A regulation bocce court are 13 feet by 91 feet. Click on the links below to learn more on each subject.

Please note:   All documents including drawings and specifications included in this Bocce Court Design Manual are and shall remain the property of Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas and may be utilized only by the party to whom they have been directly supplied by Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas. Any reuse without the written approval of Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas shall constitute a violation of Collegium’s ownership interest and copyright on such documents.

A. Bocce Court Usage

1. Purpose
This manual including all details and diagrams illustrates the approved layout and construction for Collegium approved bocce courts. The text outlines the recommended construction procedure relating directly to the subjects covered by the drawings.

Whilst some points are open to varying interpretations, the data presented in this manual has been adapted from the Official Code of Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas and the published experience of recognised experts.

2. General
The most desirable location of the court is an open, unshaded area with good natural drainage. Orientation should protect players from directly facing the sun.

Minimum dimensions, for the court area, may be as low as 18.29m x 3.05m (60′ x 10′), and the recommended maximun court dimensions are 28.95m x 4.57m (95′ x 15′).


B. Standards

Whilst reference is made throughout this document to International Standards, equivalent National Standards may be used where they exist. Only in exceptional circumstances will any departure from these Standards be allowed, and only then with the prior agreement of the Engineer, which must be sought in writing before ordering materials or carrying out work.

All workmanship shall be to the highest standards and to the approval of the Engineer.

All proprietary materials shall be used in strict accordance with the relevant manufacturers instructions and/or recommendations.


C. Construction Specifications

1. Ground Preparation.
The excavation shall be carried out in two operations. Firstly the court area shall be excavated to formation level, which shall fall 75mm (3″) over the length of the court. The formation shall be rolled to achieve a firm surface. All soft spots shall be removed and backfilled using suitable material, prior to the completion of the rolling.

Subsequently the footings to the court boards shall be carefully excavated. Again all soft spots shall be backfilled using suitable material.

Following the placing of the concrete to the footings, the formation level shall again be rolled to make good any loose areas.

2. Concrete Footings
The concrete footings to the boards shall be carefully placed and compacted to the dimensions shown on the drawings. Grade RC35 concrete shall be used.

Accurately located pockets shall be formed in the upper section of the footings to receive the board fixings. The top surface of the toe of the footing shall be sloped to suit the formation level to the drainage layer.

The top surface of the upper section of the footings shall have a steel float finish and shall be constructed to close tolerances:

Overall length of footing + 6mm (¼”)
Local deviation + 3mm (1/8″) under a 3m (10′) straight edge.

3. Drainage.
00 mm (4″) diameter perforated plastic drainage pipes to BS 4962, shall be laid along the length of the court on the prepared formation level. This should ensure a 75mm (3″) fall in the pipes. Pockets shall be excavated in the formation to accommodate pipe joints so that full bearing support is provided to the whole length of the pipe barrel.

The ends of plastic pipes with spigots and sockets or sleeves shall be dry jointed.

The pipes shall be connected into a surface water drainage system off-court.

Ideally this drainage system shall discharge to suitable ditches or watercourses. If the system discharges to a soakaway, then utmost care shall be taken to ensure that the soakaway is designed to accommodate rainwater discharge from the court during storm conditions.

4. Drainage Layer (Natural Gravel or Crushed Rock – 225mm (9″) Layer).
A 225mm (9”) foundation layer of free draining natural gravel or crushed rock, other than argillaceous rock, shall be provided to the court. It shall be free from earth, clay, organic matter and other impurities, and be hard, dense and non-plastic when tested in accordance with BS 1377, and graded as follows:

100% passing the 63mm (2½”) sieve
85-100% passing the 37.5mm (1½”) sieve
0-25% passing the 20mm (¾”) sieve
0-5% passing the 10mm (3/8″) sieve

The crushed rock shall be compacted using a 225kg (500lb) non-vibratory smooth roller.

5. Gravel Course (Crushed Aggregate – 75mm (3″) Layer)
The existing crushed stone shall be choked with a 75mm (3″) layer of 20mm (¾”) gravel. The 20mm (¾”) gravel shall be natural gravel or crushed rock, other than argillaceous rock, be free from earth, clay, organic matter and other impurities, and be hard, dense and non-plastic when tested in accordance with BS 1377, and graded as follows:-

100% passing the 28mm (1″) sieve
30-55% passing the 5mm (Imperial No. 4) sieve
0-15% (based on the fraction passing the 5mm sieve) passing the 75um (Imperial No. 200) sieve except that the gravel shall be washed.

