(from Italian bocce, balls) Game of Italian origin, similar to bowls. It is played on a long, narrow, packed-clay court enclosed with boarded ends and sides. Each player or team in turn rolls four balls (made of wood, metal, or composition material) toward a smaller target ball. The object is to bring the ball to rest nearest the target ball (for which points are awarded at the end of a round), to protect a well-placed ball, or to knock aside an opponent's ball. The game usually proceeds until one side has 12 points.