Bocce Update: 4/29/2020
It has been 48 days since we shut down bocce and barely a day goes by when we are not asked (either by email or from behind a mask at social distance): “When are we going to reopen bocce and what happens to the spring league?” If, when, and how we get to reopen is outside of our control (and not much use worrying about it now). The consistent position we have told people is that it is our desire to complete the spring league we started and not cancel it. Whenever that is and whatever that looks like, we look forward to getting back to the game we love and renew the great relationships bocce has facilitated in our community.
In our last email to each league player we announced a program whereby the CBCA would start accepting donations of money to be used to purchase gift certificates to local businesses, with those certificates given to people in need. Here is where that program stands as of today (April 27):
- We have received $2,210 in donations. Most of the donations are from our league players – for which we are very grateful. But remember, this program is open to everyone so please feel free to forward this email to your non-playing friends and family.
- Most of the money donated has been designated to benefit specific businesses. But some of the money is undesignated. The committee wanted to first do something for our first responders. CBCA has used $250 of the undesignated donations to purchase 50 gift certificates from Cup O’ Jo in downtown Clayton. Each certificate entitles the bearer to a beverage and a pastry. We distributed half of the certificates to the Clayton Police Department and half to our local fire station. Cup O’ Jo was very generous in discounting the price of the certificates.
- We wanted to partner with a local organization that focuses on helping people in need as the primary source of distribution of certificates. We contacted the Contra Costa Food Bank and they, in turn, directed us to one of their affiliates, the Monument Crisis Center (MCC) (a charity to whom CBCA has donated in the past). They are all in on this program and MCC will this week receive the first batch of gift certificates.
- The process works this way: for donations that are designated to a specific business we work with them to come up with a certificate and a value. CBCA then purchases the certificates from the business (so they get their money up front) and we, in turn, tender the certificates to MCC for distribution to their clientele.
- With the undesignated funds we will be looking to where we can help local businesses (not limited to food establishments) who presently cannot operate. One type of business is our local hair salons. We are working with a couple of them to come up with a suitable certificate and once we do we will tender those to MCC for use when the shelter period is over and their business can resume.
To the food establishments we have worked with so far we are very grateful for their generosity in increasing the value of the certificates by discounting them to CBCA. This provides more value to the ultimate recipient.
Although we are off to a good start, we can and must do better. Please consider making a donation to help one of our local businesses, and share this message with your family and friends and encourage them too. We know that lots of people are helping others and for that we are grateful.
We will periodically update the website with information on the total dollars collected, and from whom gift certificates were purchased.
This is an extraordinary time in each of our lives that has, if nothing else, reinforced the need and value of our personal relationships. Stay safe, be patient, and we will come through this better as a community for having gone through it together.
CBCA Bocce Committee – 04/29/2020
Statement on Suspension of Spring League
The Bocce Committee met on March 11 and unanimously agreed to suspend league play until at least March 27, 2020, at which time we will reassess the resumption of league play in light of the current and expanding situation regarding COVID-19 and the efforts of our public health authorities to arrest its spread. The courts will be open for free play seven days a week beginning at 10:00 a.m. until Skipolini’s closes. Court rentals will be honored. The courts will be in use subject to unplayable conditions such as rain. We will reassess this too if the developing situation warrants.
The first question we asked each other at our meeting was whether we should propose resumption now at all or allow the current situation to clarify for a couple of weeks as suggested by the county health department. All agreed that we should come up with a mechanism to resume play as soon as possible because people have paid their fees and bocce (although a game) is an important part of community morale. Another factor is that bocce is played outside on a large lot, whereas the county guidelines seem more focused on indoor activities in a more confined space were people are more likely to be at no more than arm’s length with lots of other people. The proposed resumption protocols focused on limiting the number of games played at once and/or strictly limiting the number of players on the courts so that we can reasonably remain under 50 people on the courts at one time. We talked about the potential impacts on the schedule and what rules of play may need to be suspended in order to accomplish this.
We quickly realized that a strict player/spectator limit is inconsistent with the bedrock foundation of why the courts and league exist: to foster social camaraderie in the community conducted with exemplary sportsmanship. In addition, the committee did not want to post monitors at the entrances counting people who come to play and then asking people to leave if there are too many on the courts. Moreover, the county guidelines focus on people with health vulnerabilities avoiding crowds and gatherings due to their presumed increased susceptibility to catching COVID-19. We agreed that if we resumed play immediately it would force those of our vulnerable players to make a choice between playing a game they love or risking their health by playing.
Given these considerations, in the context of the fluidity and uncertainties that are impacting people’s lives on a mass scale, we came back to our initial question and concluded that, because we love the game, the courts, and our players, doing the right thing for now is to follow the county health guidelines until this situation is under better control than it seems is the case now. We will reassess our options in a couple of weeks and decide whether the situation warrants a resumption of league play and when.
This suspension of play naturally raises questions of whether we will cancel the Spring League and whether we can even have the Summer League and/or Fall League. The only answer we can provide at this time is to assure people that we have every intention of completing the Spring League and will do what we can to get all three leagues in for 2020. Any decisions beyond that are unduly speculative at this time.
Another question is why open the courts at all for free or rental play? The answer for now is that open free play and rentals do not usually attract 50 people at a time, and since free play and rentals are optional, it is at the discretion of the participants. We already have tournaments booked this year and we will reassess those events at the appropriate time.
With apologies for the length of this message, we felt it important to explain why we have made this decision for now. We stressed at the capo meeting this past Saturday that we are all in this together and we will do our best to stay true to that.
Finally, for those that want to practice please follow the personal responsibility guidelines that everyone can probably recite in terms of hygiene, symptoms, etc. There is no way that we can disinfect the surfaces at the courts or the balls. People need to bring their own hand sanitizer (we intend to mount sanitizer dispensers at the courts but we can’t get them right now) and be responsible in their decisions on whether to play.
We thank you all for your devotion to bocce in Clayton and your support of the courts and the leagues. We will get through this.
CBCA Bocce Committee
Founded in 2014 as a joint venture between the CBCA and the Ipsen Family, Clayton Bocce exceeded it’s expectations as a popular venue to play this outdoor sport.
In 2019, the Bocce Committee along with the CBCA spearheaded a successful paver project that transformed the already beautiful courts into a shining gem. Engraved pavers are available through the Clayton Bocce website.
The Ipsen Family Bocce Courts are available for “Open Play” Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm and Saturday all day. On Sundays, the courts are available for open play for a very short period (10am-12pm) due to “League Play” all day.