Skills of Bocce: Training Tips

Training Tips From Lugano, Switzerland

On Lagging:

  • Think of the target ball as a speed limit. If the target ball is close, the speed limit is slow. The further away, the faster the speed limit.
  • Relax. Concentrate. Set yourself up. Line up. DON’T RELEASE. Relax again. Then release.
  • Concentrate on the lay of the court. Watch others balls. Plan where you are going to roll.
  • Follow through. Take 1 or 2 steps forward after you release to assure your follow through. Never turn away after you release – eventually you will turn your hand/arm.
  • Watch your ball as it rolls. Follow through up to the next line (C line). It gives your opponent the sense that you are very much into the game and have the concentration and power to win.
  • Think about the shot and relax.
  • ALWAYS lag directly on your target, spot or ball. If your court slopes slightly, mentally adjust your target or spot, but only aim for your target or spot. Concentrate on your distance.

On Shooting:

  • Start your movement slowly – with a walk – building your momentum naturally.
  • Never go too fast on the take off.
  • Reach out when releasing your shot. It will help keep your arm straight and in the direction you are aiming.
  • Keep your ARM in line with your target. Your body should not be in front of your target.
  • Align your position so as to give yourself the best view or opening at the target.
  • In attempting to shoot a ball to a particular side to maximize points, do not aim to the side of the ball. Move your body a step to the side you want the struck ball to travel, but always aim for the center of the ball. (Because of the centrifugal force of the ball there is a natural tendency for the ball to turn “in” –i.e. left if you are right handed.) Take a slight step to the right if you want to maximize your chance to hit the ball on the right. This technique is accentuated the longer the shot is. This enhances your possibility for the struck ball to go in the direction you want.

Playing Techniques:

  • Discuss pallino placement. It may end up affecting the result of the round.
  • Sometimes it may appear that a lag is the appropriate tactic. However, if you have potentially good point ball(s) at the back of the court, give consideration to shooting the pallino.
  • Conversely, if your opponent has the point and you have one ball left and no balls at the back of the court and the pallino is exposed, consider rolling a ball close to the back for defensive reasons and to deter your opponent from shooting the pallino as mentioned above.


  • Practice everything 1000 times! Don’t get discouraged. Relax and concentrate on every ball as if it meant the game.

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