Beach Bocce is extremely simple. As with horseshoes, there’s a target, and you have to get as close to it as possible. What makes it so unpredictable and entertaining is that you can be winning for most of the game, and still lose suddenly at the end, or vice versa. Nothing is decided until the last player plays the very last ball. If he or she moves the aim ball or kicks an opponent ball out of the way, the layout of the balls (and your score) will change dramatically.
You should read about The Rules, but they’re really not required to have fun.



  • Individual: 2-4 Players
  • Doubles: 4 Players (2 per team)

Ball Distribution

  • 2 Players: 2 pair of color-matched balls per player
  • 3-4 Players: 1 pair of color-matched balls per player
  • Doubles: 1 pair of color-matched balls per player

Player or team to get their ball closest to the jack (small ball) wins the round and scores a point for each
ball closer than the nearest ball of their opponent. Player or team to reach 13 points first wins the game.

To Play
Draw a shooting circle in the sand approximately 5 to 8 feet wide. If you are not in the sand you can use
markers such as a rock or stick to mark the shooting circle.

To Decide Who Throws First
Any player stands inside and tosses the jack away from the shooting circle. Each player tosses one of their
balls at the jack. The player with the ball closet to the jack throws first to begin a round.

Once a round begins, the player or team trailing tosses balls until landing one closer to the jack than the nearest ball of their opponent. The round ends when all balls have been thrown.

Winner throws to begin a new round either from the original circle or by drawing a new circle at the jack’s
location at end of the previous round.

Game ends when player or team reaches 13 points, though any pre-determined total is acceptable.

Measuring string is provided for use on close calls

  • Water’s Edge
    The challenge is not to overthrow and end up rolling your balls into the surf, out of play. A lob
    with some back spin, or a roll-to-target approach might be best in this situation
  • Seaweed
    Watch that seaweed. It can be spongy and literally bounce your balls away from the jack. If you
    master this, you can give your opponents fits.
  • Soft Sand
    Soft sand poses two challenges: one, the ball can end up partially buried and difficult to see. (If
    completely buried, the rules permit raising it to the surface to make it visible.) And, the soft sand
    doesn’t provide much roll or bounce. You pretty much have to lob it right on target.
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