• Bocce originated in
Italy and is very similar to
horseshoes or lawn bowling.
It is one of the most popular
sports among Special
Olympics North Carolina
athletes. Bocce became
an official sport in North
Carolina in 1991.
• A screening round is held the first day. Preliminary
games are on the second day and final rounds are held
on the third day at the state-level event.
• Based on qualifying information, athletes and teams
are put into divisions, which are competitive groupings.
The divisions are made up of either three or four
How is bocce played?
A small white ball, called a pallina, is thrown
onto the court. Each team’s/player’s goal is
to get as many balls as close to the pallina
as possible. The team/player with the ball
closest to the pallina receives the score on
that turn; the score is determined by how
many balls that team has closer than any of
their competitor’s balls.
Only athletes and
should be in the
area inside the
All awards are given on the last day of
competition. Athletes must wait for everyone
in their division to complete competition
before places can be determined, so there
may be a delay since not all games will finish
at the same time.
Types of Competition:
Singles: 1 athlete
Unified doubles: 1 athlete and 1 Unified Partner
Unified team: 4 or 5-person team with 2-3
athletes and 2 Unified Partners
Traditional doubles: 2 athletes
Traditional team: 4-5 athletes per team
Unified competition brings people with and without
intellectual disabilities together on the same team.
Do You Know Your Bocce…
1. At what score does a player/team win?
2. What are the two colors of the balls used by the
ANSWERS: 1. 12; 2. RED & GREEN