Water shall be added to the crushed aggregate prior to performing the grading operation. The 20mm (¾”) gravel course shall be maintained in the moist condition until it is covered.

The crushed aggregate shall be rolled with a vibratory compactor to a density as determined by ASSHTO T 99 (Proctor Density).

6. Clay Foundation Course (Place 100mm (4″) to yield 75 mm (3″) Compacted Layer
The clay foundation material shall consist of Stiff Clay with 100% passing a 75m (Imperial No. 200) sieve and with a Plasticity Index of 31 or more. The clay shall be pulverised to pass through a 13mm (½”) sieve. Roller compacting shall be delayed until the surface course is placed.

7. Installing Court Boards
Accuracy in installing the court boards to the correct position and level is vital.

(a) Support Angles
The 76 x 76 x 6mm (3″ x 3″ x ¼”) aluminium support angles must be installed vertically and to an accuracy of + 6mm relative to the board. The Contractor must provide a purpose made jig to effect this operation. Once located the angles shall be grouted in place using an epoxy non-shrink grout.
All metal angles, plates, strips, bolts, screws and washers shall be manufactured from non-ferrous metal.

(b) Court Boards
The court boards forming the perimeter of the court shall be made of glue laminated (glulam) timber beams manufactured in accordance with BS 4169.

Glulam beams are factory made from four or more separate laminations of timber, arranged parallel to the longitudinal axis of the timber, and glued together. The laminations have a maximum thickness of 45mm, and may be either softwood or hardwood from a renewable source.

The manufacturer shall provide beams suitable for exterior use, with the adhesive in accordance with Table 1 of BS 4169 for exposure category Exterior High Hazard. The surface finish shall be fully planed with knot holes, fissures, voids and similar defects filled or made good with glued inserts and finally all sanded. The top corners of the boards shall be rounded off with sandpaper.

The inside face of the boards shall be permanently etched for their full height at the positions of the court markings.

Organic solvent preservative to BS 5268: Part 5 shall be used for treating the beams during manufacture. Bitumastic paint shall be applied to the surfaces of the boards to be in contact with the ground and is to finish 100mm below the top of the board on its rear face.

(c) Fixing Court Boards
The board shall be laid in position, and adjusted for level with shims. When this is acceptable, pilot holes for the fixings shall be drilled using the angles as a template. Final fixing of the boards shall be achieved by screwing 75mm (3”) No. 12 stainless steel roundhead screws through the angles and into the pilot holes, and using appropriate thicknesses of shims to pack to the correct position. Countersunk screws shall not be used.
The unthreaded shank diameter of a No 12 screw is nominally 5.5mm.

The preferred joints to be used for longitudinal connections are hidden mortise and tenon joints, and those for corner connections are hidden finger joints, as shown on drawing No. CCB 008. Alternative joints may be proposed by the Contractor, but full details of the proposal must be agreed by the Engineer prior to the ordering of the material.

The joints shall be glued using an appropriate exterior grade adhesive, and pegged with hardwood dowels.

(d) Finishing Court Boards
To finish the boards and provide a tidy top edge to the bitumastic paint, an aluminium edge strip 50x 6mm (2” x ¼”) shall be screwed to the rear of the boards with 25mm (1”) No. 6 stainless steel roundhead screws at 300mm (12”) centres. Its top edge shall finish 100mm (4″) below the top of the board

The unthreaded shank diameter of a No 6 screw is nominally 3.5mm.

No coats of a good quality timber stain shall be applied to the exposed surfaces of the board prior to laying the court surfacing, with a final coat applied subsequent to the surfacing. Any necessary cleaning of the boards shall occur prior to the application of the final coat.

