The Rules

True sportsmanship should reign throughout the games. No players should be interfered with. While good sportsmanship understands good-natured heckling, at the same time a player should not be interfered with or interrupted while they are in the act of bowling.

The Bolle

  1. All bolles must be made of wood or hard rubber or similar substance.
  2. The bolles must be a minimum of six inch diameter and a maximum of eight inch diameter and not over eight and a half pounds in weight.
  3. All bolles are to be from two and a half inches thick.
  4. Soft rubber bolles are not allowed.

For information on where to buy a set, see the bottom of the page.

The Alley

  1. All alleys are to be 42 feet in length. All stakes must be close as possible to 30 feet apart. All backstops are to be six feet behind the stakes. The centerline shall be drawn midway between the stakes.
  2. On each side of the stake a line shall be drawn of not more than six feet in length as the starting line. This line must not be altered during the game. All bowling and shooting shall be accomplished on or to the rear of this line.
  3. Each player shall have the right to even the grounds at the first two ends. If both captains agree to pick stones or further repair then all players will follow their captain’s wishes.
  4. If a stake is splintered you can measure from any part of the stake as long as it is intact with the part still buried. If the stake is broken in tow pieces or more you must measure from the piece that is still buried. If the stake is entirely pulled from the ground then the committee is to replace the stake with a new one before any measuring is to take place.
  5. If any stake is splintered, split or broken notify the committee and it will be replaced at once.

The Team

  1. All teams shall consist of three players. The team is allowed to change bolles during that game.
  2. If, during a game, a player requests immediate permission to leave because of injury or illness or for a legitimate reason which is approved by the committee, then the two remaining players can bowl three bolles but the same player must bowl two bolles for the rest of the game.
  3. If a player has to be replaced between games because of injury or illness or a legitimate reason, then the committee will decide on a new player by drawing one name out of a hat.
  4. A team shall have ten minutes time after the drawing to appear at the starting line of their assigned alley. If only two players of a team appear they may play against three players of the other team (two bolles against three bolles) and when the third player shows up he shall be allowed to join in regardless of the score.

The Game

  1. To start the game one captain tosses up his bolle. The other captain guesses big or small. If the guessing captain guesses small and it comes up small then he must lead. If it comes up big then the other team must lead.
  2. The leaders are not allowed to go back once they bowl past the centerline, unless their bolle is interfered with by a transient (moving) obstacle.
  3. If any player, attempts to bowl or shoot and he or the bolle is not interfered with by a person or obstacle then that bolle is considered bowled regardless where it stops.
  4. The person whose turn it is to bowl has the right to clear anyone from the path he wishes to bowl or shoot in.
  5. If any bolle comes to rest completely outside of that designated alley it is considered a dead bolle and must be completely removed at once and will not count on that end.
  6. A player cannot walk back over the centerline once he has bowled. However, a team always has the right to send the last bowler back to watch the starting line.
  7. The second leader must measure if there is an argument as to who wins. The first leader then has the right to re-measure. If the one who is measuring moves his bolle or the stake then his bolle loses the measure but is still a live bolle. If a moved bolle is later touched or moved by a new bolle then all bolles are subject to re-measurement and are all considered live bolles.
  8. Anytime a leader concedes that his last bowled bolle is beaten, and he calls for his next bowler to bowl, and then it is later discovered that in fact his earlier bolle was a winning bolle, then that bolle in question does not win over the bolle it was originally trying to beat, unless either bolle has been moved by the later bolle before all six bolles have been bowled to that end.
  9. Measuring through the bolle is not allowed.
  10. If two bolles touch the stake, from opposing teams, then a teammate of the player who bowled first shall now bowl. If no change develops then a player or the other team shall bowl and so on until a change takes place. If at the end no change has occurred then there shall be no count for that end and the game is to go on as before. The start back to the other end is by the same leader who led the previous end. The same movement holds true of two bolles that cannot be measured or are tied.
  11. At all games eight points for one side ends the game.
  12. It is the next bowler’s responsibility to request that all dead bolles be completely removed from the alley before he bowls. Should he bowl and hit a dead bolle then his bolle is considered dead too.
  13. Sometimes a bowler will bowl very wide early or bowl very wide late in an effort to hold his bolle on difficult alleys. Should the bolle touch someone or something else before stopping on its own there is the question “should it be bowled over?” If the two leaders cannot decide what is fair in this case please call a committee person for a ruling.
  14. It is the captain’s responsibility to determine the correct score at each end. Marks erased can be put back on if both teams agree on the score.


  1. All shooting bolles must touch the ground at least five feet in front of the bolle shot at.
  2. When someone shoots and hits another bolle and both bolles touch the backstop then the shooter’s team bowls next.
  3. All bolles that are bowled or shot and are interfered with by an opposing team, a transient object, or an onlooker must be bowled over. If interfered with by an opposing team, a transient object, or an onlooker must be bowled over. If interfered with by a teammate then that bolle is considered dead and must be removed.
  4. If a bolle breaks during the game the largest piece shall count and the player shall be allowed to choose another bolle.
  5. If it happens that a team has to play on an alley where the opposing team has already played then that team can bowl to both ends three times before the game begins.
  6. If a teammate picks up a live bolle before his final teammate has bowled then his teammate may not bowl or count on that end.
  7. No one is allowed to practice on courts where he has not played before.
  8. The shooter cannot step on or behind the backstop nor pass the starting line when he is in the act of shooting.
  9. When a player bowls or shoots and has stepped over the starting line and is called for it then all bolles must be returned to their previous position and the offending players bolle is dead for that end.
  10. If a player bowls or shoots with the wrong bolle then that bolle is dead and must be immediately removed for that end or if a bolle bowls out of turn it is also dead and must be immediately removed for that end. All players behind him have the right to use their own bolles.
  11. Anytime a leader or a bowler bowls out of turn that bolle is immediately removed and not counted that end.
  12. If any further disputes arise between opposing teams, it shall be the duty of the players to notify the local committee and their decision shall be final.