Culture & Cuisine
Let's Play Bocce
Bocce has a long history. First seen in cave painting in ancient Egypt, the game eventually made its way to Greece and then the Roman Empire. It was the early Romans who played bocce in a similar manner to the way we play it today. Originally played with polished rocks, the Romans eventually used coconuts imported from Africa and then balls carved from olive wood. Nobles and peasants alike played bocce, spending so much time in the engaging sport that in the 14th and 15th century bocce was banned by kings, emperors, and the Catholic Church out of fear that the distraction was causing citizens to neglect their duties to society. Bocce came to the United Stats in the 18th century, being played primarily in Italian-American neighborhoods. It is a game that can be played by anyone regardless of age or athleticism and can be played at levels from casual to ultra-competitive.
According to the US Bocce Federation, a regulation bocce court must be precisely 86.92 feet long and 13.12 feet wide. While bocce courts don't have a specific surface requirement, recommended surface materials include sand, crushed stone or oyster shells, which allow the balls to roll fast and track straight. However, for the casual play, any size court on a lawn works just fine.
Check out the entertaining video below from Major League Bocce for an overview of the rules:
Amici Della Lingua Italiana has both Men's and Women's Bocce Leagues . Organized by two club members, the schedules are made to play during the summer evenings from May until August. It involves twenty teams in each league playing at designated time slots on the bocce courts at the Green Acres Park, Burlington, NJ. Playoffs are completed and the winners of both leagues are announced at their annual dinner celebrations. A trophy is awarded and the winners have their names engraved for our Amici bocce history.
Women's League 2021 Winners
Rita Carnival and Mary McCarthy
Men's League 2021 Winners
Ennio DiBucci and Domenico Coceano