Bocce ball or lawn bowling, as it's sometimes referred to, is a relaxing sport and increasingly popular among the elder population of our country. It's a great way to socialize and get some light exercise. But not all communities are fortunate enough to have a bocce ball court in their community. So, if you love bocce ball, here's how to build one in your backyard.
Things You'll Need
- Rammer or steam roller
- Crushed Stone
Pick a spot. Survey your lawn and find the flattest spot with little obstructions. A regulation bocce ball court is 76 feet long by 10 to 13 feet wide. If your yard can't accommodate such an area, then the court may be reduced to 60 feet. Find this location by using a tape measure.
Remove obstructions. Once you've found the general area, be sure to remove obstructions, such as rocks, stumps and plants. While this is not as essential in building other backyard sports fields, in bocce ball it is crucial as the court has to be completely flat.
Remove soil. Now that the general obstructions are clear, it is time to remove the soil from your lawn. Do this using a shovel and removing the grass and dirt in a wheel barrel. Dig your area so that it is at least five inches deep into the earth.
Rake the soil. Give the soil a solid raking to remove any final debris on the area that is to become your bocce ball court.
Ram or steamroll the soil. Rent a rammer or small steamroller from your local hardware store. Ram the soil so that it is compact and perfectly flat.
Paint wood. At your local lumber store give them the measurements of your court that you took in the first step. Have them cut lumber that is at least six inches wide and in adequate enough length so that it will create the entire perimeter of your court. These are going to be your court walls. Now that you have the wood home, paint it white.
Fasten wood. Using brackets and screws fasten your painted wood end to end. Be sure when the cut your wood at your local lumber store they "corner" your wood, so that the corners do in fact fit together. You will now have created a giant frame. Leave this in a final few pieces to install after clay is laid.
Lay rock. The base of a bocce ball court should have three inches of crushed stone or rock. This helps with drainage as well as keeps the surface flat. Crushed rock can also be purchased at your local hardware store.
Add clay. On top of the crushed rock, lay two to three inches of topping clay. Pat the clay down using a roller or rammer, Make sure the setting is on low, otherwise it might go right through to the crushed stone. Patting it with a hand operated roller is best.
Place wood frame. On top of the clay surface, place your wood frame and finish any remaining bracketing or fastening. Make sure the painted side is facing in toward your court.
Finish with lines. You can either mark these on the side boards or on the clay itself. However, if you do mark the clay, you will probably have to remark the surface often. Also, on each end, place marks for lines at 6 feet and 10 feet. The will serve as the Pointing Foul Line and the Spock Foul Line respectively. Now, grab a set of bocce balls, invite your friends over and play! Congratulations, you have just made your very own backyard bocce ball court!
Tips & Warnings
- Purchase a tarp and cover the court when not playing on it; while the clay needs to be somewhat moist and should be sprinkled with water from time to time, a heavy rain storm will wipe out your court!
- Engineer proper drainage. In several places on your court, install drains (near the ends in the corner) this will help water run underneath the ground and not ruin your court.
How to Play Bocce Ball
How to play bocce, including team size, basic rules and equipment, as well as strategy, technique and scoring.