Bocce ball league being formed

  • Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roger Lee/Journal Scene Tony Killiri takes his turn during a bocce ball game. Also pictured are Russ Padula and Edward Nagy.

An Italian game is taking root in Summerville.

Russ Padula and John Donato are forming a local bocce ball league and are encouraging anyone interested in the game to join.

“We just want to get enough people together so that we can play on a regular basis,” Padula said. “A group of us have started playing once a week but when I lived in California I played three times a week. Once we see how many teams we can form we will look at everyone’s schedule and decide how often to play.”

The only equipment needed to play the game is a court and set of bocce balls.

Padula has a bocce (also boccie or bocci) court at his Knightsville home, but the league founders are hoping to get enough players involved to justify having multiple courts. To their knowledge, the only other existing bocce court nearby is in the Cane Bay area inside a gated community.

Town of Summerville officials have already approved for them to tape off courts in the grass at Doty Park if additional courts are needed.

Bocce ball is similar to lawn bowling.

“It’s pretty straight forward and laid back,” Padula said. “You can be tall or short, skinny or heavy, older or younger – anyone can play. You don’t need any particular skill. It’s sort of like horse shoes only with a ball so your target can move.”

A bocce ball game begins with someone throwing or bowling a small ball called the pallino (also jack or boccino). Then teams comprised of two to four players are each awarded four larger balls and the teams take turns trying to place their balls near the pallino. Whenever all balls are thrown, points are awarded for the balls closest to the mark.

Courts for bocce ball vary but an average size court would be 90 feet long and 12 feet wide. Strategies can include hitting the pallino to move it away from other players’ balls or closer to your own, blocking another players’ ball, hitting another players’ ball to drive it away from the pallino and hitting your own ball to push it closer to the pallino.

Anyone interested in joining the league should contact Padula at 771-4684 or Donato at 670-1972.

Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or rlee@journalscene.com

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