Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be old and gray in order to play Bocce ball. Nope, instead, the game is a great addition to anyone’s family as it can be played by all and can produce a ton of fun while introducing elements like strategy and luck to the equation.
Whether you are hitting the beach or just looking for something to do in the backyard when those warm days approach, Bocce ball represents as good a choice as any. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the best Bocce ball sets on the market in 2019, answering any questions you might have, and then we’ll be reviewing the top sets currently available. So, let’s get to it!
Top Bocce Ball Sets Comparison Chart
|Image||Name||Pros||Feature||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Perfetta 107mm Club Pro Bocce Ball Set||10 year warranty||Ready for serious players and tournaments||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|2. Champion Sports Bocce Ball Set||Quality but upper middle price||Nice bag design to fit everything||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|3. SeaTurtle Sports Luxury Beach Bocce Balls||Good for younger, older, and smaller ayers||Resistant to rust||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|4. Baden Champions 90mm Bocce Ball Set||90 day guarantee||Lighter and easier to maneuver||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|5. GoSports 90mm Backyard Bocce Set||Quite a low price||Soft rubber and the traditional||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|6. Verus Sports Recreational 90mm Bocce Set||Good for kids||Water resistant||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|7. Viva Sol Bocce Ball Set||Colorful and varied colors||Official weights||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
A Quick History
According to some out there, the origins of Bocce ball date back to ancient Rome. Others claim that it was the Egyptians that began the game. Either way, no matter what you might be inclined to believe, this is a game that is relatively simple. It’s throwing balls and trying to strategically maneuver them in the best and most efficient way possible.
Tracing its roots back to then, the game has seemingly remained a constant, though the rules have changed over the years- as you’d expect with any game. Just look at what baseball was in the 1850s and what it is now. Totally different games for sure!
Nevertheless, in more modern times, the game took off in Britain, where it eventually was passed over to the Americas. It had its ups and downs in the middle ages because of people believing it was a waste of time and because it was considered to be a game for gamblers, but it hung on and has been passed on.
Once here in America, it took off in Italian neighborhoods, as it was the first country to take it extremely seriously and organize clubs for the sport. Today, it is considered to be the third most popular sport in terms of numbers playing it behind soccer and golf. And it’s easy to see why!
Bocce Ball Sets Buying Guide
A Few Facts About Bocce Balls
It’s not just nice to know the history of the game, but it’s also quite useful to know the rules. If you want a quick guide to the rules, you can consult the FAQ’s below. However, here we are going to briefly talk about the balls themselves and what you should be looking for. If a set is not close to these parameters, then it’s not likely to be much good to you.
- The diameter needs to be around about four inches. They can be slightly more or maybe a little bit less, because even machines get a little off sometimes, but in the end they need to be around this size.
- They need to weigh about two pounds each. We’ll discuss various sizes quite a bit later, but you don’t want anything that is way too far off that. You don’t want the equivalent of a bouncy ball rolling down the court, but you also don’t want a bowling ball. You want something that is solid and can move another object, but you do not want to introduce an item that just makes it impossible to hit anything altogether.
- A professional set is going to consist of red and green balls. This is just the norm that has been handed down over the years, so that is just what you should come to expect. If you are wanting a high quality set, it’s most likely going to come with the balls in those colors.
- Balls are made from solid resin if they are of the utmost quality, or even close. Some can be found that are made out of other materials, but those types are not likely to last long and will probably have issues with inconsistent bounces and the such.
Storage is a Must-Have
It might seem like a strange thing to hone in on, but storing your Bocce ball set is not something to be overlooked and discounted. Instead, it is a vital part to your enjoyment of it as a whole. Imagine spending good money, or even if you buy cheaply, only to have to just stuff the balls any old place. They end up getting dropped, or lost, and you’re out whatever amount you paid. That’s no fun whatsoever.
Luckily, many of the sets today come with storage options built in. If you don’t find a set that has this, either because they don’t have it, or it’s just not up to your standards, then finding a nylon bag to put them in is a good idea. Nylon is flexible and protective, and it beats the heck out of a plastic bag or a wooden box that’s gonna be heavy to carry around!
