A friend of mine invited me to watch and play a game called Bocce. I’ve seen it played from time to time but never really got close to the sport. At first I thought it was lawn bowling, and when I made that remark you could have heard a conolie drop.

So, while standing behind a boarded wall about waist high, I watched these guys engage in some of the most sobering competition I’ve seen in a long time.

I ’m not sure of the details of the game myself – I still don’t get it, but it seems that the closer you can get a rolled ball next to another ball that’s smaller, the better off you are. It’s like a cross between shuffleboard, curling, and lawn bowling. And I’ve been told the surface that these guys play off of is carefully constructed and takes hours to make and keep in top notch condition.

What got me were the measuring devices that they used to determine distances of someone’s rolled ball to the small ball. They used twigs, sticks and one older gentleman used a grape vine stem that his grandfather brought from Italy. And you talk about the seriousness of trying to measure without bumping or moving the crowd of rolled balls.

I was going to try my hand at it, but the last time I tried a cultural experience involving sports was with a sport called curling – and I made some joke about these guys with funny looking brooms sweeping ice. I was in the service at the time, and needless to say I …we, were asked to leave. I do remember it was cold … very cold.

I wonder if there’s a “Let’s Talk Bocce” site floating around out there. Now that’d be interesting!

Coach B.

yea when i played the game, we each got two balls to throw. Someone flips a coin or whatever to see who throws the bocce ball first. You throw the smaller ball wherever you want and then the other players try to throw the big balls closest to the small ball. You get a point for one being close and maybe two or three for both being the closest im not sure but its pretty fun actually

I always thought it was another excuse for Italians to sit around and drink a little vino :drunkard:

Sorta like those zany Canadians using hockey to mask beer consumption…or curling…or waking up… :shock:

Me and my friend were just discussing bocce ball in french today. and for all of you who dont get it heres a video.

That’s amazing! How these guys can hit one or more of the larger balls and still leave the smaller ball in its place. Also, the initial roll of the larger ball to come so close to the small one - without moving it, is a skill - no doubt about it.

Thanks for the video - it’s great!

Coach B.