Raffa Bowls Fact Sheet

  • Umberto Granaglia (20th May 1931 – 13th December 2008) is considered as the best bocce player ever named and was given the title as the “Player of the 20th Century” by the Confederation Mondiale des Sport de Boules in 2005.
  • Raffa Bowls is played around Europe and in those countries that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America, and South America. Raffa Bowls was initially only played by the migrants themselves, which slowly became more popular by their descendants and the wider community.
  • The first Raffa Bowls world championship was in 1983.
  • Raffa Bowls balls are made from a  mixture of materials together mainly resin and are all the same diameter 107mm and weight 920gr.
  • In Raffa Bowls, the minimum distance to throw the pallino is 9.25 meters while the maximum distance to throw the pallino is 18.5 meters.
  • All other players must stand in the rear of the playing area while someone is playing a ball, and are forbidden to be at the opposite end of the court until they have played their last ball then they must walk past the centre line to the opposite end of the court.
  • In 2011, 216,929 Special Olympics Athletes competed in Bocce events.
  • Bocce is the third most popular sport in the world, next to golf and soccer.
  • In 1576, the Republic of Venice outlawed Raffa Bowls claiming it was a form of gambling.