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Winter rains and falling snow spell the end of the bocce season for many American players. But in Philadephia, the arrival of portable Packabocce courts, produced by sporting goods supplier Packaworld, has provided local players with an easy way to bring the game indoors over the colder months.
All-American Liberty Leagues co-founders Sam Holloschutz and Kyle Fernley say there have been “rave reviews” after three weeks of their first eight-week indoor season, hosted at Urban Saloon in the neighbourhood of Fairmount.
Founded in June 2016 during the American summer, the leagues began at Triangle Park along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, beginning with 90 players in the first season and expanding to two different league nights in the fall.
“I would have gone crazy if I’d had to go all winter without playing bocce.
“I love playing with the courts. I’ll even take them out on the weekend and play with friends. We play game after game after game. It’s great.”
He says being able to operate year-round allows All-American Liberty Leagues to stay in the forefront of people’s minds, making it easier to grow the player base.
The leagues were founded to try and bring people together, using everything from flyers and Facebook to social apps such as the ‘Nextdoor’ neighbourhood social network to connect with people across Philadelphia, Mr Holloschutz says.
“We love bocce, and we’re happy to run leagues where we can introduce it to new people.”
League co-founder Kyle Fernley says bocce is a fantastic way for people to meet up and have fun.
“In Fairmount where we run the leagues, there is a large amount of people, but the avenues for them to get to know each other are actually very limited.
“Bocce really is a catalyst that brings people together, and it’s been going great to the point where we’ve been able to expand our leagues. With the help of Packaworld and their equipment, we can continue into the winter season.”
He encourages anyone looking to get involved to “go for it”, and says the leagues have been “a blast” so far.
Photos provided courtesy of All-American Liberty Leagues.