Washington introduces new Bocce courts

Published 5:51 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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By Nick Green
Washington Daily News

The City of Washington unveiled two brand new Bocce Ball courts Monday afternoon at the Susiegrey McConnell sports complex near the airport. The idea was brought about by Special Olympics local coordinator Kathy Newman and Beaufort/Hyde Special Olympics board member and coach Eric Sedlacek.

The original purpose of the courts was to provide the Special Olympics Bocce team with a place to practice, replicating what they might see at a state competition.

“We wanted to provide a year-round thing for our athletes, before we only had bowling and swimming.” Sedlacek said, “With the project costing around $28,000 this couldn’t have been done without the help of our sponsors.” The project took around four months to complete.

The courts also had assistance by 16-year-old Eagle Scout Ian Bradbury of Boy Scout Troop #21. Bradbury built the fence around the artificial turf courts for an Eagle Scout project. Bradbury said his main motivation was due to his love of helping other people.

Bocce ball requires two teams to play. The teams will swap throwing the pallino, (the small ball that is used as the target,) and then take turns rolling their bocce balls down the court trying to get as close to the pallino as possible. Each team has four balls and after each team has rolled all four balls the team that has their ball closest to the pallino will score a point. If your ball is touching the pallino, that is considered a kiss and is worth two points. The first team to reach eleven points wins and you must win by two.

After the ribbon cutting, athletes were eager to test out the courts and played a few games. These courts are now open for anyone to play and do not require a reservation to come out and enjoy a game of Bocce. Bring your own equipment, as sets are not available at the courts.