8. Clay Surface Course (Place 30mm (1¼”) HAR-TRU Surfacing to yield 25mm (1″) Compacted Layer
Har-Tru surfacing material shall wherever possible be obtained from the HAR-TRU Corporation. (See clause 6 for details)

This course shall consist of a clay-sand-salt mixture. The clay shall meet the requirements of the foundation clay (Item 3.2.5 above), except that the surface clay shall be pulverised to pass through a 6.70mm (¼”) sieve. The sand shall be clean sand with 100% passing a 3.35mm (1/8″) screen and no more than 0-5% passing a 1.70mm (Imperial No. 10) sieve. The sand shall be free of organics. The salt shall be common fine grained white salt. The surface course shall consist of the following mix:

Clay 50% by weight

Sand 50% by weight

Salt one part per 50 parts of clay

A 225kg (500 pound) smooth roller (lawn type) compactor shall be used to compact the clay courses. The maximum deviation from level, both transversely and longitudinally, shall be 6mm (¼”) in 3m (10′), which shall be checked using a 3m straight edge. After rolling to a smooth surface, spray with water to obtain standing water film, then roll again until the water disappears.


D. Additional Materials and Workmanship

1. Materials General
All unwanted excavated and other material shall be removed from site and taken to an approved disposal tip. The site shall be maintained, and left in a clean and tidy condition.

2. Excavation
he Contractor shall carry out all excavations required for the works in whatever material may be met. All excavations shall be carried out to the lengths, widths, depths and profiles necessary for the construction of the Court.

The Contractor shall check for the presence of existing services. Where found hand excavation shall be employed.

The excavation shall be carried out by the Contractor in such a manner as to avoid disturbance to the surrounding ground.

The excavated surfaces shall be kept dry and clean by pumping or otherwise, and no concrete or other materials shall be placed until the surfaces are properly drained. The methods employed shall in all cases be to the satisfaction of the Engineer.

3. Insitu Concrete
(a) Cement
Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) to BS 12 shall be used. If cement is to be stored on site it shall be delivered in properly sealed bags, and kept in a well ventilated waterproof shed on pallets at least 150mm (6”) above the ground.

(b) Aggregate
Aggregate to BS 882 shall be used. It shall be free from earth, clay, loam and soft clayey, shaley or decomposed stone, organic matter and other impurities, and shall be dense and hard.

(c) Water
The water to be used shall be clean and uncontaminated.

(d) Mix Designation
The concrete used shall be supplied as a designated mix in accordance with BS 5328 Part 2: Section 5.

(i) Mix designation RC35
(ii) Nominal maximum size of aggregate 20 mm (¾”)
(iii) Workability. Slump to be maximum 75 mm (3”)
(iv) Method of finishing Steel float

(e) Ready-mix Concrete
Ready-mix concrete shall comply with the requirements of BS 5328.

(f) Workmanship
Workmanship shall comply with the requirements of BS 8000 Part 2: Sections 2.1 and 2.2.

The concrete shall be deposited as nearly as possible in its final position without rehandling or segregation.

Concrete shall not be placed in standing or running water.

All concrete and mortar must be placed and compacted within 30 minutes of its being mixed unless otherwise approved. No partially set material shall be used in the works.

Whilst concrete is being placed in position it shall be compacted in such a manner as to produce a dense uniform mass, with special care being exercised to ensure that fresh concrete is properly incorporated with adjacent unset concrete.

No concreting will be allowed to take place during storms or heavy rainfall.

(g) Concreting in Cold Weather

Frozen or frost covered materials shall not be used.

Concrete shall not be placed when the air temperature is below 6° C. The temperature of placed concrete shall be maintained at not less than 7° C. for at least 5 days after placing by covering with mineral wool or glass fibre insulation or any alternative method approved by the Engineer.

(h) Concreting in Hot Weather
The temperature of the concrete at the time of placing shall not exceed 32° C. In hot weather it will be necessary for the Contractor to take precautions, such as shading of materials, cooling of materials and protecting moulds and the mixed concrete from the direct rays of the sun and drying winds. Transportation time shall be kept to a practical minimum.

During placing, a suitable means shall be provided to prevent the premature stiffening of the concrete in contact with hot surfaces.

(j) Curing Period
Concrete shall be cured for not less than 7 days.

4. Drainage and Gravel Layers
Segregation of the stone material shall be avoided during transport and placement, and the material shall be spread evenly.

The Contractor shall take particular care in placing and compacting material in the drainage layer around the drainage pipes, and shall take such steps as may be necessary to prevent damage thereto.

Water, necessary to adjust the moisture content of the gravel course, shall be added during laying by use of plant equipped with a sprinkler bar, giving an even spread of water over the whole width of the pass. Uneven wetting shall be avoided.

