Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bocce

Today 26,279 Special Olympics athletes from 93 Special O Programs compete in bocce. Bocce is a very old, yet re-energized game, has grown in popularity with Special Olympics atheltes and fans over the past few years. The game's balance of skill and strategy has been key to its resurgence. The object of the game is for one team to get as many of their balls (boccia) closer to the pallina (the smallest ball) than the opposing team's closest ball. Anywhere from 2 to 4 to 8 players may compete for each team. To start, each player is given two balls. Each player must then take turns rolling the ball toward the pallina ball which has already been thrown onto the field. The players are given points for the balls rolled closest to the pallina ball. Players may also throw on the fly striking the ball to move the point balls. Balls, including the pallina, may also be displaced by the balls of the other player. In Unified Sports bocce, a doubles team would consist of one Special Olympics athlete and one partner. As in all Special O sports, atheltes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender. To see where I played bocce at national games go to www.2006nationalgames.org go to the photo gallery and click on bocce of course.

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