Mayor James J. Fiorentini > Press Release
July 2, 2007
Mayor Announces Opening of Bocce Court
Mayor James J. Fiorentini today announced that the City of Haverhill will celebrate the opening of the newly created Bocce Court on Monday evening at 4 p.m. directly behind the Tap Restaurant. Members from the Sons of Italy, the Garibaldi club and several other local organizations have been invited to participate in the first official game of the season!
The Mayor hopes to attract more people to the downtown area and the court creation is part of the overall process to reconnect citizens to the river. Bocce, which is a long time favorite summer sport, will allow for all citizens to participate in the recreational activity. The Mayor has received a check from Trinity Ambulance for $1,000 and several other organizations have committed to the project. The Mayor said:
The sport first came to America in the English version called bowis from the French boule meaning ball. In accord with how the game was played in Britain, American players threw the ball not on stone dust (as is done today in bocce) but on close cropped grass which some say is the origin of the modern lawn. It has been noted that one early American playing field was Bowling Green at the southern tip of Manhattan and that George Washington built a court at Mount Vernon in the 1780s.
Thanks to many Italian immigrants at the turn of the century, bocce has come to flourish in the United States. During its beginnings in the U.S. there were as many versions of thegame as there were towns the immigrants had left.
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City of Haverhill, Massachusetts
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