What is bocci?
The game of bocci (pronounced bochi, closely related to the French game of petanque, English bowls and the Italian bocce) is a sport played on the Maltese islands. bocci is thought to have originated from a game practiced by the Knights of St. John during their time in Malta. bocci has been handed down from one generation to another and today it is played all over the islands. There is a bocci club in almost every village in Malta and Gozo.
The local Federation was established in 1983 and village teams made up of semi-professional players take part in national competitions held outdoors between March and October in the cool of the evening under floodlight.
How is bocci played?
bocci is played on a sand-covered smooth surface between two teams normally each made up of up to three players. The jack ball is around the size of a marble and the other balls and cylinders are the size of snooker-balls. One team plays with 3 red balls and up to 8 cylinders, and the other team with green balls and cylinders. The object of the game is to throw from one end and get your team’s balls and cylinders as close to the jack as possible, whilst knocking the other team’s balls and cylinders further away. Points are scored for getting closest to the jack and the team first to 21 points wins the game.
Club Access 2 leisure goes bocci
Club Access 2 leisure members now have access to their very own bocci pitch at Club Riza in Qawra, Malta. The pitch is situated in the large enclosed marquee adjacent to the Club Riza entrance which allows all weather use, so members can play shaded both from the strong summer sun or the occasional winter drizzle.
During the peak seasons friendly competitions are organised for all Club Access 2 leisure members to try their hand at the game of bocci under the guidance of Club Access 2 leisure staff. The beauty of bocci is that the game involves only gentle exercise and therefore attracts people of all ages and abilities to play together or against each other.
Although there is only one weekly Club Access 2 leisure competition first prize winner, all participants and spectators have a great opportunity to meet and socialise with their fellow members both in competition and during the afternoon party where complimentary snacks and drinks flow.
Next time you stay at Club Riza remember to book the bocci pitch through the Club Riza Reception and get practicing – you will not be disappointed!