What: Ribbon cutting and unveiling of the new bocce courts
When: 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 9
Where: Near the old bocce courts at Wildcat Pavilion
Admission: Free for ceremony
Food and drink: Slices from Dominic’s Wood-Fired Pizza truck, beer, wine, soft drinks
Why: One of Big Canoe’s most beloved amenities is coming back in full force with four beautifully designed bocce courts. More than a game, bocce is a way of life that fosters friendship, builds community, and is a blast to master, say most ardent fans. The easy-to-learn game originated in Italy and immigrated to the U.S., but has variants thriving in Spain and France.
What if it gets dark?: Out comes the lighted bocce set, which has internally illuminated balls that allow for play in the dark.
How to play: After a white ball, known as a pallino, is introduced to the court, players take turns rolling out larger balls – colored red or green, depending on the team – with the objective of getting closest to the pallino.
La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life Of Bocce
John Feight is one of the capos, if you will, of Big Canoe’s most dedicated bocce posses: The Bocce Boys. So enamored with the sport, they refer to bocce play as La Dolce Vita – Italian for “the sweet life.” (Also the name of an insane Fellini movie with Anita Ekberg, but we digress.)
You can find John and his fellow Bocce Boys on the bocce courts on most mornings.
John was kind enough to provide us with some images — and helpful tips for newcomers who don’t know their pallino from their Pavarotti.
Bocce Tips To Roll
By John Feight
1. Don’t think – just roll. Pretend you are basketball star Steph Curry and you have rolled 10,000 times. Just relax. Focus on the pallino – the little white ball – and just roll. Don’t overthink.
2. Find your best stance. Be comfortable. Then, repeat that stance every time you roll. While most players believe bending down to get close to the court is best, some players are successfully standing straight up and casually rolling the ball. Whatever works for you.Your best roll will happen when you “follow through” with your roll. Aim for the pallino and keep your hand pointing toward the pallino after releasing the ball.
3. Don’t roll long! Always try to keep your ball near or in front of the pallino. If you are in front of the pallino, your opponents may hit your ball closer to the pallino. If your ball is past the pallino, your chances of scoring are slim.
4. Watch your opponent’s ball. Notice how their ball rolls and where they aimed their ball as well as where they were standing when they rolled it. You can do the same or adjust your throw. Keep your head in the game.
5. Banking is part of the game. If you are blocked by your opponent’s ball, you may use the sideboards to bank your shot to slide in behind your opponent’s ball and get next to the pallino.
6. Always keep in mind you need to create a defense to either protect your ball or to prevent your opponent from scoring — another reason to stay in front of the pallino.
7. The Vallone – named after Peter and Margo Vallone of Big Canoe – is a measuring can with a string attached. We found it was the easiest way to measure which balls are closest to the pallino.
8. If you get serious about developing your game, Google or go to YouTube and search for “bocce tips” or “how to improve my bocce game.”
9. Finally, remember bocce is a social game – played with friends. Let the good times roll! La Dolce Vita!