Staten Island Bocce
When it comes to the game of Bocce, there is nothing men take more serious on Staten Island than this sport. When the game of Bocce is mentioned, an instant thought is a group of old Italian men listening to the radio and playing cards in the park watching their friends entertain a game of Bocce. This particular game has widely expanded in Staten Island, to the point where there are multiple leagues and championship competitions. Every single guy cannot deny, it’s an escape from reality because the competitiveness takes over and becomes the main focus. Most of the players will relax and enjoy a glass of wine or two (not more than two though because no one would want to be thrown off balance). Whats that saying again? Oh yes, Saturdays are for the boys! Well in this case Wednesdays are for the boys! Bocce Wednesday’s and Thursday’s are welcomed back in multiple locations. Waterside and Basilio’s Inn are a couple places to mention, where leagues play every week. If you prefer a private league then Casa Belvedere is the perfect location for you.
Bocce is a simple game but takes patience and an arm that can throw. The colorful spheres, which are quite heavy, are to be thrown closest to the target ball which is called a Jack (usually solid white and smaller than the balls being thrown). In a game, 8 balls are used and 4 are given to each team. Whichever team gets their ball closest to the Jack is the team who collects those points that round while the other team does not. Also, if any of the players who hit the target ball will collect two points. There are usually three rounds in a match, but which ever team reaches 12 points first wins. For more instructions on how to play, click here.
One may wonder how did the game even start? Well, playing Bocce helped relax many troops and took their mind off the stress that came along with fighting a war. When the Roman Empire grew, other countries also started learning about the game. It became a very well known sport.
There are many leagues in Staten Island. Some that have been around for longer than 20 years! The leagues vary with public and private leagues but are all run by a head director because let’s face it, it’s almost impossible to get all the men together unless there is some type of organization.
One of the few spots in Staten Island for hosting Bocce would be Waterside which is not too far from Angelina’s ristorante (which unfortunately will not be hosting this summer due to the gorgeous new tent that was placed for brunch/dining, but may return next year, so stay tuned). No worries at all though because Waterside offers awesome Bocce courts as well. Bocce is hosted on Thursday evenings for league members and teams. The games start around 6:30pm just in time for the most breath taking sunset by the dock with all the impressive boats. The view is the most remarkable backdrop while playing. Grab your buddies and have an exciting night out of playing Bocce and sipping on some sweet wine. Hope your team wins! If you have not signed up yet for Bocce there may still be some time left to do so.
Basilio’s Inn is another location on Staten Island where teams of guys come together on Wednesday nights for Bocce. There is a director who coordinates the teams and players. This will kick off in June on Wednesdays, so there is still time to join this league! The Bocce courts are located under the lights next to their fabulous garden out in the back. With an Italy-like atmosphere, there is nothing better than enjoying a friendly competitor game with some espressos and glasses of wine. The tournaments are taken seriously. Some people even think that if they win, a gold olympic medal will be handed over. It’s definitely a great environment to grab a late dinner and drinks while watching the guys play on a summer evening.
Usually Deluca’s Italian Restaurant is another location that hosts bocce nights, but their brand new tent is in place of where the game is usually played. Their stunning tent is decorated now for spring/summer, so although you can’t catch a game of bocce, you can score a dinner night!
Imagine playing bocce with an incredible view of lower Manhattan extending to the Verrazzano Bridge, along with fine dining and a fun social atmosphere. This is available only to members of the Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere on Grymes Hill in Staten Island. Foundation members can participate in Casa Belvedere’s popular bocce leagues and tournaments, and enjoy meals and cocktails at the private dining club before or after their games. The foundation also hosts a wide variety of arts and cultural programs, and special events. To learn more about becoming a member, visit https://casa-belvedere.org.
If you are unable to get on a private team or a membership for this summer there are public bocce games that are hosted in Staten Island parks. You’ll maybe score a chance in being a sub or get a couple of your friends to enjoy a game or two! There is a public court located next to the Midland Beach boardwalk located near Sand Lane. The other public court is located in the Bloomingdale park. Use this link for other parks that may have a public court in Staten Island as well.
“Staten Island NY Bocce club
Cespino/Russo American Leagon Post 1544
Details: Bocce courts at South Beach Boadwalk. Club plays every Sun Morning, Tues. and Thur. evening.”
Love is a Bocce Field xoxo SIL