We like to speed things up and get the game underway. First off, you need some colored balls or marbles and a bag or sack of some kind (the one pictured came with a bottle of whiskey).
Each of the 8 players (for a 4 vs. 4 game) slips his/her hand into the bag and draws a colored marble.
We use the traditional red and green bocce balls, so the players drawing the red marbles are teammates and those selecting the green are the opponents. To make things more streamlined, we decided (arbitrarily) that green starts the game by playing the pallino first (like a green traffic light tells us to GO).
The reds play against the greens - green goes first - no coin toss necessary. After the game, we say "Marble Up!" to pick new sides. If you play 3 vs. 3, take one of each color marble out of the bag before drawing. If you use different color bocce balls, acquire corresponding colored marbles.