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Incorporating engaging outdoor activities at your brewery, apartment complex or workplace helps create community. And a thriving community can translate to higher beer sales, more long-term rentals, happier employees, or whatever your end-goal for your facility is. It makes sense. But it’s tricky to choose just the right game. How do you find a lawn game that’s just the right blend of intriguing and easy to play for a range of ages and abilities? And importantly for you as the facility owner or manager, how do you find an outdoor game that doesn’t require much upkeep? In our experience, bocce ball hits all the marks: simple to learn, accessible surface for all levels, and easy on your maintenance team.
Even though it has ancient roots, bocce isn’t old news. In fact, the leisure sport is only growing in popularity, with 25 million Americans playing today. Which is why you can easily see that installing a bocce court or a bocce ball alternative might be a great idea for your business or venue.
Whether you’re looking to install a new court for your brewery, resort, apartment complex, living facility, or other venue, a bocce ball court is easy to design. We’ll walk you through the steps about how to create the best bocce ball court based on surface, infill, maintenance and more.
Bocce ball is a fun, business-boosting game: installing a court can help, for example, keep patrons around, encourage new visits to your brewery, or inspire employee bonding.
Like cornhole and other lawn games, bocce doesn’t require an athletic mindset — which means this sport is ideal for a mix of ages and physical abilities.
For a casual backyard bocce court — or if you think your players or guests will be more interested in having fun than following regulation rules — you can feel free to create any size court you’d like that fits your space.
Planning to host some competitive games and want to stick to regulation size? Officially, bocce ball courts are 13 feet wide by 91 feet long.
Choosing the best materials for your bocce court surface is important, so understanding the pros and cons of various options is a great way to begin your research.
Ideally, look for materials that are high-quality, durable, and low-maintenance. The surface of the court should help facilitate fast play and minimal bounce. It’s also important the court has good drainage year-round.
Let’s look at the different types of surfaces available.
The following two options are “loose-fill” surfaces. This means they’re composed of tiny, individual components like sand or pebbles that are raked into place.
Pros: This light-weight loose-fill surface is optimized for drainage as well as movement.
Cons: The lightweight nature of oyster shells makes this surface less than ideal for rooftop courts or bocce ball courts in areas with a high volume of rain and wind. In addition, it means the bocce ball court will be high-maintenance because of the need for raking or grooming to keep the shells in place and level. Oyster shells can also be expensive, due to the need to import the material.
Pros: Inexpensive and widely available, sand and pea gravel are also environmentally friendly. These two options are easy to acquire and install, so they’re less costly than other options. Sand and pea gravel also help reduce bounce in game play.
Cons: Sand can harbor bacteria and, like pea gravel, must be raked after use. If you’re installing a bocce ball court at your brewery, hotel, country club, or even at home, you’ll need to rake the court after each use which slows down play. Sand and pea gravel move easily so they require more maintenance than other surfaces.
Pros: It’s cost-efficient to use space that already has natural grass growing in it. All you would need to do is create the frame for gameplay.
Cons: Natural grass can be worn down quickly. It’s also difficult to keep natural grass draining well, especially if there isn’t some kind of method to help with drainage. As a bocce ball court surface, natural grass needs regular mowing, but it still isn’t as high maintenance as some of the loose infill options.
Pros: Clay courts have a firm surface that allows for minimal bounce.
Cons: Clay is expensive to install, even if the price tag on the surface material isn’t. In addition, clay courts aren’t weather resistant — making them unsuitable for play after even a quick summer rain, for example.
Pros: Although artificial grass often means a higher up front investment than some other options, it saves in the long run by being one of the lowest maintenance surface options for bocce ball courts. Artificial grass with Envirofill infill makes an ideal, consistent surface for fast-paced gameplay with true ball roll. Envirofill, paired with artificial turf, is one of the lowest maintenance but highest quality surfaces for your bocce ball court — with the added bonus of Microban antimicrobial technology.
Artificial turf also has the longest lifespan of any surface options, with a one-time install versus the consistent maintenance and refill of loose fill options. The color and consistency of artificial turf also helps maintain a lush and inviting look and feel for outdoor recreation spaces.
Cons: Artificial turf is often a bigger investment than loose-fill options, comparable in price with a clay surface.
Realistically, the best bocce ball surface for you will be particular to your climate, customer base, and maintenance needs.
As you’re considering your options, we recommend considering the following questions:
Now that you’ve seen the various options available, you may be curious to learn more about artificial turf with Envirofill for your bocce court project.
Artificial grass with Envirofill make an ideal surface for a lush-looking bocce court that facilitates great gameplay. Envirofill’s Microban technology means your court’s surface will fight the growth of bacteria that causes mold, mildew, and odor — without you having to spray or scrub with any harmful chemicals. So when things get rowdy with adult beverages on the bocce court, you can rest easy knowing that Microban is on the job before spills — which can cause bacteria and odors — even happen.
With Envirofill 30/50, your artificial turf bocce ball court will be naturally low maintenance and ready for fun.
On our “where to buy infill” map, we have a filter where you can select “installer” to find a turf installer in your area.