Lawn Bowling vs Bocce

lawn bowling vs bocce

Lawn bowling is one of the most overlooked sports in the United States, at least compared to its Italian cousin, bocce. Many people have never even heard of lawn bowling before. However, lawn bowling has many benefits over bocce that make it a great game for families and friends of all ages. To see how lawn bowling compares to bocce, read our article on Lawn Bowling vs Bocce here!

Lawn Bowling (Bowls)

Lawn bowling – commonly called Bowls – is a sport for people of all ages and abilities. It is played by two teams of usually four players. The lawn bowling balls are smaller and lighter than those used in indoor bowling. The game is played on a large, flat, rectangular grass area known as a bowling green which has been cropped to the correct height. In a traditional bowling game, one player begins by setting up a bowling lane. Depending on the skill level of the players, they may use an old-fashioned rack with pins, portable bowling gear, or even artificial turf. At the beginning of the game, each player takes a turn driving the bowling ball and pitching it over the lane into a small pocket of territory. The player who starts the bowling ends the game, as they have started the movement of the ball.

Lawn bowling has many elements that make it different than regular bowling. One noticeable difference is the foul lines. These lines are typically yellow or white lines shaped like the American flag. Even though they may seem minor, doing so can help players avoid collisions with each other and to prevent players from blocking the lanes. No players are allowed to bowl over the foul lines. A typical game of lawn bowling usually has a 30–45 minute time limit — although many smaller tournaments have just a 15-minute time limit — and the games are short and to the point.


Bocce is a lawn game that’s played on a court, with players trying to throw balls closest to a smaller target ball called a pallino. Bocce is the Italian word for ball, and the origins of the game originated in Italy. Bocce is a fun game for all ages, and it’s especially great for kids. Even though most of the attention has been on bowling, there are many other fun aspects of the game. When bocce started to take shape in North America several hundred years ago, it wasn’t a very competitive game.

There weren’t many tournaments and the games which weren’t very well organized until the 1970s. As bowling grew more popular, organizers started to try creating they same fun atmosphere with a more competitive aspect. One of the biggest differences between bocce and bowling is the bowling pins. For bocce, the main target is the center of the lane marked by the pin. Each ball is governed by its own target ball, which is a hotly debated topic among bowling experts

Differences between Lawn Bowling and Bocce:

Irrespective of similarities there are numerous distinction among these two bowling sports that are elucidated below

Different Pitch, Different Balls

The biggest difference between them is the physical formation of the balls. When it comes to the Bocce balls, it’s completely circular and moves straight on the bowling surface. In short, the ball travels around the jack. As the shape of the ball is different so is the technique. For bocce balls, the ball throwing has no fixed method and completely depends on how it travels. The players can apply some spinning and curving techniques on their throws to create maximum accuracy.

The Lawn bowl, on the other hand has a curvature side, opposite to bocce ball. The biggest reason for such difference is that it is played on a surface that is a bit bended.  During its production inception, the ball manufacurers made one side heavier. Having an asymmetric weight allowed it to roll perfectly on the curved surface.

Different Throwing Methods

You need to look at a real match to observe the obvious difference of ball throwing between a lawn bowling and a bocce ball. Bocce Ball is similar to softball in a manner that in both sports you ball an underarm, While there are diverse throwing methods in this sport, you generally toss it in the air so that it reaches the closet to the pallino.

On the other hand in lawn bowling, you need to ensure the balls rolls closest to the floor. This isn’t different from traditional bowling sports. Due to the structure of the ball it’s impossible for it to roll on a surface that hinders smooth rolling movement. You will be wasting your time if you play it on sand or broken surfaces. Only similarity in this aspect is both have similar throwing techniques.

Different Playing Surfaces and Width

The third point of difference between these two bowling sport is the structure of the pitch that is played at. As the structures of the balls are distinctive, both of them will create different physics to ball travelling.

When it comes to lawn bowling the ideal surface would be grassy that’s a bit bended. This is because the ball needs to roll evenly on the jack. 19 feet wide and 120 feet long: this is typical length of lawn bowling rinks. For bocce ball, the court size is tiny in comparison to lawn bowling.


Bocce ball is a fun game that can be played in your backyard or on a country green, but it’s not the best outdoor game for recreation. Lawn bowling is a game that is similar to bocce ball, but it’s been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries.“Lawn bowling is a slam dunk,” “It’s a game all families should play,” and “Going bowling will be like having a free party with your friends” are all things we hear repeated quite often when people want to convince people to try playing lawn bowling.


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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