A Combo of Others, Bocce Appeals to All

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2014 Updated Aug 6, 2014 at 10:18 PM CDT

Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Bocce is, quite simply, a combination of the very best parts of bowling, skee-ball, and shuffleboard --- and what you get in the end is a low-pressure activity for people of any and all ages.

And among those who play bocce at Skyline Lanes, Bill Grillo is a somewhat of a legend.

"Billy is the star of the show. Bocce Bill," Jerry Gustofson said.

And with a name like that, how could you not be?

"This year they started to ask me is your name actually Bocce Bill?" Grillo said. "Well, of course it's Bocce Bill. I'm Bocce Bill. You can't make that up. That's a match made in heaven."

He's far from being an angel, though. Just ask long-time bocce ball enthusiast Gustofson.

"Yeah, he put me in the penalty box, but I got my revenge," he said. "I put Billy in the penalty box."

We didn't find any evidence of the sin bin. There was, however, plenty of room to get your bocce on.

"We started out with two courts," Skyline Lanes general manager Tyler Swor said. "We added three more, and we're full tonight."

The Skyline Bocce League is now in its fifth season, and Swor says it's a game that appeals to just about anyone.

"It's a game that everyone can sit and talk and BS, heckle each other, you know," he said. "You can be as competitive as you want to be."

That's where guys like Gustofson come in.

"We haven't done very well this year," he admits, "but our team has changed a little."

What hasn't changed over the years is the name of the game -- fun.

"Don't take it too seriously," Swor said. "Just have some fun with it. That's all it's all about."

"Just have fun, and be with your team," first-year player Brittany Swenson added.

And even if you're a first timer, it doesn't take long to catch on -- right, Bocce Bill?

"It's very simple. People come in, and they go, 'I don't know how to play bocce ball,'" he said. "Start rolling the ball and you'll be a pro in five minutes. It's a great sport."

If you don't believe the "star of the show," then just ask Gustofson.

"I would recommend bocce to anyone that wants to get out and do something," he said.

Posted by Zach Schneider
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