Bocce is an international game and sport. Second only to soccer, it is the most played sport in the world. It is one of the earliest known games. The exact time and place of origin are difficult to pinpoint. However, historians have dated the game back to 5000 B.C. in Egypt. From Egypt, the game spread to Greece in 300 B.C. and the Roman Empire 2000 years ago. The game was originally played with polished stones and involved tossing the stones with the intent of coming close to a smaller target stone.
Through succeeding centuries, the Romans spread the popularity of the game throughout the empire, which encompassed Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It was in Europe where the game took root and grew and flourished over the centuries, ultimately becoming the predecessor of three modern day games. In Italy, the game is called Bocce, in France it is known as Petanque or Boules, and in Great Britain it is called Lawn Bowling or Bowls. To this day, all three games are very similar in nature, but yet have many different variations. These variations evolved from cultural differences, tradition, and local custom.