How Do Bocce Balls Get Made?

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What Is a Bocce Ball?

Bocce balls are the key component of the sport known as bocce. From the Italian word "boccia," which means "to bowl," bocce is played all over the world. The game of bocce consists of teams assembling on a long outdoor court and attempting to toss colored bocce balls as close as they can to the "jack," a smaller bocce ball. The game is played with one small ball and eight larger balls. The large balls are two different colors--four for each team. The teams with the closest bocce balls get points. There are two kinds of balls used in bocce: the jack (the scoring ball) and the bocce (the points balls).

What Is a Bocce Ball Made Of?

Bocce balls come in many materials, some more expensive than others. While cheap bocce balls can be made out of wood, stone or metal, the most popular (and tournament approved) are made of hard plastic, similar to bowling balls or billiard balls. Bocce balls can be painted solid or given unique finishes such as pearlescent, marbelized, opaque or even glow-in-the-dark.

How Is a Bocce Ball Made?

Mass-produced tournament-approved bocce balls are made of a durable resin compound. While you will find inexpensive wooden or light plastic bocce balls for sale, the resin compound bocce balls are what serious players use. The two parts of a bocce ball are made in separate ways. The balls have a foam core, often constructed of molded pieces. The core gives the ball its weight. During manufacturing, the core is suspended inside a mold, then liquid resin is poured into the mold. The resin creates the shell, the outside surface of the bocce ball. After cooling, the bocce ball is sanded, painted and polished.

Who Makes Bocce Balls?

There are many companies that make bocce balls, generally along with bowling balls, billiard balls and other bowling game gear. EPCO, in Medway, Massachusetts, has been making yard games and bocce balls for 48 years (see Resources). An Italian company, Super Martel, is another major producer of bocce balls in Europe.

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