This past month, the long awaited (by some) public bocce court opened outside the King Open school on Cambridge St. Bocce is a great, simple game, and can be played by people of literally all ages, from children as young as three or four to senior citizens well into their nineties.
The first incarnations of the game date as far back as 5000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians threw polished rocks at a smaller target. The goal of the game then, as it still is now, was to get your rock or ball to land closer to the target than anyone else’s. The game has evolved since then, taking many different forms along the way. The first official league and the Bocce World Championships formed in Italy in 1947, and the game has only grown in popularity since then.
Over the past hundred years in Cambridge, various bocce leagues, clubs and informal organizations have come and gone, although recently – especially after the closing of Bertiucci’s and its basement bocce court in Somerville – local players have not had courts available to them without leaving town. The new court is an excellent place for players of all levels of skill and seriousness to come to gather and play a game.
At the unofficial opening of East Cambridge’s very own public bocce court, I tried my hand in a friendly match, and I learned very quickly that the game actually does require some degree of skill to win. Whether you are a long time player or a relative newcomer to the game like myself, the new court is an excellent place to bring a small group of kids or have a relaxing game of Bocce with friends on a weekend afternoon.