Are you headed to Hilton Head Island and looking for a new and exciting game? Why not try one of the most popular soil-to-sand games – Bocce on the Beach? It’s easy to learn, laid-back, and perfect for a fun-filled day at the beach with your loved ones.
Originally hailing from ancient Rome, Bocce Ball has made its way to Hilton Head Island through the years. Thanks to immigrants spreading the game across the world, Bocce Ball became popular in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, it is a favorite pastime on the island, with the Italian-American Club even hosting an annual tournament.
Traditionally played on soil or grass, Bocce Ball can be just as enjoyable on the sandy shores of Hilton Head Island. All you need is a flat surface with a bit of texture to allow the balls to roll gracefully after being thrown or “lobbed.”
What You’ll Need:
- Bocce ball kit: You can find these kits at Walmart, Target, and some surf shops around Hilton Head Island. Vacation Comfort Rentals offers various types of kits starting as low as $10 per week. Each kit usually includes eight large balls, two sets of four, with each set representing a different team. There is also a small white ball known as the “pillina” or the jack.
- A large area for play: Most Bocce Ball courts are about 27 feet long and 13 feet wide. The beach is an ideal place to play, offering plenty of open space. Simply draw lines in the sand to create your own “court,” and you’re ready to go!
How to Play:
- Divide into two teams: Gather your family or friends and split up into two teams. You can have one, two, or four players on each team. Each team member will throw an equal number of balls during the game. For example, if there’s only one player, they will throw all four balls. If there are two players, they each throw two balls. And if there are four players, each player throws one ball.
- Toss a coin: To determine who will throw the small white “pallina” ball, toss a coin. The pallina is the target for the toss. The team that wins the coin toss gets to choose a member to lob (throw underhand) the pallina as far as possible. The person who throws the pallina also throws the first ball of the game.
- Take turns throwing: Each team takes turns throwing their balls, with players alternating turns. The goal is to throw the ball closest to the pallina.
- Points and strategy: The closer your ball is to the pallina, the more points you earn. The number of points awarded is decided at the start of the game. Don’t worry if your ball hits the pallina and moves it; it simply adds to the challenge and excitement!
- Tally up points and switch ends: Once all the balls have been thrown, it’s time to tally up the points, collect the balls, and switch to the other end of the court. The game continues until one team reaches either 12 points (for one player), 15 points (for two players), or 21 points (for four players).
Bocce Ball on the Beach is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your family while enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Hilton Head Island. So grab a Bocce ball kit and head out to the beach for a day of friendly competition and fun memories.
Remember, if you’re looking for a relaxing and inviting place to stay on Hilton Head Island, consider Ambassadeur Hotel. They offer comfortable accommodations and a warm hospitality experience that will make your visit even more enjoyable.
All photos by Nicolette Kay.