Heritage Village, Vineland, Ontario

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bowlBowling, Bowl and Boccebocce


Heritage Villagers play a variety of modern and ancient ball games, collectively deemed boules sports.  

Our best athletes participate in the biannual Ontario Senior Winterfest and Actifest tournaments or in Niagara district competitions held  annually.   The rest of us just have a ball.



Canadian 5-pin bowling is played off-site in a commercial alley.  Watch for Clubhouse Bulletin-Board notices of bowler car pools. In fall, folks gather Thursday afternoons 12:45PM and pay a $6 fee.

This is our game - invented in Toronto in 1908 by Thomas F. Ryan, and played only in Canada.  Traditional pins were made from Canadian Maple, covered in plastic. 

The Master Bowlers Association of Canada runs a Seniors Division (over 55yrs) while Bowling Proprietors Association of Canada (BPAC) sponsors a Club 55+. If you don't know the rules of the game, you are not a Canadian.  Watch for the Canadian Bowling Championships on CBC.  The Canadian Five Pin Bowlers Association governs the rules.   Bowling centers near us with 55+ leagues:

Stryx Bowling, 3 Lake St., Grimsby   - 5 pin

Fairview Lanes  Fairview Mall, St. Catharines  - 5 and 10 pin

Plamore Lanes 106 Main Street, St. Catharines - 5 pin


Bocce (or Bocci)

Bocce ball is played occasionally in our Amenities Area, off Loganberry Court.  You'll have to find out who's got the balls this season.

New to Bocce?  The Italian bowling game of Bocce dates from  Roman Empire times when they used coconuts . By 1576, the Republic of Venice condemned the sport as immoral, imposing fines and imprisonment. Today it thrives in the Niagara area whenever Italian-Canadians and emigrants from the former Yugoslavia have their cultural festivals. The official rules are set by the Collegium Cosmicum ad Buxeas, in Rome, Italy, but who follows rules?

The traditional bocce set has four large solid spherical wooden red   and four green balls (107 mm diameter and 920 g)  with one smaller white or stainless steel target “boccino” ball (also called pallino or jack).  The traditional court is of natural soil or asphalt  27 meters in length and 2.5 to 4 meters wide.

North Americans like more informal “open Bocce” using lawns, or any level ground. Games are played between two players, or two teams of two or four for  a duration pre-defined by points (7 to 13). One side starts the frame by throwing the small target ball “boccino” into a zone about 5 meters in length, ending 2 meters from the far end of the court. If they miss twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the boccino (jack) within the prescribed zone.  The first team then bowls first, after which the side without the ball closest to the jack gets to bowl. Only the team with the closest bocce ball to the target ball scores.

Carpet & Lawn Bowl

Our Village  residents play carpet bowl for free during fall, in our  Games Room, Mondays at 7 PM.  The sport is promoted by the Ontario Senior Games Association,  following the rules used in Australia. Regulation carpets must be 30' by 6' and the wooden or resin "bowls" must be 4" and biased (asymmetrical). 

Lawn bowl came to Canada in 1730 via Port Royal, Nova Scotia.  The Scots set the world rules back in 1848 which then spread to the Commonwealth.  The balls are not spherical - there is a shape bias, which differentiates the game of Bowl from Bocce. Apparently, the idea came by accident during a game in 1522 when a wooden bowl broke.  Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, saved the day by sawing off an ornamental banister ball.  The saw cut provided the bias.  The object of the sport is to roll or throw your bowls towards a jack which is at least 23 meters away. The player who lands the most balls the closest to the jack wins. The trick is to make use of the bowl’s bias by giving the bowl a spin with the wrist, to curve its trajectory around blocking bowls on the path to the jack.

Heritage Village Bocci Trophy  

Further Reading:



Breadcrumb Trail

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