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What’s the Best Surface Material For Installing a Bocce Ball Court?

Building community is core to your business goals, whether you own a brewery, an apartment complex, or a coworking space. What bonds people together better than a good old-fashioned yard game?

Why Adding a Bocce Ball Court is Good For Your Business

Despite its old school roots—bocce ball dates back to 5200 B.C. according to ancient Egyptian art that shows children playing the game—bocce isn’t old news. The leisure game is the 3rd most played sport in the world after soccer and golf, and it’s only growing in popularity with 25 million Americans playing today! 

But the real beauty of bocce is that you don’t have to be a star athlete to play: Bocce ball is simple to learn and easy to play, making it an inclusive game for all ages and fitness levels

Plus, offering engaging outdoor activities at your facility benefits your business objectives:

  • At a brewery, guests will stay longer which means beer sales increase.
  • At an apartment complex, tenants are more likely to renew their leases for long-term rentals.
  • At a coworking space, games inspire community-building and incentivize frequent visits.

Why Surface Material Matters for Your Bocce Ball Court

Choosing the best material for your bocce court is incredibly important. After all, you want a long-lasting court that doesn’t add work to your employees’ plates.

What is the best bocce court surface? Here are the top 3 things to look for:

  • High-quality
  • Durable
  • Low-maintenance

If you’re interested in artificial turf options for your bocce ball turf court, infills are a key component of the highest-performing synthetic turf systems.

See Local Turf Infill Options

Keep reading to learn how to build a bocce ball court for the long term based on surface type, infill, maintenance, and more.

Where To Start On Installing a Natural or Synthetic Turf Bocce Ball Court

First, you must decide on the area to dedicate to a bocce court. 

If you think your guests will be more interested in having fun than following regulation rules, the size of your bocce court doesn’t matter. 

If you plan to host more competitive games, the official regulation size of bocce ball courts is 13 feet wide by 91 feet long

Regardless of court size, make sure your guests have enough room to play without disturbing the other folks at your facility.

What is the Official Surface for a Bocce Ball Court: Natural Materials or Synthetic Turf?

Identifying the best materials for your bocce court surface is crucial, so understanding the pros and cons of each option is a great way to begin your research.

Remember, you’re looking for surface 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 that the court has good drainage year-round

Let’s look at the different types of surfaces available.

Loose-Fill Surface Options for Bocce Courts

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.

Oyster Shell

Pros: This lightweight loose-fill surface optimizes drainage and movement.

Cons: The lightweight nature of oyster shells makes this surface less than ideal for rooftop courts or areas with high rain and wind volume. Oyster shell bocce ball courts are 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.

Sand or Pea Gravel

Pros: Sand and pea gravel is inexpensive, widely available, and 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 gameplay.

Cons: Like oyster shell surfaces, sand and pea gravel require more maintenance than other materials because the loose-fill particles move around easily. These bocce court surfaces need to be raked after each use.

Sand can also harbor bacteria and it’s difficult to clean.

Other Natural Material and Synthetic Turf Options for Bocce Courts

Natural Grass

Pros: It’s cost-efficient to use space with natural grass already growing. All you need to do is create the frame for gameplay!

Cons: Though it’s not as high maintenance as loose-fill options, natural grass requires regular mowing and can be worn down quickly by a lot of foot traffic.

It’s also difficult to keep natural grass draining well, and there’s nothing worse than soggy grass on a bocce ball court.


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. 

Clay courts also aren’t weather resistant, making them unsuitable for play after even a quick summer rain.

Artificial Turf

Pros: What is the best turf for a bocce ball court? Artificial or synthetic grass is one of the lowest maintenance surface options for bocce ball courts. It’s durable, easy to clean, and offers drainage.

Artificial turf also has the longest lifespan of all the 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 help maintain a lush and inviting feel for outdoor recreation spaces.

Artificial grass with Envirofill infill makes an ideal, consistent surface for fast-paced gameplay with true ball roll. When paired with artificial turf, Envirofill is one of the lowest maintenance but highest quality surfaces for bocce ball courts — with the bonus of Microban antimicrobial technology.

Cons: Artificial turf is often a bigger up-front investment than loose-fill options, comparable in price with clay surfaces.

Natural Materials vs. Artificial Turf: What is the Best Base for a Bocce Ball Court?

Realistically, the best bocce ball surface for you will depend on your climate, customer base, and maintenance needs.

As you weigh your options, consider the following questions:

  • Which surface will be the lowest maintenance?
  • Which surface offers the most consistent performance with the least upkeep?
  • Depending on the location of the bocce ball court, how much traffic will the court get? Can the surface withstand high wear?
  • How easy is it to clean the court?

Let’s break down the loose-fill, natural, and synthetic turf options for your bocce ball court:

Oyster ShellSand or Pea GravelNatural GrassClayArtificial Turf
High-Quality DrainageXXX
Durable/Mess FreeXXXX

Why Pairing Envirofill With Artificial Turf Makes the Best Synthetic Bocce Court Surface

Now that you’ve determined artificial turf is the best surface material for a bocce ball court, you may be curious about Envirofill. Artificial grass with Envirofill makes 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 cause 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.

Ready to Install Your Artificial Turf Bocce Ball Court?

Make the most of your new bocce court with synthetic turf infill. Find some in your area by using the filters on this map:

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