Section 1.

Court Etiquette

1.1  The bocce courts are for the use of all residents in good standing and their guests.

1.2  Guests must be accompanied at all times by their resident hosts.  Residents are responsible for the behavior of their guests.  League competition takes priority for court time.

1.3  Food, glass containers, alcoholic beverages and pets are NOT allowed in the court area.  Smoking is NOT PERMITTED at courtside (bench areas).  Food is permitted in the pavilion area adjacent to the clubhouse.

1.4  During league play, the benches located at the ends of the courts are reserved for the players. Horseplay or running around is not permitted in the court area.

1.5  Only radios with personal earphones are permitted.

1.6  Shoes with heels or spikes which might damage the playing surface are not permitted.  Only flatsoled footwear is allowed for play.

1.7  Walking on the court surface during play is not allowed.  Walkways should be used.  Leaning or sitting on the ball racks is not allowed.  The ball racks were not designed to support the weight of an individual.

1.8  All playing equipment should be returned to the storage area at the end of play.

Section 2.

General Rules Prior to the Start of Play

2.1 Players should roll (release) the object balls below waist level and as close to the court surface as possible. Elevating the flight of the ball (lofting) or throwing aerial balls only serves to damage the court surface, which affects the direction of subsequent rolls for all players who follow.  Upon the first occurrence of lofting, the referee shall issue a warning.  A second and any subsequent occurrence will result in that object ball being removed from the court and all disturbed balls replaced in their original positions.

2.2  Eligibility for League play:

Eligibility is limited to dues-paying members of the Club.  Non-paying Westlake residents or their guests may not play in league competition.  Residents may establish their own teams.  All teams will be comprised of four players and should have at least one male and one female member.  The Super Saturday Championship team will not be required to break up for the succeeding season.

2.3  Court Markings:

2.3a  The bocce courts are marked as follows:

2.3b  The white markers closest to the backboard at each end of the court serve as both the thrower’s foul line and the pallino foul line.  It is approximately six feet from the backboard.  If the initial roll of the pallino passes this line, a foul shall be declared and the opposing team shall then roll the pallino.  This is a local rule only and does not necessarily apply to Travel Team play.

2.3c  The second (red) marker from each end of the court is approximately ten feet from the backboard.  In the event of a double-foul, the referee shall place the pallino on the court, equidistant  between the red markers.

2.3d  The mid-court marker represents the minimum distance the pallino must be thrown.  A pallino rolled short of this point shall be deemed a foul.  See above.

2.4  Equipment:

Bocce equipment will be provided by the League.  Individuals may not use their own equipment for league matches.  Each team receives a set of four object balls, either red or green.  The pallino, or target ball, is smaller in size, either white or yellow.  It is the basis for all scoring.

2.5  Measuring device:

A measuring device shall be provided to accurately determine the distance between the target ball, and the object balls.

2.6  Positioning, prior to the start of play:

Two players from each team shall be positioned at opposite ends of the court.  Players must remain behind the rolling foul line at their own end of the court.  With the permission of the referee, the team captain may walk the sidelines to observe a measurement.  The captains may not participate in the measurement without the referee’s consent.  The referee will give only one warning for sideline violations.   The referee will have the option of assessing a one-point penalty for subsequent violations.

2.7  Regular season practice:

Practice shall consist of two complete frames, one in each direction.  Each player shall roll two object balls.

Section 3.

The Start of Play

3.1  The only persons allowed to be on the court surface during the frame are the referee and the person rolling the object ball. Team members must stay behind the foul line, and stay off the court once their turn is completed.

3.2  To start a match, a “home team” player (rolling the green balls) will throw the pallino first, as well as the first ball.  A player from the “visiting team” (rolling the red balls) will then throw an object ball.  The referee will then determine the sequence of play by using a two-colored paddle, indicating by color who throws next.  The referee should be as silent as possible, but must immediately intervene if he sees a violation about to take place.  He should not shout out colors as this can be distracting and misleading to players on adjacent courts.  The referee must refrain from providing instruction, advice, or commentary and may only indicate which ball is closest, or how many balls are “in”, if requested.

3.3  For a pallino throw to be valid, it must come to rest between the center marker and the pallino  foul line at the opposite end of the court from the thrower.  It shall not be within one foot of the sideboards.  It may hit either of the sideboards but may not hit the backboard.  Otherwise, a foul shall be declared and the opposing team will get to throw the pallino.  If they also foul, the referee shall place the pallino as described above and the first object ball is then rolled by the player who first threw the pallino.

