Introducing the 'iBocce Court'
60ft x 10ft, dirt and rock base, mansonry sand midlayer, topped with crushed oyster shells
[Click for to see an animated Court Construction Process]
Final: $595 (year 2003 dollars)
|Wood, stakes, brackets||$210|
|Crushed Oyster Shells||$45|
UPDATE: The court was playing too soft for my taste so I mixed in a top layer of oyster shell flour. I used one bag per 100 sq. feet. I mixed it into the top layer of sand and oyster shells. I dragged it so it would be even, rolled it flat and waterred it down. The court is much firmer and now plays much faster.
Add on $18 to my final cost...
July 2009 Update: So the court is still standing...I haven't added much to the court since my last update except for a couple of oyster shell bags and flour last spring (ya of 2008). I probably should have done more this year but never found the time or motivation. We had an extremely wet winter and a colder spring (and summer) so far. After using my wide push broom to sweep out the debris (leaves, needles, tan bark) it was helpful to reposition some of the shells and flour, roll it and wet it down. Boy, does that make a huge difference! It was ready to play within an hour! Here's a shot of how the iBocce court looks today. I'm standing where we used to have an apple tree (that never gaves us good apples) that is now a basketball sport court. You can compare the court to some of the earlier pictures above...it has held up quite well for over 6 years old!
Bryan wetting down the iBocce court in July of 2009.
OYSTER SHELL FLOUR UPDATE!!
One of our builders, Steve, found Oyster Shell Lime (Flour) on the west coast that delivers. He passed it along to me and I want to do the same since its sometimes hard to find at your local feed store. Go to GrowOrganic.com and type in "Oyster" in the search box...you'll find a few options, but your looking for "Oyster Shell Lime (50 Lb)".
West Coast: Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply -
Details: They have 50lbs bags available below $10 each and a decent shipping price. Please mention iBocce.com when ordering!!
East Coast: Carolina Supplies & Materials, Inc
Buy the plans to build your own 'iBocce Court'! The plans include descriptive detail on all the steps you see above and more. Also includes personal notes on the construction process and insight on landscaping and maintaneance.
Bocce Party Court - San Jose, CA
SHOW US YOUR OWN IBOCCE COURT!
(These are courts made from guidelines in the Budget Bocce Court plans)
I was under a time constraint due to wanting to build it before my oldest daughter's high school graduation.
So I got help from a contractor. I knew what I wanted and bought all of the materials myself before hand.
My son and I prepared the area before they arrived. That was the hardest work as it was all dead grass and bark from a previous play structure I built for my children 10 years ago.
The court is only roughly 40 x 61/2 feet. Which is extremely small but I have to say that all our friends love it and think our house is definitely the place to party!
It took the contractor 2 days to finish it. We have 4 to 5 inches of gravel with another 2 inches of gold fines. Then I added the final 1/2 inch of oyster shell on top.
We did lay out a series of pipes that led to a french drain so the water wouldn't build up. It's been working really well.
I have to tell your readers to go for it. It's not hard to build and gives us and our friends so much pleasure. It's definitely worth the effort!
Bryan's Comments: Could you ask for a better view from this bocce court in the pines?? Tom, please e-mail me more details of your court and I will post...I'm sure people would like to know. When can we play?!
She was christened on July 4th. Thank you for your wonderful plans which
served as a great guide line for our court.
The court measures 59 1/3' X 12'. I doubled up on the end boards to better
contain any bouncing effect. I used almost 4 yards of masonry sand, 7 bags
of crushed oyster shell and 4 bags of oyster flour. I have extra to help
maintain the future of the court.
Total cost $1100 (I bought the flour at a much higher price but now I know
where to buy it)
Bryan's Comments: Wow, this court looks great! I like the extra height of the backboards, I'm about to do that to my own court. That is a beautiful spot for bocce.
Hi - here is our Backyard Bocce Court.
We had some cement work done on our backyard so while we were at it we had
them pour a curb. The court measures 50' x 10'. We've has some great
parties that both young and old enjoy. We've installed lights, speakers and
score balls on the arbor, it has been a perfect addition to our backyard.
As you can see we have some problems with our neighbors trees. They drop
very small leaves and needles. Any ideas on how we can make a drag to pick
up very small debris? Also where can I find Oyster Shell Flour here on the
west coast? We live near San Jose, CA.
We originally used oyster shells that we purchased from a local feed store,
and they are more like shells instead of powder. The court plays very soft
(it takes more to roll the ball a certain distance than it does on other
courts we have played on-but this may not necessarily be a bad thing given
the small size) and we have been challenged to keep it level. On the other
hand the court is purely recreational and we don't want to spend a ton of
time grooming it.
