This sunday, I conducted an experiment. This will sound a little OCD, but I had my reasons. I kept a log of every ball thrown in our game against the Bourbon Balls. Before I go into detail, I just want to say how much we love playing the Bourbon Balls, and not just because we creamed them today. They moved to Monday night last season, and we missed them. Welcome back to Sunday.
As for the experiment, I wanted to be able to recreate and recall the entire game if I wanted to. For each round, my notes have 9 lines, one for each ball, and the 9th for the points scored in the round. Here's a sample from the first round. BB = Bourbon Balls, K = Kirstie, T = Teresa.
BB- pallino short middle - bocce just past
BB-in front and closer
T- side - not closer
K - long
T - right in front
BB - knocked - still us
BB - bumped 2
This match had 16 rounds, over three games, so I have 16 little sheets of paper with 9 lines of scribbling on it. This is what all those lines of scribble translate to.
Game 1, Round 1. Abby and I played at the South end, Kirstie and Teresa at the North. Bourbon Balls ("BB") won the coin toss and rolled first from the North end. They tossed the pallino short and in the middle, then placed their first bocce just past the pallino. Kirstie bumbed their ball and left hers a little closer. BB's next roll landed in front of the pallino and closer. Then Teresa put one close, on the side of the pallino but not close enough. Kirstie threw the third ball long. Then Teresa landed our last ball right in front for a point, but with a little room and BB with two more balls to throw. BB's third ball bumped our, but not enough and just pushed Teresa's ball closer. Their last ball bumped ours again, but after everything stopped rolling, we had two points. Joanies 2, BB 0.
Game 1, Round 2. Abby tossed the pallino middle distance and in the middle of the court, then put the first bocce about two feet in front. BB went around Abby's ball and put their bocce about one foot in front. I bumped theirs, and my ball sat right in front of the pallino. BB then bumped my ball forward a little, then did it again. With their fourth ball, BB bumped my ball away and theirs stuck with the pallino. Abby's roll knocked their ball away and stuck close for the point. My ball hit our ball, but didn't change anything. We scored one to put us ahead 3-0. Joanies 3, BB 0.
Game 1, Round 3. Kirstie rolled the pallino middle distance in the middle of the court, then put her bocce in front and to the right by a foot. BB missed long. Their second ball bumped ours, and stopped six inches past the pallino. Teresa bumped ours, but neither ended up closer. Kirstie threw our third bocce, bumped one of our balls and her ball stopped closer to the pallino. BB's third ball bumped ours, but rolled past. Their fourth rolled close, but not point. Teresa dropped her bocce and we took one point for the 4-0 lead. Joanies 4, BB 0.
Game 1, Round 4. Abby tossed the pallino middle distance in the middle, then put the bocce one foot to the right of the pallino. BB threw short with the first. With their second, they bumped our first ball and theirs stayed there for the point. I threw a ball that sat very close, just to the left of the pallino. BB bumped me away, leaving them with two close balls. Abby threw the third ball too short. With the fourth ball, I pushed the pallino forward to pick up two points. BB's fourth ball missed long. Joanies 6, BB 0.
Game 1, Round 5. Kirstie tossed the pallino longish in the middle of the court, then placed the bocce a foot in front. BB threw too long twice. With their third ball, BB bumped our ball away and theirs stayed put. Teresa then hit their ball away to take back the point. BB missed with their last ball and Joanie won game one 7-0.
Game 2, Round 1. Since we romped to a 7-0 victory in Game 1, we stuck with the same squad in Game 2. Abby rolled the first ball middle distance in the middle of the court and kissed it with the bocce. BB rolled the first ball very close, but not close enough. With the second ball, they bumped ours a little and their ball sat. Both balls were very close and I got a chance to use my calipers for the first time. It looked a lot like this-- OoO -- They got the point. Then Sonny gave me the finger (yes, this is in my notes--its possible he gave me the finger other times, but I didn't write it down--in general people thought my note taking was odd, and I was the object of a lot of teasing, but I kind of like how it all turned out). I rolled our second ball, and hit the pile right in the middle. The two balls on either side of the pallino split and my ball rolled with the pallino a foot and they stopped together. BB's next ball bumped mine a little closer to the pallino, then missed with their next ball. We had the point. Trying to add points, Abby and I both missed with our next rolls. Joanies 1, BB 0.
Game 2, Round 2. Kirstie threw the pallino long, then hit the back wall with the first bocce. BB's free roll landed about a foot and a half past the pallino and to the left. Teresa then pushed the pallino, but her ball rolled past and farther away. Kirstie then bumped their bocce and the pallino, and after the balls stopped rolling around, we had two points. BB then bumped one of our balls, to no effect. With their next ball, they bumped ours again and after the balls stopped rolling they had two points. Teresa hit the pile and when the balls stopped rolling BB had three points. BB dropped their last ball and took the three. This is why we hate the long game. Joanies 1, BB 3.
