Summer is the season of lawn games. Do as the Italians do and celebrate with a little Bocce ball. We asked Jason Eaton of Conscious Construction to share his method for installing the backyard Bocce court at the Castellanos home.
An official Bocce ball court measures 13 by 91 feet, but a backyard court doesn’t need quite so much space—just enough to accommodate good throwing distances. Eaton estimated the Castellanos’ court is about 13 by 60 feet. Start by cutting away the sod or clearing the dirt in the designated area. Eaton excavated down a few inches to create a level base.
Next, construct a basic frame. Eaton fashioned his with deck screws and pressure-treated 6×6 timbers, which are rot-resistant. Then he drilled holes into the frame every four feet and inserted pieces of rebar. This stabilizes the frame and attaches it to the ground. Last, he attached strips of cedar to overlap the top of the frame, to give it a more finished look and serve as a ledge for drinks to rest.
Inside the frame, cover the ground with a weed barrier to prevent their growth. Next, spread roughly six inches of 3/4 minus gravel and compact it. The gravel provides a hard, flat surface that drains well, as opposed to dirt. Check that the gravel is level, then add crushed oyster shell at a level of one-half inch, and smooth it out. The oyster shell is a Bocce game standard and provides a good surface for the balls to roll. It doesn’t dent when the balls land.
Now, pour some wine and enjoy a game. Saluti!