If strength is in numbers, then bocce ball is alive and well in Dayton, Ohio. You may remember we did a story on the Sons of Italy, Bella Villa Hall’s men’s bocce league.
Well move over fellas, it is the ladies’ turn! Thursday’s in the summer, the bocce courts are ruled by the women.
Now, let’s get rollin’….
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON THE WOMEN OF DAYTON BOCCE BALL:
— You have to be a member of the Italian club, John Pirelli Lodge (click here to join) to be in the leagues. That means you or your spouse must have some type of Italian lineage in your genealogy. Sometimes the courses are open to the public like the July 15th Bocce Bash and Bocce Classic Weekend
— The Women’s bocce League plays Thursday nights, during the summer.
— The league started in 1979, with 2 dirt courts. Now they are turf and much easier to maintain.
— TRIVIA: The turf on the bocce courts was donated from University of Dayton’s, Welcome Stadium
— Currently, they have about 12 womens bocce teams with 4 players on each team. There are about 50 – 60 lady players in the Dayton area.
— Players range from 17 years old to 80 years young
— A year end banquet, each year is planned to pass out awards. Food Adventures is sure some incredible Italian food is served.
As we watched the matches and talked with the ladies, there were lots of cheers and jeers going on at different courses. One thing was for sure, these people were having fun. Some wore fun hats, while others had family members cheering them on. Sometimes there are snacks and at special events there are food and beer booths. We met some great Daytonians and we want to share them with you. So here are some of the Dayton Women of Bocce Ball !
THE WOMEN OF DAYTON BOCCE BALL:
— ELDORA PERFILIO: She says she is out here to compete, but doesn’t take it as serious as some. Eldora says she comes for the fun times and friendly people in the league.
— MELODY SORICE-KNOSTMAN: Melody has been playing bocce ball in the back yard, since she was a kid. Her favorite part of the bocce legue is getting to spend time with the ladies. There were definitely a lot of laughs on Melody’s court as they were having a great time.
— MARY D’AMICO: She is a tiny little spitfire and has been playing bocce ball for decades. After hearing some of the women talk, she chimed in “They like to win you know, don’t let them fool you!” Mary was quick to point out some rules on her court, and seemed to be incredibly
knowledgable about the bocce sport.
— HELEN LONGO: For 36 years Helen has been playing ball in the bocce leagues. She was one of the first founding members. She shared the long history of women’s bocce at the club with us. It has been going on so long innher opinion because it is “just a lot of fun.”
— MARIA NAPIER: Maria agrees that it is all about having fun. She has been playing for 2 years, and says it is a great time. She also enjoyed a cold adult beverage on the hot summer evening.
— JULIA HALL: For the past 10 years Julia has been a part of the leagues and again points to the good times. She enjoys meeting new friends of all ages. “There are a lot of nice people here.”
That seems to be the theme. Fun times, good friends and anyone can play bocce ball. Any age, man or woman can adapt fairly easily. Whether you are a beginner or playing for years, you can still compete with anyone and have fun.
Bocce is a simple game to learn, it is a cross between shufflebord and bowling. The rules are simple. you first roll a little yellow ball called a “pallino” to the far end of the court. You then try to get your bocce balls closest to the small yellow ball as possible, while your opponents do the same. Whoever is closest to the “pallino” earns points and thats how you win the game. Typically you play until someone has 21 points. It is easy to get the hang of it and you will be addicted in no time.
If you would like to play bocce ball, there are 2 fun events coming up that are open to the public.
- THE BOCCE BASH is for Beginners. It will be played Friday, July 15th during the Sons of Italy Food Truck Rally. Teams of 4 can sign up to comepeter for a $200 grand prize. The Signup sheet is HERE. You do not have to be a member of the club to play in this event.
- THE BOCCE CLASSIC: Want to play in one of Dayton’s biggest bocce tournaments? CLICK HERE
For the 2 events above, there will be food vendors and beer trucks, and even some live music! Just want to observe? Admission is free to come and watch. Eats and drinks are available for purchase by anyone. Take the weekend of July 15th-17th to play some bocce, have a few beverages, and taste some of Dayton’s best food.
You may even see the Food Adventures Crew at the Food Truck Rally and Garlic Fest the same weekend.
For more Dayton food info, follow Food Adventures on Facebook by clicking HERE.