The first tournament, played on five clay courts sported over 40 teams and was sparsely attended by those not familiar with the game. Little did those founders know, that this little tournament would become the unofficial “Ohio State Championship” and introduce thousands to their favorite pastime.
Since those days, The Bocce Classic has grown into an annual 3 day event that last year added an amateur contest. They will be continuing with that on Friday night, July 21st, partnering with UpDayton, who will benefit from the proceeds of this one night tournament. The Bocce Bash,
designed for those that are new to the game, will be just a part of the Friday night fun, with a 15 food truck rally and live entertainment. If you can roll a ball, you can play bocce! You just roll a big ball down the court toward a smaller ball. Whoever gets closest to the small ball (the pallina) gets a point. Teams of 4 will compete in a single elimination tournament with the winning team getting $200 cash and bragging rights. Grab some friends, form a team and have some fun- sign up here. Long time lodge member and Bocce enthusiast Kevin Sorrice explains, “While bocce was traditionally played by men, today women and kids enjoy the game as well. It’s a game that brings people together and you can play with a beer in your hand.”
For the more serious bocce players, consider the 2 day Bocce Classic Tournament. This event, which kicks off on Sat, July 22nd has brought in teams from Canada, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky in the past. Teams of 4 will compete for some serious prize money: First $2500 Second $1500 Third $1000. You can find more info and entry forms online.
Since 1995, this event has generated proceeds of $208,000 for the support of local charities, the Bocce Classic Scholarship, and Italian Cultural endeavors. In addition to the competition of the game of Bocce, GarlicFest will be back with food & craft vendors, beverages along with the selected charities and their booths are part of the festivities as well as a garlic eating contest and a Prince tribute band. This free event takes place on 10 acres of tree covered grounds and organizers are expecting approximately 5,000 people to attend this event.