New opportunities: Unified bocce is a sport for all

Bocce ball is a sport that is typically played as a backyard game. More recently, it has stepped into the spotlight at CHS. 

A co-ed unified bocce team recently started at CHS during the 2021-2022 winter sports season. The team played six games throughout the season with three at home and three away. 

“This is our first year,” Head coach Beth Dimino said. “Last year we did a lot of practicing. This was our first true competitive year.” 

When asked what inspired the forming of the team, assistant coach Theresa Dixon said, “We basically learned that unified bocce was a thing, and we wanted our students to be included in sports.”

The team’s last game was on Tuesday, February 15 which was also their senior night. The team recognized the following seniors: Crystal Jones, Tatum Kimmell, Ellie Knapp, and Grace Sweeney. 

Kimmell said her favorite part about the game is that “everyone claps for everyone. It is very encouraging.” 

The senior night game was held in the McGowan Gym where the team faced Cumberland Valley. The game consisted of three separate matches. The first and third matches lasted thirty minutes, while the second match lasted only twenty. The third match was the game that would count for the winning team’s record. 

A lot of emotions and thoughts arise before and after a game, bocce player Sam Green said, “I feel nervous before the game and I feel tired after the game.” 

In the first match, Carlisle won the coin toss and chose to use the green balls, leaving CV to be represented by the red balls. Carlisle also got to roll the pallina and the first ball. 

“Everyone claps for everyone. It is very encouraging.”

— Senior Tatum Kimmell

In the first frame of the first match, CV took the lead with two points. In the second frame, Carlisle earned three points putting them just ahead of CV. In this match, the teams were able to play out six full frames, and Carlisle was unable to score throughout the last four frames. CV won this match 7-3. 

The Herd was able to hold off the CV Eagles in the second match a little bit better with it, resulting in a 2-2 tie. 

The third match was also a really close game. When there are two minutes left on the clock, normally the play would stop and the judges would deliberate and determine the winner. In the case of this game, the score was tied and the teams needed to play out another frame to break the tie. Carlisle was able to come out victorious by scoring another point to end the game with a final score of 9-8.

After the win, Dixon said, “[We] are in it for the fun; the game [today] was the most competitive we have been.” 

Forming a team has allowed many students to take part in the sporting experience. Many of these kids had never been on a team before and playing bocce allowed them to spend more time with friends, learn something new, and enjoy playing the game.