So we are already to the last issue of July and our little excursion away from the game table to play some games outdoors in the backyard.
This week its bocce, a game that is readily available in most department stores, with sets coming in a number of price ranges, which is good news for families on a budget.
For those unfamiliar bocce is closely related to bowls and pétanque with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire.
Bocce is played with eight large balls and one smaller ball (called the pallino). The game can be played with 2, 4, or 8 players and divide the bocce balls evenly between the number of players.
Open bocce (played without a defined court) is that it can be played almost anywhere there is open space. This includes grassy surfaces such as a front lawn or back yard, dirt surfaces, sandy surfaces such as the beach, and even paved surfaces like parking lots.
The game can be played on a court, something this city could use when you think how many sets are likely owned locally, but you can also just toss out the pallino and then work to get the bigger balls as close to the smaller target as possible.
Close cut grass works ideally for this. Unfortunately city parks have the grass cut a bit too long, and when you toss the pallino you can’t actually see it from very far away. A baseball diamond outfield would be a prime spot given its manicured grass.
The game plays simple enough, lob or roll the larger ball to get it close to the pallino, scoring points for every ball you, or your team get closer than opponents.
The sets are highly durable, and can easily be taken on vacation for play at the lake, so a bocce set is pretty handy as a family game.
Like other backyard games reviewed here this month, bocce can also be taken much more seriously, with the game being highly competitive in many countries. To me that is always an added bonus.
For more information check out www.boccestandardsassociation.org or www.bocce.com
If anyone is interested in this game, or other boardgames feel free to contact calmar...@sasktel.net
Past reviews are collected online at calsboardgamemusings.blogspot.com