How to buy the best bocce ball set
A bocce set buying guide
Whether on the beach, in the backyard or at a city park, you'll find plenty of places to play bocce. While professional bocce is played on a long and narrow court reinforced by small, wooden walls, you can play in a number of places with a bocce ball set. The best bocce ball set will provide the right tools for both amateurs and professionals. Consider the following factors when determining how to buy a bocce ball set.
>> Consider your court and playing level
As you prepare your bocce ball set checklist, remember that bocce balls are made from several different materials. To choose exactly what kind of bocce ball you want, consider where you usually play your outdoor sports and games. If you like to play just about anywhere, buy bocce ball sets made from wood or reinforced, soft plastic. More durable and chip-resistant, these materials will endure even the harshest of playing surfaces. Soft plastic is the most indestructible. Even if it scuffs, the integrity of the ball won't be compromised. Bocce balls made from wood offer a more classical look, and more importantly, they're also dog-proof. Both materials are strong enough to withstand the elements and allow for very casual maintenance.
Additionally, you won't find a standard-sized pallina in these amateur bocce sets. A pallina, also called a jack, is the small white ball included in these sets. Choose the size carefully. If you'll play in high grass or softer sand, choose a larger pallina that ensures visibility. If you want a challenge, a smaller pallina will encourage more skillful and riskier throws. Some bocce ball sets will include balls of both types.
Just the same, if you anticipate frequent games, consider a tournament style bocce set. Its balls are made of a polyresin composite (basically, a very hard plastic) and will be official size (100-115 mm) and weight. Tournament-style bocce balls will be heavier and will roll smoothly across more manicured surfaces. If you plan on playing exclusively on bocce courts, veer towards polyresin composites. They are designed specifically for legitimate courts where roll, spin and bounce all factor significantly. While you can use these quality bocce ball sets on informal terrain, it might be prudent to preserve your quality bocce ball set, so the balls can still move effectively on the court. If you're interested in the intricacies of the sport or you want to play competitively, buy bocce ball sets that feature polyresin composite bocce balls, since they're the professional standard.
>> Consider the number of players
Bocce sets, both amateur and professional, vary regarding their contents. Minimally, all quality bocce ball sets should include one pallina and four bocce balls. A set with four balls will allow two people to play at the same time. Just the same, many sets come with eight balls that you'll find divided into two or four primary colors. Eight-ball sets that feature four colors allow you to easily differentiate between players. You can also pool two colors together if you're interested in playing teams. Even the eight-ball bocce sets with only two colors accommodate multiple players.
Look for designs on the bocce balls themselves. Usually, two balls of the same color will share distinct markings so that four people can play. Convenience is a major factor in choosing the best bocce ball set. These sets will allow you to locate and identify your balls with ease.
>> Think outside the set
Like most lawn games, bocce ball can be enhanced with a few extra items. The best bocce ball sets will include carriers. Bocce carriers range from nylon and plastic to steel and wood. If you're looking for a touch of elegance, buy bocce ball sets that include a vintage wooden case. If practicality is most important, consider a case of reinforced plastic that can weather the elements. If you travel primarily on your bike, consider a bocce tote bag. With a nylon bag, you can strap your new bocce ball set to your back and carry it just about anywhere.
Aside from the carrying case, consider the newer, glow-in-the-dark bocce balls. This cool bocce ball set innovation extends game play into the evening. You'll never have to reschedule a rubber match or call a game early. Furthermore, these glow-in-the-dark balls also blink. If you're not quite sure where your bocce ball went, the blinking function should help you locate it. These balls feature a convenient on and off switch, and they can be used effectively in the daytime as well. If you want to play bocce at evening get-togethers, this is the best bocce ball set for you.
For the more dedicated bocce player, there are plenty of add-ons that will help legitimize your game. The best bocce set will seem even better with some non-essential extras. Portable courts are affordable and easy to set up. A portable court will provide you with the dimensions of an actual court, so you can ensure your balls stay in bounds. Often coupled with the court are scoring stands, ball shelves and bocce polish. Rather than purchasing such sports and outdoor supplies separately, look for a bocce ball set that includes them all. While these aren't essential to basic gameplay, they help more serious players simulate professional conditions without having to build or rent an actual court.
Finally, if you want to separate yourself from the rest of the bocce world, consider personalizing your bocce set. New bocce ball sets feature balls with swirling marble designs along with coupons that offer custom engraving. If this option seems intriguing, be sure to buy bocce ball sets that feature balls made from polyresin composites.
>> Look for bocce bundles
If you plan to accessorize your new bocce ball set, consider bundling. Even the best bocce sets are often bundled with all the aforementioned extras as well as supplies for other backyard leisure activities. If your family and friends are especially active and competitive, look for bocce ball sets that include badminton sets, croquet sets or ladder ball sets. The scoring stand alone will be compatible with several backyard activities, including cornhole games.
Now that you have a good idea of what should be on your bocce ball set checklist, start checking off the things you want. Empowered with this information, you should be able to purchase your own personal version of the best bocce ball set.