Winery brings ‘new’ game to valley

Wy’East Vineyards has opened two bocce courts next to its tasting room at 3189 Highway 35, Hood River.

Each court is 72 feet by 12 feet and finished with a quality oyster shell surface.

Bocce belongs to the boules sports family, related to bowls and petanque. The name bocce comes from the Latin word bottia, meaning boss.

Bocce is easy to learn and fun for the whole family. It has elements of shuffleboard, billiards and bowling and involves tossing balls to be the closest to the target ball. While individuals can play, teams of up to four people make for a lively competition.

A pergola provides shade, and the tasting room staff will make sure wines, red or white, are kept out of the sun for easy sipping. Users are welcome to bring a picnic snack. The courts are free to Wy’East’s customers.

The game derives from ones played in ancient Rome that were played in ancient Greece and Egypt before that.

The game starts by flipping a coin. The winning team chooses what color of bocci they want to choose.

The game is played with one small ball, the pallino, and eight bigger balls, the bocci, singular bocce.

Each team gets four bocci.

A full game is called a round.

Rounds are separated into scoring periods called giri; singular giro.

The team that gets nine, varies (16, 15 or 11) points first wins.

At the beginning of the giro, one team throws the pallino, making it the target.

Play continues until all the bocci have been thrown.

The team with the bocce closest to the pallino gets a point.

Additional points are scored for each bocce that is closer to the pallino than the closest bocce of the opposing team.

Players must call a type of throw before they make it.

A punto is a throw in which the player attempts to get the ball as close to the pallino as possible. When a bocce touches the pallino for a whole giro, it is called a baci — kiss — and the team the bocce belonged to receives two points.

A raffa is a throw aimed to move a bocce out of the way.

A volo is an aerial throw aimed to move either the pallino or a bocce.

If the wrong type of throw is made, the throw is the illegal, and the bocce is removed from the field, and the bocci already on the field are moved to their positions before the throw.

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