Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Get Out in the Sun and Play Some Bocce Ball

This ancient game, whose modern adaptation most closely resembles bowling, requires skill, strategy and just a little luck. Bocce ball is a great game to play outside on a beautiful day. It is highly popular among seniors, but youths are sure to enjoy this accuracy game.

  1. Find a flat, level playing surface (packed dirt, gravel or grass are ideal). A regulation bocce court is 76 feet long and 10 feet wide.
  2. Divide players into two teams of one, two or four players each. Each team gets four balls, divided equally among the players.
  3. Have a player from the starting team stand behind the foul line (which is 10 feet from the throwing end of the court) and throw the small ball, or "pallina," toward the opposite end of the playing surface.
  4. Let the player then throw one of the larger balls, or "boccia," trying to get it as close to the pallina as possible without touching it.
  5. Have players from the opposing team take turns throwing their balls until one of the balls stops closer to the pallina than the starting player's ball. If they fail to do so, the starting team tries to outdo its first attempt.
  6. Let the starting players take their second turn if the opposing team gets closer to the pallina than the starting team without using all of their balls.
  7. Continue in this fashion until all eight balls have been thrown. The team with the closest ball gets one point for each of its balls that are closer to the pallina than the other team's closest ball.
  8. Keep in mind that if the two teams' closest balls are an equal distance from the pallina, no points are awarded.
  9. End the frame after all eight balls have been thrown and appropriate points have been awarded. The scoring team begins the next frame. If no team previously scored, the team that threw the pallina last begins the next frame.
  10. Play as many frames as needed until one team has a total score of 16 points.

Players may use their balls to knock the other team's balls away from the pallina, or to knock the pallina closer to their team's balls.

Click this link for more information on how to keep score in Open Bocce.

LED Bocce Ball

Bocce is one of the oldest and most popular lawn games around. It's too bad it has to come to an end when the sun goes down, or does it? With LED Bocce, there is no need to pack up as the sun drops. Each colored ball stays lit for up to 3 minutes at a time, so you can keep playing when the light is low. All of the balls fit neatly into the wooden carry crate, so you can take LED Bocce with you anywhere! Includes:

  • 8 colored balls (yellow, red, green and blue) with embedded LEDs
  • 1 white target ball with embedded LEDs
  • Button cell batteries
  • Wooden storage case
Click this link to purchase a LED Bocce Ball set from Brookstone.

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