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Area resident to form bocce league

Ancient sport of strategy and finesse gains popularity, again

Andy Incitti, left, Dennis Incitti and Chris Hyde examine the placement of their bocce balls during a recent match on the Biancone-Lakeview Bocce Court. A popular sport in ancient Rome, bocce is played across the globe, as well as in Central New York. Dennis Incitti hopes to start an area league in the coming weeks.

Andy Incitti, left, Dennis Incitti and Chris Hyde examine the placement of their bocce balls during a recent match on the Biancone-Lakeview Bocce Court. A popular sport in ancient Rome, bocce is played across the globe, as well as in Central New York. Dennis Incitti hopes to start an area league in the coming weeks. Jane Incitti

— Bocce, a traditional Italian sport first popularized in ancient Rome, has begun to gain a local following. A league is expected to form soon, under the direction of former Cazenovia resident, Dennis Incitti. A retired director of business operations for the New York State Insurance Fund, Incitti currently resides in Erieville, and has constructed a regulation-size bocce court overlooking Tuscarora Lake.

“The court is named the ‘Biancone-Lakeview Bocce Court,’ after an old family name,” Incitti said. “Bocce is America’s fastest growing sport and can be played by all ages. Like bowling and golf, it is a very social sport. I would really like to start a bocce league so friends and family will be able to enjoy the court.”

Incitti said he is hoping to find a minimum of four teams of two, or eight individuals to start populating the league. If more people show interest, he said they can play on a rotating basis. The league, which currently has a working title of the “Biancone-Lakeview Bocce League,” will meet at least one night a week. Incitti said he is flexible on which night, but has suggested Thursday, as a relaxing precursor to the weekend. Gatherings are planned to act more as social events, rather than heated competition.

Bocce matches are played between two opposing teams, which can include as many as one to four individuals. A small white ball, known as a jack or “pallino,” is first cast down the court into an area at least one foot from the side or end boards. Each team has four larger balls which they roll in turn, trying to place as close to the jack as possible. The team that is closest to the jack after all balls are rolled is awarded one point for each ball in closer proximity than the opposing team’s nearest ball.

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