Last week, GreaterPatchogue published a story about a Ping Pong bar that could possibly come to Patchogue.
Facebook commenters responded positively for Ping Pong — yet some cried out for a bocce bar in the village.
Sal Martinico asked, “How about a bocce ball bar too?”
Nat Scaccianoce wrote: “Yes on a bocce bar … “
“Unfortunately, that league only lasted a few seasons, since running a for-profit league from 850 miles away proved unsustainable,” said Richard Migliaccio.
“Enter Suffolk County Bocce, a non-profit league started for pleasure,” he added.
Suffolk County Bocce is just wrapping up its first season at 89 North, the winter season is entering the playoffs next week.
Click here to sing up for the spring season.
The ballers play each Thursday night on two 30 x 8-foot bocce courts. Eleven teams played this winter, and the hope is to sign up even more teams this spring.
But the local bocce club did keep the Chicago company’s own rule that “players must have a drink in their hand while throwing a ball.”
“It all comes down to friendly competition with a group of young at heart people who like to have a drink, be it water, beer or a little vino while tossing the bocce ball,” said Migliaccio, the league’s president. “Our indoor courts allow us to play any time of the year.”
“The cool thing about Bocce is you just get better as you play,” said Laura Accardi, an East Patchogue resident, Patchogue-Medford Library staffer and the driving force behind bringing the bocce leagues to Patchogue in the first place. “All ages, all people mingle and play.”
It was Accardi who had contacted the Chicago company years back about coming to Patchogue.
Her wheels got turning after the bocce tournament that happens the day of the St. Liberata Italian Festival in the village.
“The library joined the bocce tournament for St. Liberata” and the group was confident going into the tourney, she said. “Guess what, we lost to the losers! Never again I declared.”
So they got to practicing in the library basement, on an indoor court Accardi had made.
“I figured if we could practice all year long indoors, on our own time, and get really good, then we would be golden for next year’s tournament,” she said.
Her research led her to a Brooklyn indoor league that was connected to American Bocce Co.
“It took some time,” she said, but she got them to come out to Patchogue.
Now the Suffolk group is running with the ball.
So, for the uninitiated, what makes bocce so fun? We asked Migliaccio:
“Newcomers or old timers, it puts a smile on your face and gives us a break from the daily grind. And for many of us, puts us back in a time when things were much simpler.”