Outdoor Games and Gear

Beach Bocce News of the Week (May 8, 2012)

Beach Bocce News of the Week (May 8, 2012)

Tournament to benefit United Way in Shinnston, WV

Bocce is officially making inroads in the coalfields. The United Way of Harrison County, West Virginia is hosting a bocce tournament on May 19 at Shinnston City Park. Two men and two women will make up each team. The entry fee of $100 will go to benefit the mission of the United Way. We’ve seen before the bocce is one of the best games for charity—it’s easy, there’s no learning curve, and everyone seems to get a kick out of it. For information on registering a team for this event, call the Harrison County United Way at 304-624-6337.

New Bocce League in North Hollywood, CA

Attention, Dudes and Dudettes: There’s a brand-spanking new bocce league in North Hollywood. All the action takes place on Tuesday nights in NoHo Park. Here’s what a spokesperson for Cali Bocce said about the league’s mission: “The main goal of our league is for people to meet other people in a fun/different environment.” I couldn’t have said it better myself; Bocce is undeniably one of the best games and activities for groups, and doesn’t require much (or any) athletic skill. Beach bocce is even more awesome because you don’t need a “court.” The beach is your court!

Beach Bocce Destination of the Week: Manasota Key

Does the thought of unspoiled, natural beaches make you want to kick off your shoes and dive right into the water? How about an island that’s still covered in oaks and red cedars rather than crowded resorts and parking lots? Halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, lies just such an undiscovered slice of paradise. Manasota Key is home to relatively few people and even fewer vacationers. It’s a well-kept secret and a fantastic destination for escaping the crowds.

Dr. Henry Heimlich visited the Key each season—the quiet and tropical atmosphere no doubt helped him think of new maneuvers. Film directors, sports stars and members of the Vanderbilt family have all settled here at one time or another. Nelda Thompson, a realtor on Manasota Key, claims the area has kept its “Great Gatsby “atmosphere, despite the march of progress everywhere else. She sums up the mystique of her home island like this: “To me, Manasota Key is a destination. You don't come here wanting to go anywhere else.”

Here’s what I’m thinking—wouldn’t this be a fantastic venue for Beach Bocce Ball? Imagine you and just a few friends, completely alone on a quiet, white sand beach. Does it get any better? These unspoiled locales really add something special to a game of beach bocce. Navigating around driftwood, seaweed and Spanish moss are all just part of the fun. So think of Manasaota Key the next time you’re planning that weekend getaway.

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