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Sendero May Become Orange County’s Mecca for Bocce

Fans of bocce will feel at home in the Village of Sendero, which will feature no less than five bocce courts — two accessible to all residents of Sendero and three in the gated age-qualified community of Gavilan.  In addition, both The Outpost and the Sendero Gateway apartments will feature their own bocce courts.  Below is the Sendero bocce courts:

Bocce Courts at Sendero

And here are the lighted Gavilan bocce courts:

Bocce Courts at Gavilan

With five beautiful new bocce courts, Sendero is poised to become Orange County’s mecca for bocce!

If you are unfamiliar with bocce, it is a modern derivative of an ancient Roman game.  The current version and its name comes to us from Italy — bocce is plural for boccia, which ironically means “to bowl.”  Essentially, bocce is a fancy way of saying “bowling.”  Bocce sounds more exotic.  The rules of bocce are relatively simply.  Wikipedia describes the rules as follows:

A game can be conducted between two players, or two teams of two, three, or four. A match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack (called a boccino or pallino in some areas), from one end of the court into a zone [on] the far end of the court.

The side that first attempted to place the jack is given the opportunity to bowl first. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From then on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining balls. The team with the closest ball to the jack is the only team that can score points in any frame. The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls that is closer to the jack than the closest ball of the other team. The length of a game varies by region but is typically from 7 to 13 points.

Players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action. This is generally used to knock either the jack or another ball away to attain a more favorable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the ball to throw or roll it accurately.

Want to see a game of bocce in action?  Check out this heartwarming short video produced by a Chapman Film School student:

Why bocce ball?  Sendero isn’t the only village featuring bocce ball courts as amenities — Lambert Ranch in Irvine offers bocce at its “Ranch House” community center, too.  Why would developers install courts for an obscure Italian bowling game?

First, they are inexpensive and small.  At 90 feet long by about 12 feet wide, you can fit a couple bocce courts into a ~2500 square foot space, and all that is required is a hard surface for the court.  Presto, instant amenity!

Second, communities that offer bocce courts typically don’t have basketball courts.  This is intentional.  Basketball courts are noisy with squeaking shoes, bouncing balls and backboard reverberations.  Bocce courts aren’t.  When a developer chooses bocce over basketball, it’s not because bocce is poised to be the next sports craze in this country — it’s to limit noise pollution for the neighbors.  In addition, basketball is a young person’s game, while bocce is ageless.  When half your homes are age-qualified, bocce makes more sense for the demographic.

If you are moving to Sendero and looking to take advantage of the neighborhood bocce courts, you can be the envy of your new neighbors with a tournament grade bocce ball set available for purchase here.

UPDATED to mention that The Outpost and the Sendero Gateway Apartments will also include bocce courts.

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