Regulation or Not
One of the questions you will need to ask yourself is whether you want to get a set that is up to regulation or not. The main thing that determines this is the size of the balls, but this is not the only factor that there is to think about. The size must be regulation, or it should be, if you are going to be playing on a full sized court. So, that is one group of people that would want to have them.
But there are other benefits to having regulation sizes as well. The main one is the fact that they are going to be more precise. The cheaper a ball is, the more crazy and unpredictable the bounces are going to be. To avoid this, you can go with a regulation set. This will alleviate those fears. No more throwing the ball in an unorthodox way to get it where you want it.
You might have to pay a little bit more, but it will increase the overall experience that you have while playing. You don’t have to be a pro in order to get a lot of usefulness of them!
Made in Italy
We discussed the long history of the game in Italy before, and part of the reason why they are such a driving force in it now is because the best materials are made there. If you see a set that is made in Italy, chances are that they are going to be higher quality than those not made in Italy.
This isn’t a slight to any other country, it’s just a fact of life that they take the game incredibly serious there, and because of that, they are known to make the finest Bocce balls on the planet. While the price for these balls is at a premium, you will no without a shadow of a doubt that you are getting a handcrafted piece of art that has been forged by people in a country that very much cares about the game and wants to see it prosper.
Materials Used for the Balls
The type of material that is used to make the balls is crucial in determining what kind of quality you have got in your. The first option that you have is a metal ball. Metal, obviously, is great because it is super durable. This is even more the case when you are playing on very hard surfaces like dirt or gravel. If that’s what you will be using them for, metal is well worth your attention.
You will have to pay more for them, and they won’t be approved for tournaments, but they will get the most miles for your buck. The other big option to go with is plastic. In order to play in tournaments and get a direct 1:1 feel, you will have to use plastic and should use it for practice. This type isn’t as durable, especially the kinds of surfaces we mentioned above, but it has a better, more responsive feel to it.
Most of the time you will see metal balls that are super small. You have to be careful with that, and you should only get them in very specific circumstances. If you won’t be using them on super hard surfaces, or if you don’t have kids, you should probably avoid them.
Closely related to this issue is the issue of petanque. Petanque is a French game that is similar to Bocce, but it is not the same thing. If you see something labeled for that, then you should avoid it if you are looking to keep to the traditional Bocce rules and customs.
Petanque uses a different size ball and they are made out of steel and steel alloy. This makes them not unable to uphold the regulations of normal Bocce. Once again, this might be just fine with you, but they should only be used if you know this information. That way you don’t pass them off as something else, or worse yet think they are something they just aren’t. Some purists would be none too happy to find this perversion of the rules.
Durable Doesn’t Mean Indestructible
Obviously, just like anything in this world, you will want your Bocce ball set to hold up for a long time. Durability means a great, and it always is going to be a factor. No one wants to play one time and then have their stuff ruined. With that said, a good Bocce ball is durable and will not break easily. However, that doesn’t mean it has magic powers and will look the way it did out of the box for the rest of time. Instead, you should expect to see scuffs and marks on them.
This isn’t to say that you should be happy if they are big chips or full out splits in them, but you shouldn’t be left utterly disheartened if you see a scuff. This is just natural. Also, even the best of balls will wear out over time and need to be replaced. You shouldn’t get upset if you’ve had some for a decade and they need to be replaced, especially if you’ve played a ton. If you are very concerned about durability and longevity, you can always look for sets with warranties and guarantees to them.
You need to keep in mind how and where you will be storing your set. If you aren’t storing them in a proper place, you can forget about the durability. Just leaving them out in the elements can take a big toll on them, so that is a huge no-no, no matter what type of material and what kind of price you decide to go with. Being built tough is one thing, but you also have a responsibility as well. You certainly don’t want to contribute to them ending up not being what you had hoped they would.
A Guide to Kids
It can be tough to deal with kids around the game, but some people will want to teach them how to play from an early age. And it makes sense. It is something the entire family can do together, it can help them learn about colors and strategy and all sorts of stuff, and it bonds the unit a little closer as a whole. But how do you go about doing it with a set, you might ask?
