Bocce Court Design and Installation

Custom backyard bocce courts in Morgan Hill, Los Gatos, San Jose & Silicon Valley

Bocce court installation in Morgan Hill

If you want to add a fun and functional touch to your yard, it’s hard to go wrong with your very own bocce court.

At Exotic Gardens, we’re happy to offer bocce court design, construction, and surfacing services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Los Gatos, San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Francisco, San Raphael, and more.

Each of our bocce courts is custom built to match your yard and design sensibilities, so you’ll get a court that you’ll love to play on–and show off.

Our bocce courts are surfaced with synthetic turf that is custom made for the game, ensuring a smooth, even roll with minimal maintenance for years to come. Each of our bocce courts is also professionally leveled and framed by pressure-treated wood, to keep the game fair and your balls in play.

Read on to learn more about the game of bocce, the benefits of hiring us for your bocce court construction needs, and more. You can also call or contact us today for a free estimate on your very own bocce court!

A Brief History of Bocce

A strategy game that has stood the test of time, bocce ball is a game that is most similar to bowling. It was first recorded in a painting from 5200 B.C. that was discovered in Egypt, but can be dated as far back as 9000 BC Turkey. It quickly became a popular pastime for soldiers serving the Roman and Greek empires, which allowed it to spread among their territories and enter even further regions of the world. That being said, the bocce ball that we know today was developed specifically in Italy. Initially, it was spread just across Europe, but eventually migrated to regions where italian immigrants settled. 

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In the 1600s, the game was banned by Henry VII, and only those of upper nobility were given a pass to play it. There were similar bans on other sports at the time, and the bocce ban in particular was further enforced by a fee that was placed on privately owned bowling greens. These bans were put in place to ensure that those in the working class were spending their time focusing on productive activities that would benefit society as a whole, like sword fighting or archery.

During this ban, the game was kept alive by people in rural regions, and went through a renewed public interest when artists, scholars, and other influential groups began playing it again. This rise in popularity almost got it banned again when players began hitting the knees and legs of nobility that were passing through on horseback. After dying down, it once again came into the public forum when the first bocce Olympiad was officially introduced in the late nineteen hundreds. It’s popularity rose again in the early nineties, only this time in California.

How to Play Bocce Ball

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Even though the game has come in and out of popularity since its inception, bocce ball is still enjoyed around the world today by people of all denominations. It is played anywhere with a smooth, flat surface, with two to eight people, usually divided into teams. In terms of size, a bocce court is generally between 60 and 90 feet long and 8 to 13 feet wide. The duration of the game varies depending on the rules being used and the number of participants, but it usually lasts until 7 to 13 points are scored. The balls are made from metal, composite materials, or even hard plastic in some cases.

When it comes to the rules, they can get complicated. Essentially, there are two teams of equal size that score a point when their team lands a ball closest to the “jack” ball, which is a smaller bocce ball that is thrown before the game is started. If the first team misses after two tries, the other side gets the opportunity to bowl. The team that scores gets a point for each ball that lands closer to the “jack” than the closest ball of the opposing team.

Can I DIY a Bocce Court?

Bocce courts look deceptively simple, which is why many Bay Area homeowners assume that they can be built as a DIY project.

While it is technically possible, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Not only do you have to excavate the section of your property that you want to convert into a bocce court, but you also have to account for drainage needs, the materials you’ll be using to prepare the base of the court along with anything else you’ll need to complete the project.

Once you’ve settled all of that, there are still several points to keep in mind. The most popular types of bocce court surfaces are oyster shell, natural, clay, or sand packed synthetic turf based— the latter of which has been proven to be the most permeable yet durable surface that also didn’t require too much in terms of maintenance.

Built incorrectly, bocce court surfaces are known to flood due to a lack of proper drainage, fill up with leaves and other particulate matter during the fall season, and can also serve as the perfect microbiome for moss, fungi, weeds, as well as other unsavory plant matter to grow in.

You should also keep in mind that not all bocce courts are built the same. They can vary in size, design, and materials used depending on who constructed it. So, feel free to tailor your backyard bocce court to the dimensions that best fit your home’s needs.

Building your own bocce court can be a fun project to take on but it also takes a lot of time, work, and effort to complete. If you ever feel overwhelmed or aren’t sure if you have the time to take on this kind of project on your own, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts at Exotic Gardens for support.

Additional Backyard Features

When it comes to installing bocce courts on residential property, there is no end to the additional features you can add alongside it. By adding backyard features such as:

  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Seating areas
  • Pergolas
  • Arbors
  • Water fountains
  • Heat lamps
  • Shade trees
  • And more!

You’ll be enhancing your outdoor area, making it more enjoyable to spend time in. This creates the perfect space to host family and friends for events or other special occasions. In addition to these features, Exotic Gardens are also more than capable of designing and building custom hardscape walkways, putting greens, firepits, shuffleboard courts, and outdoor kitchens to complement your bocce court.

Where to Place Your Bocce Court

Deciding on where you want to build your backyard bocce court is a matter of personal preferences and the size limitations of the space you’re building it in. While some homeowners might prefer to limit it to the outskirts of their property, others might want to make it the centerpiece of their outdoor entertainment area.

At the end of the day, the placement of your bocce court is totally up to you. If you need tips and suggestions for the most viable spots, our design pros are always available for a consultation.

Fun Facts About Bocce Ball

  1. Famous players include George Washington, Sir Francis Drake, Galileo, and Queen Elizabeth.
  2. Aquatic Park Bocce Club in San Francisco, is considered to be the oldest bocce club in the US. It was originally founded by Italian immigrants.
  3. The world’s largest bocce tournaments are based in Italy and France.
  4. Volo and Raffa are the two main types of bocce. The modern interpretation of bocce is Raffa. Volo is the traditional version.
  5. In countries like Serbia, Croatia, and Montenegro, bocce is called balote.

Whether you’re an avid fan of bocce ball or a newcomer that is looking for a new hobby, you can call the team at Exotic Gardens to build you a custom court in your own backyard. They have plenty of experience installing both artificial and natural courts, complete with any additions you might have for it, regardless of the type of yard you have. 

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