Bocce goes from old-school to social in D.C.

In good weather, DC Bocce League matches are played on outdoor courts throughout the Washington metropolitan area. (Courtesy of the DC Bocce League)

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – A game dating to ancient Rome is becoming a hot social event for young Washingtonians.

But this isn’t your father’s bocce.

“We recognize the sport of bocce is traditionally an Italian sport, played by older Italian men — not women,” says Sarah DeLucas, president of the DC Bocce League.

“DC Bocce sort of shatters that stereotype.”

DeLucas describes the game as “a combination of lawn bowling and shuffleboard and a little bit of curling.”

The object is to get your ball closest to a target ball, called the pallina, or “pill.”

The league plays bocce year-round. In good weather, it’s played on outdoor courts throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

In the winter, DC Bocce plays in area bars. Some establishments have built-in bocce courts. In other cases, collapsible courts are unfurled in the bar and lighter-weight bocce balls are used.

“It’s a very social, fun sport,” says DeLucas. “Whether you’re a man or a woman, you can play bocce, and be really good at playing bocce.”

“Maybe you get intimidated in other sports, like softball,” says DeLucas. “In Bocce, none of that stuff matters.”

Registration is now under way for the league’s spring season.

Follow @AugensteinWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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