The final surfaces of the stone layers shall be shaped and finished true to line and level within a tolerance of ±20mm.

5. Court Boards
The glued laminated timber members to be used to form the Court Boards shall be carefully transported, unloaded and stored to avoid damage, twisting or overstressing the member. Members shall be stored in well ventilated waterproof sheds off the ground on pallets to avoid distortion.

All cuts and joints shall be factory made, and all members to be ordered to the correct length.

All dowels used for jointing shall be made from hardwood from a renewable source.


E. Court Care

1. Miscellaneous
a. Rolling
A newly constructed court should receive one or two consecutive rollings-lengthwise and crosswise-each day for a minimum period of one week. Rolling is best effected when the court surface is in a damp or semi-damp condition. Following this initial maintenance the court should be rolled at least once a month.

b. Water
A water outlet should be provided adjacent to each court. Faucets/taps with hose connection and outlets of (20 mm or 16 mm) (¾ or 5/8 ins) are preferable. Each should be well outside the playing area and ideally placed below grade in a small concrete box with a hinged cover flush with the turf. Each outlet should be supplied with a drain.

c. Marking Lines
All lines should be etched into the court using appropriate marking tools. Lines shall be marked as shown in the Court Marking drawing No. CCB 002.

d. General Maintenance

e. Brushing
The court should always be brushed by pulling the brush, in a lengthways direction, over the entire surface of the court prior to the marking of the court at the beginning of play. In addition, if the court is in continuous use, it is recommended to brush midway during the day’s play. During tournament play brushing is recommended between each game. Brushing keeps the surface level and the surface granules evenly distributed at all times.

f. Watering
The court plays best when very slightly damp. The correct amount of watering will be found by trial and error and individual court experience. The recommended time for watering is in the evening before the day of play and immediately following a day of play.

g. Patching
When depressions appear following a game the area should be patched. Loosen the surface material in the area of the depression and add a small amount of Har-Tru surface material. The repaired area should then be compacted with a light roller.


F. List of Manufacturers and International Standards

1 Manufacturers
The HAR-TRU surfacing is manufactured by the:
HAR-TRU Corporation
P.O.Box 569
Hagerstown MD 21741
Tel: (301) 739-3077

2 International Standards

BS 12:1991 Specification for Portland Cement Requirements for the composition, strength, physical and chemical properties.

BS 882:1992 Specification for Aggregates from Natural Sources for Concrete Specifies quality and grading requirements for aggregates obtained by processing natural materials.

BS 1196:1989 Specification for Clayware Field Drain Pipes and Junctions Dimensions, tolerances and crushing strength of unglazed pipes and junctions, butt joints and circular insertions.

BS 1210:1963 Specification for Wood Screws Materials, dimensions, tolerances, designation criteria for screws of steel, stainless steel, and non-ferrous materials. Preferred and supplementary sizes for countersunk head and round head screws for both slotted and recessed head types.

BS 1377 Pt 2:1990 Classification Tests Methods of tests for classifying soils and for determining their physical properties.

BS 1470:1987 Specification for Wrought Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys for General Engineering Purposes : Plate, Sheet and Strip Chemical composition, mechanical properties and dimensional tolerances.

BS 1474:1987 Specification for Wrought Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys for General Engineering Purposes : Bars, extruded Round Tubes and Sections Chemical composition, mechanical properties and dimensional tolerances.

BS 4169:1988 Specification for the Manufacture of Glued- Laminated Timber Structural Members Requirements for production, control, materials, manufacturing finishes, preservative and flame retardant treatments and storage of members produced in the factory.

BS 4962:1989 Specification for Plastic Pipes and Fittings for use as Subsoil Field Drains Subsoil drains.

BS 5328 Pt 2:1991 Methods for Specifying concrete Mixes Methods for specifying designed, prescribed, standard and designated mixes.

BS 6105:1981 Specification for Corrosion-resistant Stainless Steel Fasteners Specification for bolts, screws, studs and nuts made from austenitic, ferritic and martensitic grades of corrosion- resistant stainless steels.

BS 8000 Pt 2:1990 Code of Practice for Concrete Work Sections 2.1 and 2.2 Workmanship regarding the mixing, transporting, handling, placing and curing of concrete on Building Sites.