It was the early 90’s, and San Rafael Park (in Marin County, CA) was underutilized.
A master plan was developed in 1992 to revitalize the park with a focus on increasing activity in the park, and involving the community and private sector in the park development.
They decided bocce could be a solution, and 6 courts were installed.
In just three weeks, the night league was completely sold out with 60 teams and 400 players.
“One of the best things about bocce is that it is a family-oriented activity,” said Nogara. “It is easy to learn. I could teach the game in five minutes. You can have fun from the first time you set foot on the court. Not many other sports can make that claim.” For Nave, the secret to the Bocce Federation’s success is that it is instantly addicting. “It’s getting the people to play once. Then they’re hooked.”
“Bocce is a time-honored sport that is also part of the history of Marin County,” said Dr. Hass. “We used to have it years ago and it was very popular. The beauty of bocce is that you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to compete. Age, sex and physical considerations aren’t necessarily key factors in who wins or loses the game.”
The interior space of the facility was recently remodeled to include an additional bathroom, a meeting room and a larger office. Today, 18 years after Marin Bocce opened it’s doors, the facility has 8 exterior courts, 2 indoor courts, 155 teams and close to 2,000 players. The vision of the MBF’s Founding Fathers has become a reality.
The courts are a continuing success story, and the Marin Bocce Federation has played a big role in bringing life back to Albert Park, and in helping to restore this valuable community resource.