Bocce is a game steeped in tradition, with roots that stretch back millennia. If you’ve ever played bocce or seen it played, you may have wondered what the balls are made of. This article provides an answer to the question: “What are bocce balls made of?”
You can make bocce balls out of a wide range of materials, depending on your preference and the availability of the materials. The most important thing is for the material to be durable and capable of withstanding the rigors of gameplay without losing shape. In this article, we’ll look at the various materials used to make bocce balls and how they affect gameplay.
Bocce balls are made from a variety of materials, the most common of which are plastic and resin. These materials are molded together to form a spherical shape and are designed to withstand wear and tear during gameplay. Bocce balls can also be made from other materials, such as metal, double polymer or wood.
Let’s go over these materials and their suitability for bocce ball manufacturing:
Wood is one of the most common materials used to make bocce balls. The wooden balls are created out of layered wood, which is smoothed until it becomes spherical. The balls can also be coated with a protective varnish to make them more durable and resistant to the elements as well as normal wear and tear. However, wooden bocce balls are less tough than metal and resin balls. Due to this, they are more suitable for kids and friendly games.
For games with kids and the elderly, consider selecting a bocce ball set with smaller balls.
More recently, manufacturers have begun to make bocce balls out of plastic because it is cheap. Plastic bocce balls are lightweight and easy for players to handle. However, they tend to have less balance than balls made from other materials. Like wood, balls made out of plastic are not very durable. You may also find that the paint chips after playing with these balls over time.
Overall, plastic bocce balls are great for children learning the game, as their lightweight design makes them easier to control. However, they are not suitable for experienced players or for use in competitions.
Learn how to play bocce ball.
If you’re particular about the durability of your bocce ball, you should get a metal ball. When the original bocce players found that wooden balls were quick to wear out, they began integrating metal into the manufacturing process to create longer-lasting balls. With the advancement of technology, bocce ball sets have been made out of various kinds of metals.
Bronze and stainless steel are the most popular metals for bocce balls. Metal bocce balls can be hollowed out or filled with non-liquid substances to reduce bouncing and increase longevity. Metal balls also tend to offer better handling and balance.
When playing with metal bocce balls, avoid tossing them far up in the air to prevent them from straying out of the court and causing damage.
Double polymer feels like hard plastic, but this material is much more durable. Double polymer balls are less common than resin or metal bocce balls and their scarcity makes them more expensive. The toughness of these bocce ball sets makes them great for play in outdoor areas such as the beach, backyard and even your gravel driveway. If you play on regular grass or turf, however, you don’t necessarily have to pay more to get a double polymer bocce ball.
Although manufacturers only recently began producing bocce balls out of resin, it has quickly become the bocce ball material of choice for professional players and competitive games. Resin bocce balls are heavy, which is one feature that serious players look out for when selecting a quality bocce ball. Resin balls also tend to be more balanced when you handle them. They’re available in different colors, which gives a sense of uniqueness.
For more serious players, you can see the appropriate bocce ball court size here.
Other Things To Consider When Buying A Bocce Ball Set
The material of the ball isn’t all you have to look out for when buying a bocce ball set. You also have to consider various other factors, which we’ll discuss below:
Level Of Play
If you’re a beginner or casual player, any kind of bocce set will suffice. However, if you’re an advanced player, you must aim to get the best bocce ball set. To ensure quality, look for sets that have been certified by a reputable bocce ball organization, such as the United States Bocce Federation.
Click here to learn how to throw a bocce ball.
The time you spend playing is another important consideration when selecting a bocce ball set. If you play bocce ball for long hours, it is important to get a game set that is capable of withstanding the rigors of frequent use. You’ll ideally also want balls that are lightweight because holding heavier sets can tire you out.
Type Of Court
You can play your game of bocce on a range of surfaces, including grass, sand or even indoors on a hardwood or tile floor. The type of court you will be playing on will determine the type of ball you need, as some sets are designed for use on specific surfaces. For example, bocce ball sets designed for grass courts are typically larger and heavier, whereas sets designed for indoor use have a softer outer layer to prevent damage to the flooring.
Bocce ball set cost is another important criteria to take into account. Bocce ball sets range in price from $40 to over $100. To choose the best bocce ball set for you, you must first determine your budget.
- $40 and below: These bocce sets are great for anyone looking for a cheap option. However, they aren’t very durable. Although these aren’t the best bocce ball sets, they are great for quick games.
- $40 to $100: This is a common price range for bocce ball sets. However, you’ll find the biggest variation in quality. Most bocce ball sets in this price range are suitable for casual play.
- $100 and above: Every bocce set above $100 is aimed at serious play. These sets are usually made from sturdy materials and contain regulation bocce balls.
You may also want to consider a durable carrying bag to transport, especially if you have paid a lot for your set.
Homemade Bocce Balls
If you are willing to put your creativity skills to the test, consider making your own bocce balls. To make bocce balls, you will need the following materials:
- Eight balls made of wood
- Paint in two colors (one for each team)
- Clear sealer
- Measuring tape
Once you have gathered the materials, follow these steps:
- Sand the balls until they are smooth. Use a tape measure to get the appropriate circumference for the balls.
- Paint four of the wooden balls with one color and the other four with a different color.
- Allow the paint to dry completely and then apply a clear sealer to protect the paint and make the balls more durable.
- Make an extra ball following these steps but paint it white. This will serve as the pallino ball.
- Your homemade bocce balls will be ready to use once the sealer has dried.
Check out our bocce ball reviews.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Bocce Balls Filled With?
Bocce balls are filled with sand and other non-liquid substances. The purpose of filling them is to provide better grip and keep them from bouncing too much when you throw them. Most of these bocce balls also have an outer vinyl layer, which allows them to move smoothly on various surfaces when playing.
How Heavy Is A Bocce Ball?
How heavy a bocce ball is depends on its size and the material used in creating it. Most bocce balls range from 1.5 lbs (0.68 kg) to 2.2 lbs (1 kg). Each international standard size 107mm ball weighs 2 lbs (0.9 kg). However, if you’re buying a bocce ball set for children, it’s best to get one with lighter balls.
Are Bocce Balls Hard Or Soft?
Bocce balls are typically hard and solid, as they are made of materials such as hard plastic, wood, metal or stone. The hardness helps the ball withstand the impact and friction when playing. However, some variations of bocce balls can be made of softer materials, such as rubber or foam, for recreational or indoor play.
What Kind Of Wood Are Bocce Balls Made Of?
Bocce balls are made of various types of wood, including hardwoods such as oak, beech, maple and mahogany. These woods are chosen for their durability and ability to withstand the friction that occurs when the balls roll against various surfaces. Bocce balls may also be made of other materials such as metal, resin or double polymer.
What Metal Are Bocce Balls Made Of?
Bocce balls are made of different types of metals, but the most popular options are stainless steel and bronze. Stainless steel is durable and it doesn’t rust, making steel balls suitable for use in all kinds of weather. Bronze balls are also durable and they provide better balance than wooden and plastic bocce balls.
If you’ve read this article to this point, you’ll have an answer to your question, “What are bocce balls made of?” Bocce balls are typically made of a variety of materials, including plastic, metal and resin. Each material has its own unique properties and advantages, so it’s important to choose the right type of ball based on your preferences and playing style.