NYC Social’s bocce league blends balls and brews

“Isn’t it an old man’s sport?” is the first thing you usually hear when you mention you play on a bocce league. And, yeah, sure, it’s it’s a favorite among the older set in Italy. But bocce’s been exported all over the world, brought by Italian immigrants as they settled in new lands. New York is no exception. Bocce has taken root here and blossomed — and for a good reason: It’s tons of fun!

New to the sport and want to play? NYC Social’s bocce leagues are the best way to go. NYC Social puts the emphasis on social. And no game is more social than bocce. Brittany LoSchiavo, a Brooklyn league bocce player, says it has an advantage over faster-play league sports. “Socializing in other leagues is limited to before and after the game.” Whereas a bocce game is slow enough that you can get to know your opponents while you play.

OK, so you want to know what bocce is. It’s a game where you roll bocce balls down a court and try to get them closest to a target ball (the pallino in bocce lingo). That’s it! It’s so easy to learn that even first-timers can score points, but difficult enough that it holds your interest — and keeps games competitive.

Even though bocce is slow-paced, NYC Social bocce games aren’t staid, rigid affairs. There’s tons of liquid encouragement to go along with it. “We usually drink about ten beers before a game, but still pretend to take it seriously,” LoSchiavo says, talking about her championship winning team, “the DBags.” Maybe you don’t need a dozen sudsy ones to get started, but a little libation does wonders for your bocce rolls.

There’s more socializing to be had after the game’s over and the points are tallied. NYC Social leagues are famous for their post-game celebrations, where opposing teams can buy the other a congratulatory drink — or talk a little smack. It’s a great way to make friends. LoSchiavo had just moved to Brooklyn from Manhattan when she ran across an old friend. He invited her to join his team. Four years later, she can count her teammates among her closest friends. “NYCS bocce brought us together and I will forever be grateful for that.” She even met her life partner!

There’s no guarantee you’ll find your future spouse through bocce,. You can be sure you’ll meet some fun, laid-back people who appreciate the relaxed, yet competitive nature of a lawn game.

There are leagues all over the city, but the coolest (we think) are in Brooklyn. Games are played at three locations in our borough: McCarren Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Greenwood Park Beer Garden (home of the “Dbags”).

And even if bocce isn’t your bag, NYC Social offers a ton of other activities that will have you meeting cool people. They’re expanding their leagues in Brooklyn with fitness classes and new sports, too! Check them out:

– Beach Volleyball

– Kickball

– Softball – New!

– Bocce

– Yoga Classes

– High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Classes – New!

– Kan Jam – New!

– Flag Football

– Cornhole

– Basketball

Special for Brokelyn readers: use code BROKEBK for $5 off Brooklyn leagues. Players can join as a full team, a small group of friends or solo. Registration for the Spring season closes March 29th, so sign up now at nycsocial.com.

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