A few things to do is to make sure to get something that is durable. It might be tempting to get a throw away set because they are kids and they are inevitably going to destroy them. But really that has a counter effect to what you want because that’s going to teach them they can just tear them up and get a new set. Getting something that is really good, maybe not the tip-top best, though, wouldn’t be the worst idea. Getting a set that isn’t ultra heavy is another key.
If the balls are too heavy for them to accurately throw, then it won’t be much fun and they’ll get discouraged. With kids, a metal set might just be best because it will be hard to tear those up. It’s just up to you, but those are a few pointers for them as you start to teach them the game that is thousands of years old.
The colors of a ball might also greatly effect how much enjoyment you and those around you have. If you are a purist in the truest sense of the word, you will want to see a set that has red and green included. These are the traditional colors, so that is something to consider. If you’re taking this up as your new hobby and are going to be playing with those that adore the game, it’s best to go with this approach.
They could look down on colorful sets. However, there is an advantage to that. Not only do you stick out, but it’s easier to get young folks involved with them. Furthermore, there is a very real use for them in practical senses. If you are playing on grass, you’ll definitely want something colorful to help differentiate the balls. Green isn’t going to quite as well on that surface, so going with colors would be an excellent choice to make.
Ultimately, the choice is yours, but there are definitely pluses and minuses that you have to take into account. It may seem trivial to some, but it is a much bigger deal than it might appear to be.
Best 7 Bocce Balls Sets Review!
Perfetta 107mm Club Pro Bocce Ball Set
We start our list with a set that sounds almost like perfection. And the reason why is because it’s made in Italy and is right up the standard of the upper echelon of Bocce ball players. With the balls coming in at 107mm, this is about as regulation as it gets. Green and red are to be expected with that, and that is what you get.
Best for an actual court, but still good for those that want the real deal, this is a set for those that take the game seriously and want to showcase their pride as a result. If that didn’t have you convinced, the 10 year warranty that they offer is hands down the best you can find out there.
On top of that, it’s got a nifty carrying case that will make your life so much more manageable as you try to tote them around. The bag is a minor annoyance as it is hard to get everything in there without squeezing it in, but it is functional nevertheless. The only other problem presented would be the cost. Some people just simply won’t pay such a premium for them, so that has to be considered for sure as they are the costliest on the list by some distance.
- Made in Italy
- Ready for serious players and tournaments
- 10 year warranty protects you
- Bag is a very tight fit
- Price is pretty high in relation to others
Champion Sports Bocce Ball Set
If you don’t want to spend quite as much as with the Perfetta’s, but you still want a high quality set, then Champion Sports has you covered here. With red and green, just as they were designed to be originally as the colors for the balls and around the right size for regulation. It might be just a little off, as the diameter isn’t quite to four, but they are close. They are very shiny and do not take scuffs easier.
Unlike the previous set, these would be a lot better for versatile uses. IF you are playing on a rougher surface like pavement, this would be a better go-to than then Perfetta. The previous option is just too nice to risk it on that, and though these are nice, they are sure to help you rest a bit easier instead of doing all the worrying. They roll very true and have no strange bounces, which is massive and makes all the difference when you are comparing sets.
It’s still a high price for many, but it’s not as high as the Perfetta and can withstand various conditions for sure. They come with a nylon bag, and it’s much more bendable the one we talked about above. The issue with these is likely to surround the balls themselves not quite being large enough. They also don’t tell you directly the size or weight, which is frustrating to say the least- especially if you want something for tournaments.
- Quality but upper middle price
- Traditional color scheme
- Nice bag design to fit everything
- Not sure they are up to regulation totally
- Still a little expensive for some
SeaTurtle Sports Luxury Beach Bocce Balls
This one is a little bit ‘out there,’ but let’s be real: what luxury item isn’t!? This offering from SeaTurtle does cost a pretty good penny, but it does have its purposes for sure. One of the things it is best for is living around or on the beach. There are specific challenges with that, and these balls address those concerns. They are both crack and rust proof, with the latter proving to be very handy.
The durability is also huge, though, as they just will not crack after a lot of use. The case that they give you to carry them in is very nice and is a bag with a handle on it. This lets you tote them much easier. On top of that, this set has decided to include a rope along with it to help you measure out impromptu courts and to, more importantly, decipher whose ball is closest to the jack.
