Bocce Update: 3/1/2021
When we suspended play on March 9, 2020, no one could have anticipated the havoc that has been wrought by COVID-19, the cancellation of our seasons, and the drastic changes affecting each of us in everything we do.
It is with joy therefore that we can now ask: IS ANYONE READY TO PLAY BOCCE? Of course, the answer is “YES.” With county and state guidelines cautiously sanctioning competitive bocce, which will mean some changes to how we do things, this FAQ-structured message sets forth our current plans to resume league play in 2021.
- What does “resume league play” actually mean and when will that happen?
It means that the bocce committee, CBCA, and the Ipsen family feel that with the county currently in the “Purple” tier, and newly updated state guidelines, we can plan the resumption of league play. How successfully we do this will depend almost entirely on the commitment of all players and teams to work together toward a common goal to get back to playing the game we love and miss. We are targeting the resumption of league play for Sunday, May 2 (or earlier if we are ready). We will start anew the 2021 Spring League.
- What about the 2021 Summer League and Fall League?
If all goes well, we intend to play both a Summer League and Fall League this year.
- Do the Spring League teams have to pay again?
When we announced the cancellation of the 2020 Spring League, we asked all 70 teams whether they wanted a refund or wanted to roll over their $400 teams fees. Only three teams requested a refund. If the 67 teams that rolled over their fees come back then they are paid. If the three teams that requested a refund wish to return, they will have to pay their team fees of $400. All team slots are retained for those who return.
- If my 2020 Spring League team does not want to return, do we get a refund?
No. But if your team decides to “opt out” for health risk reasons due to COVID-19, we will hold your spot for the 2022 Spring League (but not thereafter).
CBCA is a 501(c)(3) charity that raises money through the Art & Wine Festival, BBQ Cook-Off, Oktoberfest, and bocce. Due to COVID-19 CBCA was unable to hold any festivals or play bocce in 2020. CBCA has limited reserves that we are now using and it is uncertain whether we will be able to put on any of our festivals in 2021, or what they will look like if we can. This means that CBCA is not in a position to refund any team fees.
- What about roster changes for 2021?
We anticipate that there will be roster changes. The 5-player return rule in order for a team to keep their slot will remain in effect.
We anticipate sending out the renewal instructions for the 2021 Spring League by March 15 and teams will have four weeks to get their rosters in order. If there will be changes in the capo for teams it will be critical that you let us know as soon as possible so the new capo can get the proper log-in instructions to update rosters. Other changes to the renewal process, affecting all teams, will be explained when we send out instructions.
If teams are replacing players who will not be playing in 2021 but who paid a portion of their team’s fee to play in 2020, it will be up to the teams to work out the economics internally.
- Will there be new waivers?
YES. Every player will have to execute a new waiver, which will be circulated when we publish the renewal instructions. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.
- Will everyone have to wear masks and socially distance?
YES. Every person who comes on to the courts (whether playing or not) must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. As with the execution of new waivers, there will be no exceptions to this requirement. Everyone must do their part to maintain 6 ft. distance from other players.
If there are players who refuse to wear a mask (and regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not) PLEASE do not sign up to play. It should be routine by now that people take a mask with them when they leave their house. That routine must transfer to playing bocce.
The wearing of masks covering the nose and mouth, and all other guidelines that we need to follow if we are to resume league play, are incorporated into our published Code of Conduct. The failure of players and teams to follow the guidelines that allow us to play at all risk not only individual and team penalty but cancellation of the season for everyone. We know no one wants that. We are all of us in this together.
- Will there be changes in how the games are played?
YES. One of our biggest challenges in getting a 70-team league season in the books will be our ability to use all four courts while adhering to state and county guidelines. The newly updated state guidelines removing the need for sanitation of shared equipment is a huge relief. Matches will be played as normal (two rollers per end, per team, per game). We will have hand sanitizing stations and we encourage players to bring their own.
In order to assess a reasonable balance between players and social distancing we will limit those attending games to rostered players only (with current waiver on file, no children or guests) for the first 30 days. At that time we will reassess the situation and determine if this condition can be relaxed.
We anticipate other changes too. We will publish guidelines later regarding scoring, measuring, use of the shed, etc. Stay tuned.
- What about practice and the schedule?
We will publish the schedule once rosters are set. When we get the courts in condition to play, we will publish guidelines for practicing (for rostered players only). We will not reopen the courts for open or rental play for now. This could mean we have Saturday league play but that will depend on how the schedule plays out if we can resume May 2, or earlier depending upon the setting of rosters and the condition of the courts.
- What about food and drinks? Will we be able to have court service from Skipolini’s?
This is still to be determined.
There is still more we have to work on as we navigate the numerous issues in playing social and competitive bocce during a pandemic. We will keep all capos informed and it is imperative that you keep your teammates informed. Questions can be directed by email to: email@example.com.
Bocce is important to our community and our overriding goal is to bring back the opportunity for friends and neighbors to get back together playing our game. But we must be responsible in how we do this; otherwise, our reopening will be short-lived.
We continue to thank each of you for your support and the good wishes and hope that so many of you have expressed to our committee members. We are confident that with the help and commitment of each of you we can resume play and do our part to bring our community together.
“Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports” updated memorandum published by the California Department of Public Health, dated February 19, 2021, located at: www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/outdoor-indoor-recreational-sports.aspx
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.