Bocce is a game that has been played by humans for centuries. The earliest recorded instance of bocce being played dates back to 5200 BC in Egypt.

The game exploded in popularity throughout Europe and Africa, and spread quickly to become a worldwide phenomenon for all to enjoy.

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The Game of Bocce has Spanned the World for Centuries

Egypt Greece Roman Empire Holland France Italy
5000 BC 800 BC 200 BC 1519 AD 1802 AD 1845 AD

Bocce Has Many Names

Bocce has a variety of names throughout the world:

  • Lawn Bowling
  • Skittles
  • Pentaque
  • Raffa
  • Boule Lyonaise
  • Bowls

Galileo Played Bocce

So did Roman Emperor Augustus, George Washington, and Hippocrates, who gave us the Hippocratic Oath.

Bocce Was Banned Over and Over

The game of bocce has been condemned and banned a few times by several countries throughout history:

  • Bocce was so popular in Italy in the 1500s that officials outlawed the game, saying it was a distraction from more politics and public issues.
  • The clergy condemned bocce because people would gamble on the outcomes. the clergy considered this to be sinful.
  • At one point, only people of nobility were allowed to play the game. Anyone not of noble blood caught playing would be fined and imprisoned!

Bocce is Flexible

Regulation games of bocce are played to 12 points, but 10, 15, and 21 point games are also popular.

Regulation courts are 91 by 13 feet, but some are considerably smaller or larger.

Bocce Today

The game as we know it today was developed and made popular by Italian Senator and General Giuseppe Garibaldi in the mid 1800’s.

The first ever Bocce Olympiad was held in Athens, Greece in 1896. Ever since then, bocce has become a huge international sport.

Bocce is Regulated by Two Organizations

Confederation Mondiale des Sport de Boules (CSMB)     

Federacion International de Boules (FIB)

Bocce is the Third Most Popular Sport

1st – Soccer

2nd – Golf

3rd – Bocce

The World Bocce Championships Take Place on Each Odd-Numbered Year

Over 30 countries from all over the world participate (but most of them are Mediterranean).

  • Croatia
  • France
  • Slovenia
  • Italy
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • And more

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