Many owners rave about how well these work for tournaments, yet they are just as practical for backyard play. Balls have a hefty feel. Traditionally designed with 2 colors and 2 different designs. Carrying bag is sturdy.
Mixed opinions on durability. A bit pricey.
An affordable set with balls that feel reasonably sturdy for basic leisure-time play. Great for having family fun or teaching novices skills. Includes target jack. Durably made with high-quality, poly-resin material.
Finish tends to scratch easily. Carrying bag is flimsy.
Multi-colored balls with mid-range weight for ideal casual play. Solid build and bright appearance with traditional design patterns. Includes target, carrying case, and measuring string. Manufacturer provides quality customer service.
The bag that comes with it is flimsy and doesn't match the quality of the balls. Not regulation size.
Set features 4 pairs of brightly colored, 90mm balls that stand out when playing. Size welcomes players of all ages and skill levels. Balls are made in Italy with a durable wooden construction. Easy to wipe clean and keep looking new.
Does not include a carrying case.
A colorful, attractive set. The balls feel weighty and well made. Balance is precise. Owners say they are rugged and hold up through serious play. Set meets criteria for professional use.
They are somewhat pricey. Otherwise, there are few issues with this quality set.
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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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 colour. The filler in the centre can cause the balls to roll unevenly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More protective but also more cumbersome, special wooden boxes are common containers for more expensive bocce balls.
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.
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.
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.