Thanks for all the info on your great site. It gave us incentive to put in
the court and we have enjoyed from day one!
Morgan Hill, CA
Bryan's Comments: This is an awesome looking court. The cement makes it look professional. Contact your local Feed/Horse Tack supply store for the oyster shell flour and mix that in as your top layer. What a great party attraction! Don't be afraid to cut away branches that hang over your fence...it's within your right to do. I'm so glad I could help inspire you!
My son and I built this court in Trinity County California, love the game. The enjoyment of the game is worth the pain in building the court! Built the court on a gravel and sand bar near the river, great drainage, imported 110, 55 lb bags of Oyster shell for the surface. Court is 10x70 and serves as the headquarters of the unofficial trinity river rafting, kayaking guides and bocce ball federation, enjoy the pictures! -Neal
Bryan's Comments: Wow, this reminds me so much of my own court after I just put down my fresh bags of crushed oyster shells. This is also a great Father/Son project. I hope many rafters and kayakers get a chance to play!
Alex Heard - Sante Fe, NM
Court Size: 8 ft x 50 ft
"Here's my finished court, which is a little on the
short side at 8 x 50. (All I had room for. Little kids
and drunks of all ages will appreciate the short-court
advantage, I hope.) The directions in your book were
very helpful. I'm writing an article about building my own court for the
online magazine Slate (www.slate.com), and I'd like to
hear from other people who are trying it. I'll plug
your book. Click here to read Alex's article on Slate.com!
For me the two big things I learned were:
1. It was quite a bit more labor-intensive than I
anticipated, but that's because I had to build my
court into a slope. By far the hardest part was
digging and moving about 6 inches of hard clay soil
that had to be removed from half the court's area. I
also had to wheelbarrow everything from front driveway
to backyard (no access). With the amount of volume
involved, it adds up to be a lot of work.
2. I found that crushed oyster shells, by themselves,
don't make a base that's fast enough when sprinkled
over a bed of sand and crushed granite. I was unable
to find or order oyster shell flour anywhere, so I
definitely had a problem on that front. If I hadn't
lucked into finding tennis court clay for a bargain
price ($150 for 100 80-pound bags ... I used around 50
and may sell the rest), I would have had a problem.
There's a bocce-court supplier in Washington State
that will sell you a pre-mixed yard of crushed shells
and flour, but to have that plopped onto my driveway
would have cost $1,250."
Bryan's Comments: I like the way the tennis clay works on your court. It looks very nice. Yes, I've been getting quite alot of inquires for Oyster Shell Flour. It seems to be hard to find except for the west coast. I will do some research and try to post some places where you can find it or order it. Great job Alex and we'll be looking for your article on Slate.com!
Dick Giraud - Blue Lake, CA
Court Size: 12 ft x 60 ft
"The court slopes 3inches in its length. I did not want to try to level it after removing 720 sq ft of sod! Can't notice any advantage rolling downhill or any needing extra oomph to roll uphill! I was 70 in March. Took me one month to do the court including cutting down the trees. My wife and son helped with the sand and shells, I manned the roller. I'm going to put pavers at each end and finish the path. The total cost of the project was $779.00 including your instructions. Prices are higher here in Humboldt County. I am using Italian flags to mark the center of the court! Also, the brackets holding the 4 x 4s are painted green white & red!
Needless to say, even with a French last name I am Italian! My mother was from Italy & my dad
had relatives in Italy. Going to give our four year old granddaughter a lesson right now!
Bryan's Comments: Looks like a great court! Reminds me alot of my court the first few days after I finished it. The Italian flags at center court are a great touch!
Please send me your Budget Bocce Court photos and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBocce Court Unveiling - Easter Sunday 2003:
The court played pretty well for it's first time. The surface is still a little soft but that should improve the more it's played on. Everyone had a great time...here are a few snapshots...
Court Prep: Rolling the crushed oyster shells
The First Roll: Let the games begin!
Believe or Not: Bocce Action Shot
A Long Way: That's my Dad Rolling for Point
Easter Egg Hunt: No I think it's a Bocce Ball
Kid's Turn: Never to young to start playing
|Special Thanks to:|
My Beautiful Wife for her support
while building the iBocce Court.
Don't want to build your own court? Then take one with you to the park, camping or the beach.
Click here to buy 'Backyard Bocce - Portable Bocce Courts'!