Want to get in on the leading edge of a hot new trend in Sacramento? Then join one of the new bocce ball clubs in town. Not only will you be in vogue but you will also be joining a long lineage of bocce players, such as Galileo, da Vinci, Emperor Augustus and the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
The Sacramento Sport & Social Club hosted its first Bocce Ball Tournament Sunday at Sutter’s Landing Park. Fourteen two-player teams competed on the sand-over-asphalt bocce courts. Creative team names, including “Invasion of the Bocce Snatchers,” “The Big LaBocce” and “Erin Go Bocce” added to the casual and fun vibe of the event.
Club commissioner Brad Satterwhite says the club has officially been in existence for a year but has been running bowling leagues since 2008. There are about 100 active participants in the indoor bowling league, ranging from ages 18 to 60.
“Bocce ball seemed like a natural fit, but outdoors,” he said.
The rules of bocce ball are simple. One team rolls a small white ball, a pallina, down the court.Teams attempt to roll their four balls closest to the pallina to score points. The game can be played by newcomers and skilled players alike.
Participation at Sunday’s tournament was boosted by a new group in town, the Sacramento Midtown Bocce Meetup Group. Julie Kay founded the group last year after seeing the recently constructed courts at Sutter’s Landing.
“I couldn’t believe they (the city) spent money on them, but since they built them with my money, I thought I might as well use them,” she said.
The meetup group now has 130 members and hosts informal bocce ball play on Friday nights.
After more than three hours of tournament play and elimination rounds, the final match for the championship came down to the “Travel Bugs” and another team whose name has been redacted for its questionable taste (with the team’s permission). The final round exhibited an elevated level of skill and strategy.
The championship title, medals and bocce ball set prize went to the “Travel Bugs” team of Michelle Favro and Giulia Farruggia.
The Sacramento Sport & Social Club will offer a bocce ball league this summer starting July 11 and running for six weeks. Registration is now open and information is available at the club website.
This year, the club will also have a cornhole (bean bag toss) league, bowling league, soccer team, floor hockey and social activities.