I played bocce (ball) for the first time in my life last Fall and loved it. I played at the Marin Bocce Federation Courts in San Rafael with a group of colleagues from my office in a fund-raising tournament for the Women’s Council of Realtors – Marin County. It wasn’t a high-pressure situation but there was still a competitive spirit. Because bocce is an easy enough game to pick up and not completely embarrass yourself at the first outing, our group of novices made a perfectly decent showing while having a great time.
The facility, located adjacent to Albert Park in downtown San Rafael, is beautiful, with recently refinished courts so the balls roll smoothly. I haven’t played on the two indoor courts, but the eight outdoor courts are laid out nicely, with tables and benches nearby for relaxing between games.
The courts get a lot of sun, so bring a hat and sunscreen. Also, you’ve got to wear soft-soled shoes so that the court surfaces don’t get damaged.
It’s simple to get started. Just call ahead to make reservations, and once there the staff will provide you with the bocce balls and teach you the rules to get started. The rules are pretty straight-forward, and pretty much any age can play. I’m sure there is a lot of strategy employed by really good players, but beginners will still enjoy it.
Where: 550 B Street, San Rafael (map)
Hours: Sunday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monday, Wednesday & Thursday: Afternoons by reservation only.
Phone: (415) 485-5583