This summer, a reinvigorated outdoor activity craze is sweeping over Atlantans from ages 7 up to 75: Bocce ball. The 6,000-year-old-plus Italian lawn bowling game is seeing a huge resurgence in play by both active adults (some of whom have probably enjoyed it in the past) and 20-somethings alike. Around Metro Atlanta there are seemingly endless venues for getting the relaxing, social game going.
Bocce is perfect for the heat and humidity of a Georgia summer, since it’s essentially a bowling game that requires little movement with only one arm. In fact, many new bocce lovers swear that a glass or wine or beer in the opposite hand creates just the right balance needed for the throw. The sets of 8 2-pound balls and one smaller target ball (pallino) are available at stores like Restoration Hardware and Target, and from there all you need is a lawn, such as the grass outside the clubhouse at your Windsong community, and some neighbors or visiting family!
Just months ago Piedmont Park, a 40-minute drive from Woodstock, opened two public granite bocce courts, which have since drawn consistent crowds and players, and some local restaurants and bars have even begun hosting tournaments outside. The nearby Roswell Recreation Center has a senior bocce team that competes against boomers from other area centers, including the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Multipurpose Complex, which has its own dedicated court.
Even in Big Canoe, summer community 45-minutes north near Jasper, there are around 200 people on the roster who regularly play bocce. The laidback game is also played during gatherings of Atlanta’a La Societa Italiana, a group dedicated to celebrating all things Italian. So, get some friends, find a venue with a little shade, and have a ball!