Is Lawn Bowling Bocce?

There is often confusion between Lawn Bowls and Bocce (Bocci, Boccie, Boccia)

The confusion is usually from the fact that many games are listed under the French word for bowls “Boule”, taken from the Latin Boules, for ball.  The English word Bowl is from that root.  One finds a claim to the same history and origins of all of the games when doing cursory searches.  A more extensive search finds that while probably they all originate from an Egyptian beginning, Egyptian artifacts from 4000 BC depict a game similar to Bocce and the game appears in a tomb painting from the Golden Age of Greece.  The conquering armies of Alexander the Great spread the forerunner of Boules throughout Asia Minor, North Africa and along with the Greek colonists, into Italy.  It was further spread by the Roman Empire.  In 1319 the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the IV banned the game so that his subjects could concentrate on war.  Too many were playing at Boules and not practicing archery.  Throughout history at one time or another most all countries, including certain cities in America, Boules were banned.  Henry the VIII in 1511 banned the sport from the lower classes and levied a 100 pound fee on any private bowling green to ensure only the wealthy could play.  However the lower classes were allowed to bowl on Christmas Day.  The Puritan revolution virtually ended all sports in England and lawn bowling didn’t make much of comeback even with the Restoration of 1660.

Versions of the Game

There are many versions of the game of Boules today with different versions dominate in certain countries.  Italy Bocce is also known as Boccie, Bocci, and Boccia.  In France, the game is known as Piquant or Pequante.  The English version of the game is Lawn Bowling where three surfaces can be used – flat green, crown green, and indoor.

 What’s the Difference?

There are three main differences between Bocce and Lawn Bowling. First, the Bocce Ball is round and the Lawn Bowl is round in only one direction and elliptical in the other.  Second, the Bocce Ball is thrown under hand, like softball, and the Lawn Bowl is rolled.  The Bocce court is sand or long grass and usually measures 10 feet by 76 feet.  The Lawn Bowling Rink is bent grass and is usually 19 feet by 120 feet. Both play to an object ball called a PALLINO in Bocce and a JACK in Lawn Bowling.



Please feel free to join us on any Tuesday night at 6 p.m. for a free lesson. We bowl at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. If you want a free lesson at any other time or have any other questions please email us under Contact Us on this website.

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The club provides instructions, use of all equipment, set up and breakdown of the green plus tables and chairs for your event. Please visit the Group Outings tab above for more information or email us at Contact us on this website. We look forward to hosting your event.