use. The set also includes one jack ball and an official rule book, all contained in a sturdy nylon carrying bag.

    Bocce ball set containers

    If you’re going to spend your money on a nice bocce ball set, you’ll want to keep it in a container that will protect it and make transport easy.

    Plastic carrier

    A less-expensive bocce ball set for recreational use may come in a hard plastic carrier that has a slot for each ball and a handle. It’s convenient, but it doesn’t protect the balls from scratches and dents.

    Nylon bag

    These square bags look like lunch boxes but are the most common way bocce balls are stored and transported. Many have slots for the individual balls.

    Wooden case

    More protective but also more cumbersome, special wooden boxes are common containers for more expensive bocce balls.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Galileo Galilei and Leonardo Da Vinci both enjoyed a good game of bocce. The sport was touted for its medical benefits during their day.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The Paralympic sport boccia is a form of bocce for people who use wheelchairs. It’s played with leather balls at shorter distances.

    Bocce ball set prices

    Bocce ball set prices vary widely. You can pay from $15 to more than $300, depending on quality and extras. You can buy an inexpensive set to enjoy on summer afternoons for about $15 or a quality set to pass down through the generations for about $90.

    Inexpensive: For $15 to $35, you can get a simple set of plastic bocce balls for that is perfect for the beach but not so great for honing your technique.

    Mid-range: For $35 to $65, you can get a good-quality set of resin bocce balls that would satisfy most adult players. You will still probably experience chipping and wear on the balls with these sets.

    Expensive: You should expect to pay between $65 and $100 for a professional-grade bocce ball set with perfectly balanced resin balls that roll straight and true.

    Premium: You’ll pay from $100 to over $300 for bocce ball sets with more balls, hefty carrying cases, and accessories.

    Tips

    • Check the ball composition. Are the bocce balls made of pure resin or only 2% resin? It’s the difference between buying a set that will last and a set that will crack.

    • Consider engraving. For a fun gift idea, have a bocce ball set professionally engraved. Some sellers offer engraving for an extra fee at purchase, and the engraving doesn’t affect the roll of the balls.

    • Clean your set after each use. To prevent dirt from building up in between the markings on the balls, make sure to wipe down your set with a cleaning agent and soft cloth before storing them.
    In 1896, Athens, Greece, hosted the first Bocce Olympiad during a resurgence in the sport’s popularity.

    FAQ

    Q. Do bocce balls have to be red and green to follow regulations?

    A. No, some leagues play with blue and yellow, too. Red and green are just the traditional colors.

    Q. My bocce ball set came with a measuring tape and rule book. Are they regulation grade?

    A. Not necessarily. A measuring tape is a common accessory in bocce ball sets because you need it to settle the score on those super tough calls. You should check the publication date of the rule book because it could be out of date or incomplete.

    Q. What’s the difference between bocce and pétanque balls?

    A. While bocce and pétanque are similar in rules and general play, bocce players roll the balls while pétanque players toss the balls. Pétanque balls are made of metal, smaller, and hollow. Bocce balls are usually made of resin, larger, and solid. The size difference is something like that of an orange versus a grapefruit.

    The team that worked on this review
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      Web Producer
    • Eliza
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      Editor

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