Bocce has been around since 5,200 BC but didn’t become popular until the Romans made it a recognized sport in 600 BC, but you didn’t come here for a history lesson. On a sidenote: current Olympic officials are considering making bocce an olympic sport. So, you could one day be an Olympian if you practice your bocce skills. These days bocce is normally played on a well-trimmed grass course among the older population. The main reason we gained interest in bocce is because of this specific bocce ball set—you can play both day AND night.
$74.95 from Playboule (not including shipping, and keep in mind Bocce is a heavy thing to ship); $79.95 from Amazon
- Time to set up: 20 seconds (unzip the bag… and… click the buttons to make them “glow”)
- Duration of game: 1 round = 1-2 minutes
- Number of players that are needed/can participate: 2-8 maximum (4 teams of 2 if playing with 8)
- Where it can be played? Traditionally, Bocce is played on a short-cut grass or smooth dirt alley. We usually just play on grass, sand, or other soft surfaces in more of a casual style…meaning there are multiple rounds trying to huck the ball as far as possible, or creative rounds throwing backwards, through our legs, around the back, etc.
- How to play? Bocce is a pretty simple game! There are 9 total Bocce balls that come in a set; 8 bigger balls (in this particular set it is two yellow, two red, two blue, and two green), and one small white ball. Through research for this post, we learned the small ball is officially called a jack (or boccino for our Italian readers… whom we hope to have someday; boccino means little bocce). We just call it “the little white ball”. Also, from our research, we’re pretty sure we don’t even play this game correctly… BUT, here’s how the rules go when we play (feel free to comment and correct us, because Wikipedia’s rules were far too confusing). Score is kept until a winning person or team reaches a predetermined score; Wiki says 7 or 13. We are rebels and play to 21, because all games, for whatever reason, go to 21. To start, the little white ball is thrown somewhere yonder. Each “team” (typically split up by color) throws their balls to see who can get closest to the little white ball. If both of your colored balls are the closest, you get 2 points. If there is a yellow and blue ball, for example, closest to the little white ball, but yellow is slightly closer, yellow would get 1 point, blue gets nothing. Only the team closest can win points in a round; 2 points max per round. Keep your measuring tape handy for those who want the utmost in accuracy. Although, a stick or your shoe will work as well.
Backyard Buffs Rating: 19
Ease of storage/portability: 5. This game has been a part of our “Fun Trunk” for YEARS. It takes up about as much room as a grocery bag full of food and only weighs 11 lbs. It comes in a heavy duty zippered bag with a pouch on the inside for extra batteries and a handy dandy measuring tape for accuracy, etc. As mentioned before, it travels easily; currently it happily resides in the trunk of the car, ready for any occasion and a spontaneous match (and we do pull it out OFTEN).
Durability (packaging or game pieces): 4. As mentioned before, we have had this bocce ball set for about 3 years now. Only now are we starting to experience a little wear and tear (lights not always turning on/having to adjust batteries, or light turning off when some of the balls hit the ground). NOTE: We have gotten SO MUCH USE out of this game— with even the occasional dork throwing the balls straight onto the cement, through sopping wet grass, right into puddles, etc.— so I’m not surprised they are starting to wear out at this point.
Friendly for all Ages/Skill Levels: 5. ANYONE and EVERYONE has a blast. Little kids to adults think the glowing orbs are awesome, and they aren’t too heavy for little kids to toss around.
Fair Pricing: 5. Durable, fun to play with everyone, and honestly has lasted through so much. (Shipping this thing has got to be a bugger, so they have reason to be priced a bit higher). It’s worth every penny.
Conclusion: We get so many compliments and questions about this game whenever we play. It looks SO COOL to anyone watching from afar in the night—we have had people walk across parks to ask us what in the world we are playing. Every time we play it in a public place at night we literally become a walking advertisement for this glow in the dark bocce ball set. Anyone who plays loves it. We wanted more games to play in the evening/night, and this one is a PERFECT solution. It’s a great set for the daytime as well. Beach bocce, grass bocce, backyard bocce, wherever you are, it’s extremely versatile for any time of day and any location (bocce in Grandma’s living room, however, is not recommended). Have fun!