The balls come in four colors (two of each) and are very ‘beachy’ and bright colors. The biggest knock on these is going to be the size. They are Petanque size, meaning you won’t be able to use them for traditional Bocce. If you know someone that wants Bocce and only Bocce, this is not the right choice for them. Outside of that, though, and the price, they are a good set if you want something for the beach house and don’t mind the extra price to pay.
- Good for younger, older, and smaller ayers
- Very vibrant colors
- Resistant to rust
- Price is pretty steep
- Not a Bocce ball- it is for Petanque
Baden Champions 90mm Bocce Ball Set
If you want something that is a little bit closer to being official and traditional than the SeaTurtle set, this could be the one for you. The only difference, though, is that this is a 90mm set, which means the balls are lighter and thus are going to be better for kids and the elderly that aren’t able to pick up as much anymore.
Coming with red and green, they have the look and feel of the real things, they just don’t have the weight needed in order to play with them in tournaments. Coming in at a moderate price point that is toward the middle of the spectrum, this is a set that is going to last a pretty long time while also not being overly expensive. Coming with another pouch like bag, it will be tough to fit everything in but is still doable.
While the warranty available might not be to the immensely high level of that Perfetta, it still has a 90 day guarantee that you will be satisfied or they will refund you. Because they are lighter weight, they are much easier to carry and take from place to place, so that is really a big helper to some. The added feature of the measuring tape is also a really nice touch to help determine who was closest.
- Lighter and easier to maneuver
- Moderate price range
- 90 day guarantee is very nice to have
- Not official tournament size
- Bag is a little lacking in quality
GoSports 90mm Backyard Bocce Set
If you are looking for something that is pretty affordable just for fun, then this is the set for you. It’s not dirt cheap, like we’ll see in a moment, but it’s inexpensive. This set has two options. One is the normal balls, while the other, slightly more expensive set has soft rubber ones for the young ones among us. The balls come with four colors, making it easier to divvy them up between young players.
Coming with a square bag with straps, carrying is pretty easy with them. They don’t weight what a normal regulation ball would, so they aren’t traditional in that sense, either, but they have a number of features to them that they make them ideal for kids. Also coming with a rope to make measuring easier, they have thought hard about how to help you out as you play your game in order to maximize the fun and excitement.
These are not filled with water or sand or anything like that, so rest assured you are getting decent quality out of these. One thing to know is that the colors come off very easily, so be prepared for that if you choose to purchase them. The carrying case, once again, looks to be a problem as it construction isn’t all that good and doesn’t seem to be suited to carrying the balls all of the time.
If you want options with your set, this is one to look into and you can find them at a low price.
- Quite a low price
- Two options: soft rubber and the traditional
- Very colorful
- Carrying case not sturdy
- Colors rub off easily
Verus Sports Recreational 90mm Bocce Set
If you have to go with a set that is very inexpensive, then this is one that you should look into. This Verus Sports Recreational set is designed with kids totally in mind. At just 90mm, it’s much lighter and easier for them to throw and roll around. They come in four colors- two of each- and are molded together.
This material isn’t as good as the others we have discussed, naturally, but it does help make them waterproof. This is the kind of set, given the price, that you could justifiably see being left outside. We’re not suggesting that you do it, but we all know it happens and if it’s going to, you should be using this set specifically instead of a better one.
The bag that it comes in is nice and concise and looks like it would hold up well, but it appears to have some problems. They do not have water in them as some in this price range do, but don’t be fooled. They are not going to be as good and bounce as true as others on the list.
But if you are paying this price, you will have to just accept that the quality is a little lacking when put up against others.
- Very cheap and easy to buy
- Good for kids
- Resistant to water
- Not very durable or consistent
- Bag has quality control issues
Viva Sol Bocce Ball Set
Rounding out our list is this offer from Viva Sol, which comes in at a mid range price point given our list up to now. This set comes in a wooden box, with a strap affixed to the top for support and ease of access, and just looks classy because of it. It even has a built in bottle opener, too, which could just come in handy for you. Inside, you get four different colors.
However, the case has problems with the latches, and it has seen a few people have to make adjustments themselves in order to keep using it. Weighing in at 107mm each, these are officially weighted balls and are good to use for practicing for tournament play. One thing it does not have, though, is a string to measure with, so you might want to fashion your own for use.