Game 2, Round 3. BB threw the pallino for the second time today, short and on the right, then missed with the bocce about three feet too long. Abby dropped the bocce about six inches in front. BB tried to knock our bocce and missed. With their third ball they bumped our ball, but we kept the point. With their fourth bocce they pushed the pallino and took the point. I threw our second bocce, bumped theirs, without changing much and past the pallino. Abby then hit their ball away to get two points for us. I then snuck our last ball in for a third point. Joanies 4, BB 3.
Game 2, Round 4. Kirstie threw the pallino middle distance and then dropped the bocce way short. BB's first bocce was closer, but not by much. Teresa then threw long. Kirstie pushed the pallino a little, but her bocce kept going and landed long. Teresa threw the last bocce closer, about a foot to the left. BB, with three balls left, missed with the first two balls, and landed the last one close enough. Joanies 4, BB 4.
Game 2, Round 5. BB threw the pallino middle distance, middle of the court, then threw a great first bocce that kissed the pallino on the left. Abby's first bocce landed a couple of feet to the left. I bumped both the bocce and the pallino to make some room, but without getting the point. Abby then missed with the third ball. With the fourth, I bumped their ball softly and left my bocce in front. It was their point, but we left two balls in front and in the way. Their next three bocces didn't change anything. Joanies 4, BB 5.
Game 2, Round 6. BB threw the pallino short and in the middle, then parked the bocce right in front. Kirstie bumped their bocce, no change. Teresa then hit their bocce and the pallino, all rolled down the court and our ball landed closer. BB rolled it close to get the point back. Kirstie hit our ball and hers landed too short. Tersa then hit their ball and after they all stopped rolling she had the closer ball. BB fixed it with their next two balls to get two points and win game 2. Bourbon Balls win Game 2, 7-4.
Game 3, Round 1. We shook it up again in game 3. Eric and Hugh came in to play together at the South end. Danielle came in at the North and I moved North to play with her. BB rolled the palino longish and then stuck the bocce close. Eric missed to the right, then Hugh hit the bocce and pallino, knocked them all back, left some room, but didn't get the point. Then Eric rolled our third bocce, placing it perfectly in front of the pallino. BB threw their second ball short. Their third bumped ours back a little, but no change in points. Their fourth bocce hit Eric's ball which slid off to the side, leaving them with the point. Hugh threw a great shot with the fourth ball that went between two balls, pushed the pallino and stuck to win the point. Joanies 1, BB 0.
Game 3, Round 2. Danielle threw the pallino long and on the left, and then tossed the first bocce three feet to long. BB threw too long too, but a little shorter for the point. I threw our second bocce a couple of feet too short, but closer than theirs. BB tossed their second ball too long. With their third they pushed my ball forward and closer to the pallino. With their fourth, they went too long again. Both Danielle and I missed with our third and fourth balls. Joanies 2, BB 0.
Game 3, Round 3. Eric tossed the pallino just barely over the halfway line, then put the bocce a foot long and to the left. This is the kind of pallino toss that can drive other teams crazy. Teams either try to get it close and roll it too far because they're worried about getting it over halfway, or they try to hit the pallino and miss. Sometimes they hit the pallino, but it happens infrequently enough that its worth doing every now and then. It worked pretty well this time, in that BB wasted three balls getting the point. Their first went long. Their second pushed the pallino, but toward our ball. Their third bumped our ball and theirs landed a little closer than ours. Hugh missed with out second ball. Eric rolled our third a little short, but close, just not close enough. Hugh then bumped Eric's short ball, but his then continued forward just enough to get very close to the pallino. BB's last roll was short. Just like the t-shirt says, one point at a time. Joanies 3, BB 0.
Game 3, Round 4. Danielle rolled the pallino short and in the middle of the court, then a perfect bocce that kissed the pallino and stopped in front. BB landed their first ball in front of outs, their second went long, their third was short, and their fourth hit our ball, pushed the pallino, and landed a little closer than ours, but with about six inches between their ball and the pallino. I rolled our second bocce and used the slope on the left side to bring the ball around theirs, pushed the pallino a little and sat perfectly for the point. Danielle rolled a ball that bumped mine a little and both of ours ended up close for two points. With our last ball, I snuck it in again and we scored 3. Joanies 6, BB 0.
Game 3, Round 5. In the last round, Eric started off with a middle distance pallino toss and then stuck the bocce close to the pallino. BB hit Eric's ball, knocked it and the pallino back , but ours stayed closer. With their second ball, BB knocked our ball forward and even closer to the pallino. They missed with their next two ball. Joanies Win 7-0.
It was a fun game and an interesting experiment. This was probably a long boring description of a bocce game than no one will read. I'll analyze it more in a future post. I'd like to develop a better system for keeping track of each roll, but for now a shorthand description of each roll is the best I can do.