3.4  Players are required to stay behind the foul line marker when throwing.  If the player steps beyond this marker, a foot foul may be declared.  The first team foot foul will result in a referee warning.  Subsequent foot fouls will result in the thrown ball being removed from the court for that frame, and any disturbed balls shall be restored to their original positions. The referee shall be the sole judge of original positions.

3.5  Banked shots.  The pallino and object balls may be rolled against the side boards.  Only object balls may rebound off the backboard.

3.6  Sequence of throws:  Players of either team may elect to roll their balls in any sequence.  The player who throws the pallino must throw the first ball.  The throwing sequence may vary from frame to frame provided that no player rolls more than two balls per frame.  If a third ball is rolled by a player, the captain of the offended team will have the option of allowing the frame to stand, or replaying the frame in its entirety.  This decision must be made at the point of violation before any additional balls are rolled.  In either case, the offending team will have two (2) points deducted from their team score.

3.7  The frame ends when both teams have rolled all of their balls.  Scoring points are awarded by the referee for all balls of one team (color) which are closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team.  Up to four points may be awarded in a single frame.  A team captain, only, may request a measurement at any point he disagrees with the referee’s decision.  The referee shall honor the request.  Upon measurement, the referee’s decision is final.

3.8  The team that scores a point(s) goes first in the next frame.  If the referee decides two balls of opposite color are equal in distance from the pallino, or are so close that a measurement cannot be reasonably made, a tie shall be declared.  Play will then continue at the opposite end of the court, with the team having the honor, retaining that honor.

3.9  Winning the match.  Eleven points are required to win the match.  Although a team may reach eleven during a frame, the frame must be completed in order to declare a winner.  The score shall be recorded by the Courtmaster.  Both captains must sign the score sheet, attesting to the correctness of what was recorded.  A member of the winning team shall then sweep the court in preparation for the next match.

3.10  Wrong colored ball.  If a player rolls a wrong colored ball, the ball must be allowed to come to rest.  The proper colored ball will be given to the referee who shall replace the wrong ball with the correct one.  If during the frame the referee cannot identify the wrong ball as a result of hitting and scattering other balls, the referee shall declare the frame dead.  Play shall continue from the opposite end of the court with the team having the honor retaining the honor.

3.11  Tie measurement.  If in the referee’s judgement, two balls rolled of opposite color are equi-distant from the pallino, the team which created the tie will maintain its turn and continue to roll.

3.12  Wrong pallino roll.  If a player rolls the pallino and the first ball in error, the referee shall return both, and restart the frame correctly.

3.13  Throwing out of turn.  If a player throws out of turn, either leading off or when his team is “in”, that ball shall be allowed to come to rest and remain in place.  The frame will then continue.

3.14  Excessive heat/heavy rain/lightning.  If, in the Courtmaster’s judgement, the weather or court playing conditions present a health or safety risk to the players, the Courtmaster shall have the right to cancel play, either prior to or during competition.  Exception:  if the final set of matches is taking place, and one team in each match has at least six (6) points, that match shall be considered completed and the leading team will be declared the winner.  The leading team’s score shall be rounded up to eleven points, and the losing team shall have their score adjusted upward by an equal number of points.  For example, if a match is at 7-4 when play is suspended, the final score will be recorded as 11-8.  Unless one match has not reached six points, all matches shall be declared valid.  Otherwise, all matches are voided.  Exception:  In the sectional playoffs and the Championship round, every effort will be made to complete matches.  If impossible, then all COMPLETED matches will count as played.  Any match in progress will be replayed in its entirety, regardless of the score.

3.15  Disputes.  Ordinarily, the referee will resolve on-court issues.  Teams which self-referee their match consent to the decision of the referee(s) in the normal course of play.  A team captain still has the right to ask that a rules dispute be immediately be taken to the Courtmaster, who shall make a final, binding decision.

3.16  Less than four players.  A team must have two regular players present to avoid a forfeit, whether it be regular season or playoffs.  They may elect to play in the regular season with just two players, ONLY ONCE, regardless of who the two individuals are.  This fact shall be recorded by the Courtmaster.  With three players, whether the third player is a regular or a substitute, one of the three shall be required to “walk the court” after each frame, so that no individual person rolls all four balls from one end of the court.  This responsibility shall be rotated equally among the three players.

3.17  Pallino leaves the court.  If the pallino leaves the court, the frame is dead and no points will be awarded.  Play will continue from the opposite end.

