VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- There’s a sport that’s gaining popularity in Virginia Beach, and you don’t have to be an athlete in order to play it.
It’s Bocce Ball.
The rules are pretty simple. You have two teams of two, four balls per team, and whoever gets his/her ball closest to the small white ball earns a point. The first to reach 11 wins.
“If there is a good shot another team can just knock that shot out of the way,” said Kelvin Sealy.
Sealy is the brains behind Bocce VB. In the past year, he has created three different leagues consisting of more than 150 players.
“People have heard of Bocce. They may have played here or there, but when people say they are in a league, people say, ‘Oh, wow. That’s cool. I want to do that,’” said Sealy.
Bars, including the one at Green Flash Brewery and The Shack, installed their own courts. The Virginia Beach Field House is using its volleyball courts for Bocce.
Each location hosts a league on a different weeknight:
"If you go over to The Shack you are playing on green carpet. If you come here you are playing on shells. You go to the Field House you are playing on sand,” said Matt Bittner, manager at Green Flash.
Bittner said Bocce Night brings a guaranteed spike in business.
“You’ve always got to have one hand on the ball, one hand on the beer. It keeps you busy. It makes the beer go down faster,” stated Bittner.
The Shack calls it a game changer. Pool tables are a thing of the past.
“The idea of being outdoors and being active are huge in this community,” said manager Chris Pryer.
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Players love the camaraderie. Some of the team names we’ve heard include: “Bocce Im,” “Come Bocce with Us,” “Hibachi,” and “Booya Bocces.”
Jane and Kelly Blessing are on a mother-daughter team.
“She said this is her favorite night of the week, and I love that,” said Kelly.
In a game of inches, they like to put a hex on the opposing teams.
Those kinds of superstitions won’t work on the husband and wife Francis and Leilani Im, who won on the final throw.
“Close game. It was by one point. It was incredible,” said Francis.
For more information on Bocce VB and how to join a league click here.