Bocce ball is typically played outside on a grass surface with a smooth, heavy ball; however, the harsh Illinois winter makes outdoor practice difficult for residents of Lambs Farm’s Special Olympics bocce team. Moving the same game indoors would be the perfect solution to this problem, but the ball doesn’t work the same on a gym floor as it did on grass: it rolls too far and damages the floor.
Our goal was to create a different design that solves these issues, but, at the same time, reflects the fact that absolute fidelity to bocce regulations is not a priority, because the primary function of bocce at Lambs Farm is for recreation, not for competition. We created a bocce ball covered in small polyurethane circular patches encircled in donut-shaped softer foam from ShopVac Foam Filter Sleeve. It rolls straight for an appropriate distance, doesn’t damage the floor, and collides accurately in the game, thus adapting the game to play similarly to outdoor bocce but on an indoor court.