Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Bowles was an ancient game, dating back at least to the time of the Romans. Its modern day descendants include bocce ball and lawn bowling. The rules below are taken from the Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas website.

The object of the game of bocce is for one team to get as many of their balls closer to the pallina than the opposing team's closest ball.

The toss of a coin determines which team will start. The starting team chooses which color (or pattern) ball they will play with. The first team member throws the pallina and then rolls his/her first ball as close to the pallina as possible. It is now up to the opposing team to roll a ball closer to the pallina than the starting team.

If the opposing team uses all four balls and fails to get closer to pallina than the starting ball, the starting team rolls each of their remaining balls, trying to place them closer than the opponent's closest ball.

However, if the opposing team succeeds in placing one of their balls closer to the pallina, the starting team must then roll again to attempt to get closer or "better the point". Each team continues to roll until it beats the point of the opposite team.

While the object is to get close to the pallina, it is permissible for a player to roll his/her ball as to knock an opponent's ball away from the pallina. Likewise, a player may knock or move the pallina toward his/her own team's balls. The pallina is playable anywhere on the playing surface.

When all balls have been played, this concludes the frame and ONE team is awarded one point for each of its balls which is closer to the pallina the the closest opposing team's ball. Thus, a team may score up to four points per frame. If the closest ball of each team is equal in distance from the pallina, NO points are awarded. The team that scores in a frame starts the next frame by throwing out the pallina and playing their first ball. Play continues until a team wins by reaching a score of sixteen points. 

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