If You Want to Update Your Yard, Try a Backyard Bocce Ball Court

Updated: Nov. 17, 2023

Pickleball may have been the sport of 2022, but 2023 is all about bocce ball.

We at Family Handyman love an alternative lawn option. Whether you’re forgoing grass for environmental sustainability or just prefer the appearance of a spunky succulent yard, an alternative yard can help personalize your outdoor space.

Recently, garden designers and creatives have been opting to install a surprising yard feature to increase their curb appeal, cut down on irrigation and up the fun factor: bocce ball courts. There are numerous reasons this beloved sport is making a major comeback, from its accessibility to its elegance. Here’s why the backyard bocce ball court trend is so popular as well as basic instructions for installing your own court.

Why a Backyard Bocce Ball Court Is the Perfect Yard Trend

The appeal of the backyard bocce ball court can be broken down into three main perks: the sport’s all-ages appeal, the court’s reduction of yard water usage and its affordable price point. Let’s investigate each perk separately.

All-ages appeal

First things first, the backyard bocce ball court offers some much-needed fun. In the words of Julian Cautherley, a documentary film producer in Los Angeles, speaking with Sunset Magazine, “I love my bocce ball court. I put it in last fall, and it’s become the social center of my garden. Guests are just drawn to it.”

Furthermore, that fun is available to all ages of homeowners and their children. June Scott of June Scott Design, says that she has seen a wide variety of people asking for backyard bocce ball courts: “[W]e’re seeing a range from empty nesters who want something that will appeal to their kids and grandkids, to singles who want to socialize with friends.”

Minimal water usage

According to Scott, another huge perk of the backyard bocce ball court is that it doesn’t require the amount of water a traditional lawn does: “There’s a good way to add a significant element that does not need to be irrigated and is water-permeable.” In other words, if you are concerned about the climate, installing a bocce ball court can help you conserve water in your home. This is especially impactful if you live in a drought state, like California.

Affordable price point

Lastly, when asked about his bocce ball court installation, Cautherley claims it “wasn’t expensive to put in.” While he does not specify exactly how much he spent, because the installation only involves minor excavation and basic materials like two-bys and gravel, this is one of the less costly home renovation projects you could do this spring.

Factors to Consider Before Building a Backyard Bocce Ball Court

Upscale Beautiful Bocce Ball CourtsJillianCain/Getty Images

Before you call a garden designer, it’s important to ensure your yard can easily accommodate the bocce ball court. Here are a couple of factors to consider as you decide where to put your court.

Sufficient area

First things first, you’ll need an area big enough for the court. Traditionally, bocce ball courts are 86.92 feet long by 13.12 feet wide. Still, you can make it shorter if you need! One designer, Molly Wood of Molly Wood Garden Design, says that most clients opt for a 60-foot-long court and she has created as small of a court as 22 feet by 6 feet.


Additionally, you want to select a location that is in the middle of the action in your yard. Wood explains, “I get requests to put courts on an unused side yard; these courts rarely get used because they are not in plain view, and don’t necessarily allow for the social aspect of the game.” So be sure to plan your bocce ball court for a central, open space. As a bonus, an elegant court makes a great place for the eye to rest in a lush garden.