North Haven’s Italian-Americans keep bocce tradition alive


EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Playing a game doesn’t get more Italian than bocce.

“The game of bocce is a very, very simple game,” said Giuseppe DeLucia of North Haven.

Several times a week a large group gathers to play bocce at the East Haven Italian-American Club. The club has an indoor court which allows them to play year-round. The majority of the men who play were born and raised in Italy before coming to the United States. In fact, they’ve been playing the game since they were kids.

“We enjoy very, very much. People play golf. We don’t play golf, we play bocce,” said Alex Berecchia.More Italian in Connecticut:

To play bocce you first role a tiny ball, known as a pallino. Players from two teams then roll their bocce balls down the court. The goal is to try to get the bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. The team that gets the closest gets a point. In most cases, whichever team gets to 12 points wins.

“If you lose, you don’t look good. If you win, it look good,” said Alphonse Buono.

The bocce players at the East Haven Italian-American Club know all about winning. Last year they become champions at the Annual World Series of Bocce, which ironically, was held in Rome, N.Y.

Despite the competitive spirit of the game, everyone remains friends when the bocce balls are put away. After all, this game is part of their heritage.

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