Friday, April 24, 2009

Introducing The Family To Bocce Ball

(This is NOT my family playing Bocce Ball but, most likely, some Italians enjoying the game on a traditional-style court. this photo was taken from the Wikipedia sight. Maybe someday, I will be able to provide my own photo of ME enjoying a game of Bocce Ball IN Italy!)

This past fall, I was fortunate enough to be introduced by some business contemporaries to the game of Bocce Ball. For those of us not counted among the cultured and worldly types, Bocce (or Bocci, or Boccie) is a precision sport belonging to the boules (bowling) sport family, with an origin dating back to the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy (where it is called Bocce, the plural of the Italian word boccia which means "bowl"), it is played around Europe and also in overseas countries that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America and South America.

For Christmas, these business contemporaries sent me my very own Bocce Ball set, which until last night, was being used as a weight (18.6 pounds!) strategically placed in the trunk of my car to give me better driving traction during the Iowa winter months. I figured that since it was the end of April and it was a record-setting 90 degrees yesterday, it was time to pull the set out of the car and introduce it to my family.

Coincidentally, in celebration of April 23 being National Picnic Day, my folks, my sister, my youngest son, Peanut, and I set out for the neighborhood park and enjoyed a picnic supper and an introductory Bocce Ball game. Initially leery of the game, my family entertained me as I read through the rules and provided a visual demonstration of the balls. The jack, or “puck” for lack of a better term, is called the Pallino and is generally smaller than the other player balls, which resemble the size and weight of croquet balls.

Since we did not have a formal court (91’ by 13’) and we did not play on the traditional “oyster shell” bed, we improvised in the grass of the park and did more of a version of “lawn bowling” than an official Bocce Ball game. The end result? A family who now wants me to not only construct our own official Bocce Ball court in my back yard, but the creation of several new fans to the game.

What better way to celebrate National Picnic Day and enjoy springtime in Iowa than to learn a new family sport that can be played by a full range of ages and physical abilities. I see a summer full of Bocce Ball and I am forever grateful to expand both my and my family’s knowledge of global recreational opportunities.

I am curious if any of you have ever played Bocce Ball? Any game tips? Feel free to share. You may post a comment “Anonymously” if you do not want to post one with an ID. I am anxious to hear your feedback….

And don’t forget to take the poll over to the right!! I have extended the poll closing date for another week. Thanks!

Until next Tuesday, I remain…..1SweetMama

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