American Bocce Strategy: Tricks Tips & Nips vol. 3 — What’s Your Order

Now that I have you thinking more critically about the way you throw a bocce ball, it is time to address when you throw the ball. To be clear, I mean the order in which you and your teammate throw the ball, not that it’s your team’s turn to throw if the other team is “in.” It’s another tiny, fundamental detail of the game for me to pull apart and examine. I can’t wait.


If you’re going to throw the pallino, throw the first bocce ball.

As a reference, here are the order of throw options ranked from best to worst:

  • Sandwich: A B B A
  • Doubles: A A B B
  • Alternate: A B A B

Hot take #1: Alternating is the easiest and most diplomatic order, so if you have a bunch of sensitivos on your team, I guess just do that. If you believe ADD is going to be an issue, alternating should keep everyone engaged. That’s about the end of the positives for alternating shots, though.

Hot take #2: It’s generally a good idea to let someone throw back-to-back balls. Sure, it means that you’re letting someone throw again after their first attempt didn’t beat the other teams “in” ball, but the idea here is that their short-term muscle memory (that’s a thing!) will make for a better ball than a ball thrown after waiting.

Hot take #3: If A throws in with her first roll and then the other team beats it and B throws in with her first attempt, then the difference between Sandwich and Alternate is basically gone. So, have a presumed order in mind (“We on that Sandwich diet”), but allow for adjustments based on the strength of each player. If the scenario calls for a hammer, let the player that throws the best hammer throw next even if it means you break your Sandwich diet on this frame.


Red better be looking to bocce that green out. Bring in the sharp shooter.

Hot take #4: All balls are important, but the first and last are critical. Put your best foot forward. Leave an ace up your sleeve. All the cliches. It’s not a knock to your teammate. In fact, they’ll often be the ones that get you multiple points in a frame.

Hot take #5: If it ain’t working, fix it. Stick to the Sandwich diet but change up who gets the first and last throw. Maybe the extended breaks in the Sandwich or Doubles set up is making it hard for you to focus and you need to Alternate to stay engaged. Sometimes it’s best to stay the course and sometimes it’s best to break a routine. That comes down to the players, so I won’t pretend to have general advice on that.



Ladies first.

Hot take #6: It’s a lot easier to be confident when you’re comfortable. When you find your groove, stay in it. A few bad frames may have you shake things up, but remember the glory of the good groove. 

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