Building a Bocce Ball Court in Your Backyard

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Sod cutter
2 by 6 Pressure-treated lumber
Wood screws
Wood Glue
Metal Fasteners
Fine stone dust
Oyster shell flour

Building a bocce ball court in your backyard is a great idea if you are looking for a skillful yet non-strenuous retreat. This ancient game closely resembles pool or bowling and is popular in France and Italy. Apart from an appropriate bocce ball court, you will only require bocce balls to begin the game. You can however accessorize the area with additional lighting, score towers or even drink holders!


Step 1:  Deciding the Court Size

The size of your court will depend on the dimensions of your lawn. Ideally the length varies from 76 to 100 feet and width from 10 to 13 feet however backyard courts are usually 60 feet by 12 feet. Remember that the Spocking/Hitting Foul Line will be 10 feet from one end and the Pointing Foul Line is 6 feet from the other end. There will also be a marking at the center of the court.

Step 2:  Clean and Level the Soil

Remove any rocks, plants or obstructions within the court area. Now use a sod cutter to remove at least 3 to 5 inches of the soil. If a sod cutter is unavailable, use a shovel. Rake the entire area after removing the soil. Level the ground well such that it is perfectly flat since even the slightest angle can cause the ball direction to alter. Mark the court’s perimeter with a chalk.

Step 3:  Prepare the Wood

Cut the 2 by 6 wooden planks according to the size of the perimeter. If you are not comfortable with cutting wood, take the specifications to the hardware store. Paint the wood white or to any desired color that might compliment the exterior of your house.

Step 4:  Construct the Perimeter

Now attach the lumber using wood screws and construct the frame. Use wood glue for constructing a sturdier frame and L-shaped metal fasteners for the corners.

Step 5:  Laying the Foundations

This is an important step since this will determine the foundation of your court. From your hardware store obtain fine aggregate stone dust. Spread out the stone dust onto the court and using a compactor level this surface out. Let this surface be 5 inches thick. Some people prefer to use 2-3 inches of crushed rock topped with 2-3 further inches of granite. The advantage of using fine dust is that it will not settle after some time and therefore you can avoid cracks within your bocce court. In any case compact the area well.

Step 6:  Putting it All Together

The final coating will be done using Oyster shell flour. Let this coat be 1-2 inches thick and flatten it out using a rake. You can use clay as a coat however clay tends to crack without proper maintenance. Now place the wood frame onto the court firmly. The wood should be above the foundation layers. Eventually mark the spock, the center and the pointing lines as mentioned earlier using chalk, white paint or spray paint.