The Italian Almanac

not too young to play bocce

Italian News - October 30

Mention bocce ball and many people see images of senior citizens playing a game that most children might not even know about. But in Southwest Florida as the weather starts getting cooler and the children start leaving the air conditioning for the outside, they are also spreading into new territory when it comes to outdoor games. Bocce ball is catching on with kids of all ages and as a family activity.

Bocce ball is an easy game to learn. First the pallino, also called the jack, is tossed. That smaller ball is the target players want to get close to. Next players try to get their larger colorful balls as close to the pallino as possible.

The game has been around for centuries in various forms. As early as 5000 BC the Egyptians played a form of bocce with polished rocks. By 800 BC a form of the game became popular in Greece and later in Rome. When it was introduced in Rome, it became more like the game played today.

The early Romans played with coconuts and later used hard olive wood to carve balls. Italian immigrants introduced the game to America. Now more younger people are being introduced to the sport.