Bocce Ball

The River Forest Park District offers 2 bocce ball courts in Memorial Parkway, between Jackson and Monroe.  


The courts are open daily sunrise to sunset.  Use of the courts is first come, first serve, however Park District programs and special events have priority use of the courts.  The Park District also offers residents the opportunity to participate in the Park District’s House Bocce Ball League.    


The bocce ball area is a “No Trash Zone”, and participants are asked to take home any trash they generate while  using the courts.


For more information on bocce balls, please contact Aly Copus at or 708-366-6660 x104


The Game of Bocce


Bocce is played with eight large bocce balls and one small target ball called the “pallino.” The object of the game is to roll the bocce ball closest to the pallino. There are two balls per person and four players making up a team. Two players from each team are permanently stationed at each end of the court for the game. A game consists of twelve (12) points. First team to 12 points is the winner of the match.

Programs and Events

Bocce Rules

  1. The Pallino is the small ball that serves as the object or target toward which the bocce balls are rolled.
  2. The Bocce Ball is the larger of the playing balls. There are four matched balls for each team. Bocce balls are used to score points or to displace an opponent’s ball or the pallino.
  3. The pointing line is one of two foul lines on each end of the court. A player who intends to deliver the ball to score a point must release it somewhere between the backboards and the pointing line.
  4. The initial roll is the first delivery after the pallino is tossed to start a new frame. The player tossing the pallino is always responsible for making the initial roll.
  5. The pallino must roll past the “midfield line” and not hit the back wall and stay in bounds. If the pallino is not tossed properly by the first team, the second team tosses the pallino to put it in play.
  6. If during the pallino toss the pallino lands less than one foot from the rear or side walls, it shall be re-positioned to a point one foot and perpendicular from the pertinent wall and the point at which it landed. If during play a bocce ball knocks the pallino and the pallino lands closer than one foot from a wall, the pallino shall remain where it lands.
  7. To begin play, the first team will toss one bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. The first team then steps aside to let the second team toss its first bocce ball, trying to get it closer to the pallino than the first team. If it does not toss its bocce ball closer to the pallino than the first team’s bocce ball, then the second team continues tossing its bocce balls until it does. As soon as a team gets its bocce ball closer to the pallino than the opposing team, that team steps aside to let the opposing team toss a bocce ball or balls until it gets a bocce ball closer to the pallino than the other team. This procedure continues until both teams have tossed all their bocce balls. This is called a “frame.”
  8. At the end of each frame, the game starts at the opposite end of the court. Whoever wins the frame will throw the pallino.
  9. Players can use their bocce balls to knock their opponent’s bocce balls away from the pallino at any time during a frame.
  10. All bocce balls must remain in bounds at all times. If a bocce ball goes out of bounds, it is removed from play for the frame.
  11. A bocce ball that is tossed and hits the back wall is considered out of bounds and will be removed from play for that frame.
  12. All balls may hit the side walls at any time.
  13. A bocce ball that hits another bocce ball or pallino and then hits the back wall will remain in play.
  14. Only one team can score in each frame.
  15. One point is awarded for each bocce ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest bocce ball of the opposing team. (Example-the first team has two of its bocce balls closer to the pallino then the second team. The first team is awarded two points for that frame, and the second team gets zero points for that frame)
  16. A winning score is 12 points.

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