Bocce V. Curling — Obscure Sports With An Evangelistic Fan Base But Which Is Better?

(Fredric J Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty
  • Country Of Origin
    Italy, popularized by the Roman Empire, but possibly depicted as early as 5200 BC in an Egyptian tomb painting.
    Scotland, but notoriously a Canadian pasttime and/or subject of jokes about Canadians.
  • Game Play
    Balls rolled toward a target ball, can also be used to bump other balls. 8 balls are often used, 4 for each team.
    "Stone" slides toward a fixed target, while players sweep to steer and spin the stone, bumps other stones. 16 stones are often used, 8 for each team
  • Playing Surface
    Any flat surface, anywhere, with a rough size suggested. Players often decide on an informal set of rules.
    Ice, covered with droplets of water called "pebbles."
  • Multitasking Opportunities
    One hand is all that's needed to roll the ball, leaving your other free, for, whatever.
    The stones are 40 pounds or so, plus the sweepers have quite the work to do after the release, steering the stone.
  • Famous 49ers Tie-Ins
    Former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci hold an annual charity tournament with Raider legend John Madden.
    Vernon Davis, 49ers tight-end is a two-time honorary captain of the U.S. Olympic Curling Team.
Bocce wins! Fewer rules, play it anywhere, no need to freeze your backside off, less sweeping, more swigging. Sounds like the perfect sport for the non-sports-inclined. Vernon Davis? We can see why you're curling, while Coach Madden and Coach Mariucci are playing the "sport" of bocce.

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