3.18  Object ball leaves the court.  If a thrown object ball leaves the court, that ball only is declared dead for that frame.  If it struck other balls, the referee shall replace those balls in their original position(s) to the best of his judgement.  If he is unable to identify the original positions, he shall declare the frame dead and play will continue from the opposite end of the court with the team having the honor retaining the honor.

3.19  Object ball prematurely removed.  If an object ball is inadvertently removed or picked up by either the referee or a player prior to the completion of the frame, that ball shall be replaced in its original position, and the frame continued.  The referee’s decision as to the correct location shall be final.

3.20  Posting of the scores.  It is the responsibility of the players at the end of the court by the scoreboard to be sure the correct score is posted after each frame.

3.21  Schedules.  Evening matches start at 6:00 pm, 6:40 pm, 7:20 pm, and 8:00 pm.  Day matches in sections with small enrollments may vary their start times based on consensus.  Once a match is completed, and the next two teams are present and ready to play on that same court, they may begin and do not have to wait for their scheduled starting time.  If a team does not have the proper number of eligible players ready to play at their scheduled starting time, they are allowed an additional ten (10) minutes, after which their match shall be declared to be forfeit.

3.22  Forfeitures.  Without two permanent players present, a team shall forfeit their match, be charged with a loss, and have 11 points recorded against them.  The opposing team shall be credited with a win and awarded 11 points.  In the event of a double forfeit (neither team shows up with two eligible players), both teams will be charged with a loss and have 11 points recorded against each of them.  If a team elects to discontinue playing in the league, each team scheduled to play against them, from that point forward, shall be awarded a win, but only be given six (6) points credit in the standings.

3.23  Team Standings.  Team standings will be determined by winning percentage.  In the event of ties, position and playoff eligibility will first be determined by total team points scored.  If a tie still remains, it will be decided by points for and against differential.  If a tie still exists, a coin toss will be the final tiebreaker.

Section 4.

The Use of Substitutes (Regular Season)

4.1  The team captains are responsible to ensure they have a full complement of players for each match.  If players are known to be absent, substitutes may be obtained thru the substitute list provided to each captain at the start of the season, or through the Courtmaster once the session begins.  A player may not be a substitute in their own section.  It is preferred, but not mandatory, that all teams be co-ed.

4.2  Up to two substitutes may be added.  It is the Courtmaster’s responsibility to see that there is equity and fair play in the assignment of substitutes so that no one team is perceived to have an advantage.  There shall be no “permanent” substitutes.  A substitute may play on a particular team no more than two consecutive weeks.  If a permanent team member arrives late for a match, they may only join their team provided they are filling a vacancy.  They may NOT displace a substitute already playing unless that person becomes ill or injured.

4.3  A team captain may request a “permanent replacement” for a player who is unable to continue to participate in league play by notifying the Courtmaster.  The Supervisor of Courtmasters and the Bocce Committee will assign a new player to that team.  This request will be void during the last two weeks of the regular season and throughout the playoffs and Championship round.  The person being replaced is only allowed to play in future matches as a substitute.

Section 5.

The Use of Substitutes (Playoffs/Championship Round)

5.1  Team captains who find themselves in need of one or two substitutes will make their needs known to the Courtmaster as quickly as possible.  Only the Courtmaster  will obtain and assign substitutes.   As a courtesy, substitutes should initially be drawn from the “Substitute Only” list.  Substitutes may also come from those teams which were eliminated from contention at the end of the regular season.  They may come from any section.  Captains may not solicit substitutes.  Substitutes will be assigned on a bychance, or lottery, basis.  An assigned substitute will stay with that team for as long as it remains in contention in that particular round.  Once the team is eliminated, the substitute may not re-enter the competition for another team.  He (she) is eliminated as well.

5.2  Playoff teams will not play with only two or three players.  The Courtmaster will assign substitutes.

5.3  Players on teams which make it into the sectional playoffs but are then subsequently eliminated, may not substitute in the Championship round.

5.4  Once a substitute is assigned, the regular team player who was replaced may not return to the competition in that specific round, whether it be the Playoff round or the Championship round.  Should a team advance to the Championship round with a substitute, and the regular player then becomes available, the team may elect to continue play in the Championship round with either player.  Their decision is final.

5.5  Each match may have either one or two referees, depending on availability.  One Courtmaster and one Assistant Courtmaster shall be assigned to the Championship round.

5.6  Any point of contention must be raised at the time of the occurrence, not later in, or at the conclusion of the match.