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Bocce ball: The new shuffleboard

Some measure age in years, while others measure it in actions. If you ask yourself “how old am I,” what would be your reply?

Yeats writes that “when you are old and gray and full of sleep,” you nod by the fire and “dream of the soft look your eyes had once.” Lewis Carroll puts it another way and writes that age gives you white hair and makes you grow “uncommonly fat.”

I say, if you can identity both Yeats and Carroll without an Internet search, you are old.



Another test of age is bocce ball — which, in case you have not heard, is the new shuffleboard. If you regularly play “bocce,” chances are you are no longer shuttling kids to soccer, riding a skateboard, or changing diapers (not your own), and whether you like it or not, you’re old.

Furthermore, if you are on a bocce ball team and have the time to practice before league games, you are super old.




The Lake of the Pines Bocce League has just completed a second season, and the sport has become quite popular with, dare I say, the older crowd. This year, there were 36 teams that played on four different evenings each week, from May through September.

Many of the most senior participants in this mildly athletic event (it is athletic compared to pinochle) show up on the court with knee braces, canes, and hearing aides, but if you cross the first white line on the court with a walker, you will be penalized. OK, I admit, I did play on a bocce ball team this year, but that does not make me old. I am only seven in dog years.

It should be mentioned that the increased activity on the bocce ball courts has most likely bolstered traffic in the adjacent bar at the LOP Sports Lounge. It is no coincidence that the courts were constructed next to this popular watering hole, especially when you consider some of the team names: High Ballers, Grigios, Bocce Brawlers, A Nfer Scuse to Brink. By the way, the bar stays open really late for the bocce crowd — last call is 7:45 p.m.

Patty Nicholl, a local bocce expert and statistician, volunteers to referee games and post team standings on the official LOP activities web site. For standings and information about joining a team, visit http://www.lopsac.com. Winning teams were recognized at an awards dinner held at Park 4 this past Sunday.

Another great event with an international flair is the Higgins Diggins Lions second annual Oktoberfest dinner. The club will host this fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Higgins Lions Community Center, 22490 E. Hacienda Drive.

The cost is $15 per person and includes bratwurst with sauerkraut, hot German potato salad, green beans and bread. A no-host bar will be available. Desserts will be offered for sale by the Bear River Lioness Club. Take out is also available. For tickets call (530) 268-0565.

All proceeds will go to the operating and maintenance costs associated with the community center.

Laura Lavelle’s column is for southern Nevada County residents to share thoughts and information. Contact her at lavelle@cebridge.net or leave a message at (530) 477-4249.


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