What’s more fun than Italian red wine, pasta and bocce? How about an official social league for the iconic game’s enthusiasts downtown!
After introducing their highly social take on the sport of bocce ball to thousands of players throughout Chicago and several other pilot cities, American Bocce Company (ABC) launched in St. Pete on Jan. 12th. With a new popularity among men and women, ABC has introduced its unique vision of the social sport to Carnival Cruise Lines (18 ships now offer bocce) and successfully started leagues in Knoxville, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Boston, and Long Island.
Why St. Pete? American Bocce President Alex Gara and ABC co-founder Alicia Harvey explained that St. Pete was a perfect community fit, with a robust downtown scene, an enthusiastic league manager team (Lauren and Matt Segedin) and an amazing venue – Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails’ two new outdoor bocce ball courts.
Beyond the infrastructure, Gara and Harvey were impressed by Intermezzo’s thoughtful cocktails and attention to detail and design. They also appreciated that Intermezzo and its developers share the principles of community-building that the ABC founders consider part of their DNA.
Jarrett Sabatini, owner of Intermezzo, is excited to see the bocce courts activated and a loyal customer-base grow from the bocce leagues. “Bringing together the neighborhood while the weather is at its peak and playing bocce with cocktails under 25 foot Royal Palm trees? That’s winning. Bocce is a quintessential Florida sport and I’m super excited to add this to St. Pete’s love of league sports.”
ABC’s Gara and Harvey got amazing support from other social sports clubs in St. Pete, especially the Mirror Lake Shuffleboard Club. Harvey heard about the Mirror Lake club from fellow social sports enthusiast and Brooklyn-based Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club co-founder Jonathan Schnapp.
Everything Old Is New Again: Bocce ball is an age-old participation sport rooted in tradition. Bocce ball is the third largest participation sport on the world. The sport can be traced back to 5000 B.C. in Egypt. It can be traced back to Roman and Greek heritage but was made popular by Italians in the 1800s. The object of the game is to roll your ball closer to the pallino (little ball) than your opponent.
Let The Games Begin: American Bocce’s first league begins on Monday, January 22nd and runs for seven weeks. Teams play two games a night each Monday. Teams line up with four players per game and can keep up to eight players per side. Cost is $260/team per season.
FYI: Click here to register and learn more. Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails is located at 1111 Central Avenue. Instagram: @AmericanBocceCo & @american_bocce_st_pete
(Photos courtesy of American Bocce Company & Intermezzo Coffee & Cocktails.)