The single most important step with maintaining a Har-Tru bocce court.
The proper broom used for Har-Tru, Oyster shell, decomposed granite, stone dust, surfaces is a large 6' drag broom. These brooms are designed for clay tennis courts or baseball infields and are to be pulled behind you. They are perfect for bocce courts.
Reasons for brooming
We brush our bocce court to make the surface smooth, and uniform in texture and appearance after the bocce court is used by players, wind, rain, and animals. A rough surface should always be broomed before watering. Otherwise, any irregularities in the surface can become hard and persistent.
After a long game, I realize that most people do not feel like dragging a broom across the surface to make it look good but think of the next group playing later that afternoon. The correct broom will only take 2 passes, and the surface is ready for the next game. If the court is left rough after a game, then it rains, the court may now need scarifying. If your court is not getting much use, it should still be broomed once a week to distribute material and displace any seeds that might be taking root. Another reason for brooming is to speed drying after a storm, providing it is not too soft to walk on.
The 6' drag broom should be pulled behind, with the user walking forward at a normal pace. Sometimes we will walk backward and watch the broom slowing down when reaching rough areas. Holding the handles high will smooth surface pulling little material, holding handles low will pull more material filling low areas. You don't want to stop and start the broom at any time during the process, as you will leave a ridge of material.
You should not push the broom as the downward pressure will clean the surface too much, leaving what we call bald spots. When you come to the end of the court, pull the broom up and out, leaving a nice smooth surface.
Here we are at the end of the bocce court , now pick the broom out of the court.
Unnecessary stops and starts of the broom should be avoided. Every stop can leave a ridge of grit, and every start can sweep an area somewhat too clean.
The brooms come in fine or coarse bristles. The fine is used for dryer courts mostly Har-Tru and leaves a smoother appearance. The coarse bristle is recommended for all surfaces but especially for decomposed granite, stone dust, oyster shell. These coarser surfaces benefit from the coarse bristle to distribute material. When in doubt choose the coarse bristle this is our go to broom for any surface material or condition.
The correct 6' drag broom can be purchased here on Boccesupplies.com