One of the more interesting things I found out is that Bocce has balls made from many different materials, each having their own list of benefits and drawbacks. I also found out they needed to be a specific size and weight which makes the material selection all that much more important.
What Are Bocce Balls Made Of? The most common bocce balls are made of resin but there are bocce balls made out of all kinds of other materials like wood, metal, baked clay and plastic. The most durable is typically metal, resin, and wood. Many of these higher class of balls will come with a 10-year warranty!
Now we can take a dive into the types of materials and the durability each provides along with which fields they are best to use on to increase their lives. There is no one size fits all in the choice of your bocce balls.
One of the more traditional looking balls made is created out of layered wood which is smoothed until round. These have a vast array of appearances depending on the layering done of the original wood, this can provide wood one of the most diverse looks of all bocce balls.
These balls are typically used more as showpieces on a mantle then specifically for play as they are damaged easier.
The cheaper wooden balls are made primarily for kids and non-serious play where its more about learning the sport then real competition, these balls will also be much cheaper in construction and ding or scratch easily.
These are the tournament approved balls, very strong and durable while in play. They can have a simple design or be very complex, along with being easy to color through the use of resin. If you want long term use then resin is a very good ball type to look at investing in.
Downfalls to cheap resin made products is easy chipping or damage caused by hard impacts with each other or with impact on ground like concrete, roads and similar. This can cause large cracks in the surface resin which will then over time fall off leaving a non-round ball.
Metal bocce balls I feel look the coolest, they look like they are from the future or from someplace like in the movie "The Matrix". They are durable and solid in most cases but due to this they will cost a pretty penny, these are definitely more of a long term player purchase.
The other side of metal balls is that while they are durable in most cases they can be much more heavy. If they are light then you should worry about what was used to create the core of the ball and that construction may not be as high a quality.
Plastic bocce balls are more aimed at kids and play sets where they will be taking abuse from sidewalks, streets, and other hard impacts. This is quite frequently then able to be sold at a much less.
Plastic balls are on the far cheaper spectrum so they may not be perfectly round, they may not weigh the same from ball to ball which makes games for competition irrelevant.
Choosing the correct bocce ball set may seem as simple as finding one in the right cost for you. While for outdoor and family game night this will be definitely a perfect choice if you are looking to become a good player you will want to look to invest in a quality performance style of ball.
Tournaments typically go for the resin balls due to the best match in weight, size, handling, and durability. Look to sets made in Italy and stamped made in Italy for a much higher quality and longer lasting bocce set to grow and learn the sport in more depth.