Players discuss Unified Bocce Ball and its growing interest among student body


Apurva Manas

THROW DOWN: Junior Conrad Weindorf winds up to throw the ball. Weindorf is also involved in Unified Track, apart of Champions Together.

Among the variety of specialty clubs at this school, the Bocce Club is unique. Bocce is a ball sport that looks a little like yard bowling, where teams of one to four players bowl small bocce balls down the length of the court. But while Bocce is a popular sport in nations such as Italy, it is not particularly well known around Carmel.

Heather Bouillet, Bocce Club sponsor and special services teacher, said, “I had not (heard of bocce ball), when (students) came to me last year and asked me to sponsor the club. I had to look it up because I didn’t know what bocce was.”

In addition to the unique rules, the Bocce Club includes students who are physically handicapped; the club makes accommodations for the students. Bouillet said “(Bocce ball) is something that a lot of our students can participate in. We were able to adapt it for some of our students who use wheelchairs. We built a bocce ramp inside of the bowling ramp so that the (students) could use the ramp to play bocce ball.”

The students without special needs partner with the students with special needs during tournaments and practice and work together as a team.

Ella “Elly” Cumming, Bocce Club member and junior, said, “I really like working with the athletes and it’s also a good way to get involved in the school.”

The Bocce Club is different from other competitive high school sports when it comes to the club’s competitions. Rather than winning, members just focus on just creating new connections and having fun together as a team.

“I love to watch the friendships develop and watch everyone cheer for each other,” Bouillet said. “It’s just a really neat event and it’s nice to see schools come together and support each other,” Bouillet said.