Bugibba Bocci Club

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You can't visit Malta without sharing a bottle of wine and bruschetta while watching a game of Bocci. Ok, you are not obliged to go for the wine,but it does make for a relaxing few hours. Most towns in Malta have a bocci club, but the best for position and welcoming atmosphere for visitors has to be the one along the seafront in Bugibba. This is a standard 60 foot square pitch of hard packed sand, two teams playing to a score of 20 to win. Similar to boules, a small silver jack is rolled, then each side (red or green) plays a total of 3 billiard-type balls plus 6 larger barrel shapes which they throw to bounce the opponent's ball out of the way. While the throw with balls is similar to bowls, players seem to chuck the bocci free hand as they fancy. When a red is closest to the jack, greens are thrown or rolled and when a green then becomes closer it is the turn of the reds – sounds more complicated than it is! Every now and then the area resounds to cries of "red on!" Or "green on!", teams rarely needing to get the tape measure out given the input from the crowd. At the end, the number of balls or bocci closest to the jack are recorded. It is very competitive of course, especially when playing for a trophy, but generally there are light-hearted groans and cheers as teams throw or roll their colours.


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