January 24, 2020

Bocce Buyers Guide: Purchase the Right Set In 2020

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When you look to purchase a Bocce set you want to choose wisely as there are many cheap options available online. When you start looking you want to stick to a few key features of each set, this will ensure you look and purchase the correct set for your requirements.

Our Top Picks

Don’t have time to read on? Here are some of our perfect matches to give you a great game!

Keys To A Bocce Ball Set Purchase

  • Type Of Play - Regulation Or Free Play. Will determine your choices for every category or choice to follow.
  • Durability - How Well Do The Balls Handle Impacts
  • Balance - How Do The Balls Roll, Are They Smooth
  • Weight - What Weight Are The Balls
  • Storage - Do They Come With Storage Or Need to Purchase
  • Size - What is the Size of the Bocce Balls
  • Cost - What is the Overall cost of the Bocce Ball Set

Regulation Or Free Play

The first thing you need to know is what your intended play will be with the set you are wanting to purchase. When looking for just a free playset where it is more about having a good time and getting the friends or family together your options will increase and the price will typically decrease for the set.

When you start to look into regulation play you need to choose a more specific set of bocce balls for play. They need to be a more specific weight and size to be able to be used competitively which means ensuring you have a more limited set of options available but they will be of higher quality in most circumstances.

Plastic bocce balls on the grass from our Bocce Ball Buying Guide
Plastic bocce balls are far more durable than other bocce balls

Durability

When you look to make a purchase of bocce balls you typically want to have them last you a good amount of time. This is where you need to understand what you want them for, is it to be competitive or is it for fun and friends and family play?

Competitive

When looking for competitive bocce balls you want to find balls that are either made of resin or hard plastic composite material. These will be easily able to be the rights strength to last through numerous impacts from the official play where each ball will impact multiple times.

Friends & Family

For more family and friend related games where less touch is used and more brute force is used you want to look into plastic and possibly resin balls for the most part. Both will give you a longer lifespan ensuring your purchase gets plenty of playtime and use.

Balance

Regardless of your type of play from family, friends to regulation bocce you will want the balls to be balanced and to roll evenly across the surface of play. Lower cost and cheaply made balls may be built or molded poorly leading to it being heavier on one side than the other.

Nothing is quite as irritating as throwing a ball and having it roll away haphazardly due to incorrectly being balanced.

Weight

Regulation balls for competition have a weight requirement so they have to weigh between 910 to 930 grams. So when shopping you need to look at the weight they provide you to ensure you are getting legitimate playable balls.

Now when you are looking for family and friends play if you have more kids then maybe you would want to look a little less heavy to ensure their ability to play. Otherwise for adults the closer to the 2 lb mark the more comfortable heft they will have for play.

Storage

While getting the right set has many variables the storage of the balls when not in use is an important factor to think about. Many of the bocce ball sets online will come with a basic case, most of the time these are super no-frills cases that break down or fall apart with just normal use.

If you want to keep your set well taken care of you will want to look at possibly investing in a storage kit which will enable them to last much longer due to proper care while in storage. A good bocce ball set with a high quality storage box that we recommend is over here.

Size

Here is another area where your choice will have to be decided more by regulation requirements than by personal choice, at least if you plan to compete. The regulation size for bocce balls is that the diameter must be 107 +/- 0. 5 mm. Most higher quality sets you find online for competitive play will be right at 107mm.

While the 107mm is "competition" level I much prefer this size over the 90mm just because it fits my hand better. Like when you try to use a 5lb bowling ball at the lanes, it just doesn't feel right.

Josh

As for other recreational use, a normal backyard play set will measure in at 90mm and be a little smaller and easier to hold and throw by all ages.

Cost

This will be entirely up to your own choice and budget, along with your need. For a high-quality bocce set that is ready for the competition, you will need a set like this one which will last a long time along with maintaining performance.

Otherwise, when looking for a playset it is expected to take a beating from people who don't have the same skill or care level for the equipment, do to being kids or quite possibly drunk from a party, in either case, the best choice is a mid-range set like this. If needing a super budget version then I would say this set is the best available from Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Typically you want to get lasting fun and entertainment out of any game purchase you make, whether competitive or recreationally we have you covered with our top 5 sets to help get you started. When you make the choice of whichever set fits your unique need then grab on and toss it around! There is very little as exciting as learning how to hit the pallino regularly.

If you are looking for another awesome backyard sport that involves a ball then I can highly recommend Spikeball, it is my favorite game for backyard play with my family and friends.

Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!