Bocci: the traditional maltese sport


The popular game of Bocci is played all over the Maltese islands, and the pastime is closely related to the French game of Petanque, English Bowls and the Italian Bocce.

There is a Bocci club in almost every village in Malta and Gozo. As well as watching or playing Bocci, these clubs are a hive of activity in the bar area, and some Bocci clubs serve snacks and even full meals.

The Maltese version is one of the island’s most popular sports with more than 30 teams from taking part in a national league.

Rules and objective of bocci game

The Maltese game is played on a very smooth surface that is covered with coarse-grained sand. Each team has 3 players. The jack has the size of a marble.  The boules are of composition and they look like billiard-balls. One team plays with red boules, the other one with blue. Each team has three balls and eight cylinders. They aim at a jack which is rolled between 5 and 12 meters away.

The objective of the game is to get your team’s balls as close to the jack as possible. Rules do change and vary from club to club, so it’s worth watching a few games before trying your luck.

A particularly popular club – especially in summer – is Bugibba Bocci Club. Located right on the seafront, this popular venue attracts locals, summer residents and tourists alike.

Finally, this sport remains an important part of the culture of this Mediterranean island.

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