Let the good times roll: Annual bocce tournament headed for Western Gateway Park | TheUnion.com

Let the good times roll: Annual bocce tournament headed for Western Gateway Park

Bjorn Johnson
Special to The Union

On Sept. 23, several teams from around Northern California will be playing bocce and winning prizes in Penn Valley.

Nevada County Bocce is hosting its annual Northern California tournament. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and play begins at 9 a.m. at the club's courts at Western Gateway Park, 18560 Penn Valley Drive in Penn Valley.

The tournament calls for a maximum of 16 teams, made up of four people per team. Entry fee is $40 per player, making it $160 per team. The tournament will be divided into four-team pool play. The teams will play each other several times before the winning teams play each other for the top prizes. Team captains must have applications filed by Sept. 19.

Nevada County Bocce has around 25 members. During normal league play only three of the six courts at Western Gateway Park are in regular use; until they grow their numbers, some courts go unused. There are two seasons: early April to mid June, and then another from mid Sept. to mid July. They play on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to sundown.

Between and throughout the seasons, potluck dinners and similar social events for members and family are planned yearly, dependent on factors such as weather and season start dates.

"We are looking to expand it to about 30 to 40 people," said Rick Scardina, a member of Nevada County Bocce for several years. Scardina said he would like to attract more young and middle-aged adults between 20 and 40 years old.

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Bocce is a skill-based non-contact sport which doesn't require special clothes and uses limited equipment. The sport's origins date back to ancient Rome, and its popularity has been growing in the U.S. in recent years.

Scardina said the club is planning on expanding on its fundraisers, more social events and possibly introducing teams for local companies. They are looking for funds not just for prizes, but to give back and help maintain Western Gateway Park.

He said introducing bocce to local businesses could increase productivity and keep employees ready to meet the challenges of the workday.

"It's always good when your employees have something to do during work breaks. Something that relaxes them and helps eliminate the stress from morning challenges," Scardina said.

Nevada County Bocce is searching for local sponsors. Past tournaments brought teams from all over California to local shops. Scardina wants to involve local business in more of the prizes.

"Maybe a restaurant could give a buy-one-get-one-free deal as a prize, or a local hotel could give a free night to one of the winners," Scardina said. "It could really show players from out of town that this is a nice area."

Friends and family are welcome to attend the event and watch. There are no bleachers, so attendees must provide their own seating and shade.

Questions can be directed to Rick Scardina. His phone number is 530-777-8232. He can also be contacted via email at rickscardina@gmail.com.

Bjorn Johnson is a freelance writer who lives in Grass Valley. Contact him at contact@bjornjohnson.us.

KNOW & GO

What: Northern California Bocce Tournament

Where: Western Gateway Park, 18560 Penn Valley Dr., Penn Valley

When: 9 a.m. Sept. 23

Information: Entry fee is $40 per player ($160 per team) and team applications must be in by Sept. 19. Teams are expected to get a number of games played regardless of skill level. The registration form and more information can be found at the club website http://www.nevadacountybocce.com.

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