Has anyone played Bocci Ball before? I had never played it before and received an invitation to play with a few of my family members and graciously and thoughtfully accepted the invitation.
You might wonder why I stated thoughtfully. This is because I am completely blind and walk with the aid of one long white cane for navigation and one support cane for stability. As you might understand I had to plan my strategy to participate and be successful since I did not want the team I was on to lose the game. Plus my main goal was to have fun in the beautiful outdoors and enjoy my new Bocci Ball adventure with my family.
I had my family members explain to me how the game is played and the rules. They also described the four red and four green balls we divided between the two teams we had with four people on each team. There was one smaller white ball, called the jack or pallino. From what I understand from only playing once the goal of the game is to roll your ball and get it closer to the pallino than anyone on the other team without hitting the back end of the court which immediately causes that ball to be a dead ball and is not eligible for any points.
I felt one of the balls to get a feel for the weight and width. I also had a person go to the end of the court and call to me so I could gauge the distance to the end of the court by sound. I could also hear where the borders of the rectangular court were by listening to the people walk up and down the sides of the court which helped me gauge the width of the court. With these sound clues I now had a mental visualization of the layout of the rectangular court.
Time to Participate:
At the start of each game a person would roll out the white ball (pallino). When it was my turn I had a person stand by the pallino and call out to me so I could locate the pallino by memorizing where the voice came from. Standing behind the foul line, I swung my arm back and forth to get a gentle rhythm and focus on the direction I wanted to roll the ball. Once I was ready I rolled the ball towards where I thought the pallino might be. The court was very, very fast so I only had to roll the ball slowly for it to roll down the court and if I planned correctly close to the pallino. I would then listen to the other voices either get excited if I rolled a good ball or hear the cringes or moans if I rolled a poor ball. Luckily I rolled more good balls then poor ones. Also with some astonishment I actually made quite a few points by getting my ball closer to the pallino than anyone on the other team. The team I was on was in the lead most of the time until near the very end when the other team took the lead and won the match.
Even though our team lost I felt as if I had won. I felt I had won since I attempted to play instead of taking the easy way out by not trying. I was also pleased because I was able to fully participate in our family fun.
Do any of you enjoy experiencing new activities? What did you learn from participating in new activities to overcome what seems like obstacles to experience joy and inclusion? Does anyone have examples of when you had the chance to experience new activities life has to offer and you chose to participate instead of sitting on the sideline.
I look forward to hearing your valuable thoughts and comments.
Global Dialogue Center