It appears that they show up with damage, so the biggest thing facing you may well be a lack of adequate QC work from the company. The balls are very good, but many have found the box to not work as well as intended.
- Decent mid range price
- Official weights
- Colorful and varied colors
- Slew of box-related issues
Conclusion And Final Bocce Ball Sets recommendations
At first glance, Bocce ball probably seems like a game that you’d never consider playing if you were by yourself. And while that may be true, it can be a great game to play with a group of family and friends. It doesn’t take an abundance of athleticism or coordination, and it requires the use of the mind, making it ideal to share with all kinds of people.
As more and more people have figured this out, it’s popularity has increased, and it has gotten a harder to find a good set online because of all the possible choices. However, you can rest assured now that you know much, much more about the game of Bocce ball and the sets you can find. You’ll be playing on the court or in the backyard in no time now!
Frequently Asked Questions About Bocce Ball Sets
Does Price Matter With Bocce Ball?
We all know the saying that goes “you get what you pay for.” Sometimes that does not ring to be true. There are just some items that are going to be around the same quality no matter what. Bocce ball is not one of them, though. The really cheap sets are just not going to be durable at all. A big part of what you are wanting to buy is durability. Without that, you will be quickly angered and regretting your waste of both time and money. Cheap Bocce ball sets end up seeing the balls chip, split in half, and also lose their aesthetic appearances rather easily. Unless you are just buying in order to play just once or twice, or if you just don’t care and will just play until they are ruined, then you should avoid this lowest tier option.
What Are Some Basic Rules?
While Bocce is a game in which you can make up your own rules a little bit- also known as ‘house rules’- it’s still a very good idea to have a grasp on what the rules are themselves. For starters, you need a 60 foot ‘court.’ There needs to be four lines, with two on each end at four and 14 feet. From there, one team throws the ‘jack’ (known as a Palino in official terms) as they attempt to land it within that ten foot zone. They get two efforts at it before the other team gets a go at it if the first team were unsuccessful.
Once the jack is placed, the two teams alternate rolling their balls at it. Each team gets four balls apiece. The rolls are to be divided up evenly, so you can’t have three people or more than five, for example, on a team. The team that lands their ball the closest wins and for every ball that is closest they get a point. If you have four closer than the other team, then you get four points.
Games can be won when you have taken between seven and 13, and it just depends on you. These are very basic rules, but they are good principles to go by. Another to note is that if a ball hits the back wall, or crosses the back line if you have that, it is out of play and cannot score a point. You don’t want to stray too far away from them, but you can add or subtract a little bit from them.
If you want more resources, there are YouTube videos as well as written rules online that can be searched for easily.
Where Can I Play At?
A lot of people will assume that you can only play the game on a designated Bocce court, but that is not the case. While it might not be ideal or seem to be official to you to play this way, it is perfectly fine to do so. Playing on grass or even on clay is very normal. Even professional tournaments are played in this manner. In fact, for the vast majority of history the game was played this way. You might want to cut the lawn down as low as you can for it to be most effective, but you can still have a fine game in the yard with few problems!
What Are The Lines on the Balls For?
The lines on the balls are used as visual reminders to the players. Basically, this is done in order to help you if you are playing in pairs to know which ball is yours and which is your partner’s. The balls are going to come in two sets of four, with each set being different colors, of course. From there, though, the lines help to mark them and keep you from guessing about which one is yours.
What About the Size of the Balls?
The size of the Bocce ball can be a big slipping point for many out there because it’s just difficult to wade through online at times. There are many sizes that you can buy, from 74mm all the way up to 109mm. But this shouldn’t scare you. Instead, what you need to do is to identify who you are playing with. What can they handle in terms of not only size but also weight? If you have kids or are playing with someone elderly, then you will want something to be on the smaller end of the spectrum.
If you are perfectly healthy and an adult, then the higher end of it will work just fine. It’s not that tough once you know the information you need! Remember. This is about enjoyment, fun, and fairness. You might be great with the heaviest, but if the rest of the family isn’t, you’re not gonna end up having much fun. It’s much better to give everyone a fair chance at it, or else the whole set might end up sitting in the attic collecting dust because no one will play with you any longer.