Sports Don’t Have to Include Sweat, Tears and Blood

The fast pace and difficulty of certain organized sports don’t appeal to everyone and can be time-consuming for the busy student. For competitive or non-competitive students who want to get active, do something different and have fun with friends, bocce ball, croquet and roller skating are just some of the possibilities.

Bocce Ball
Similar to lawn bowling, bocce ball requires players to roll a ball at a specific target, usually with a bit of curve to hit the target. The aim of the game is to place the ball as close as possible to the target ball, called the jack. The opponent also tries to reach the jack but may try to hit other balls to block the opponent’s path. Every time the jack is hit, the team that struck it is allotted a certain number of points, depending on how the jack was hit. After the designated time limit is over, the team with the most points is declared the winner.

For competitive people who don’t want to do too much strenuous work, bocce ball is a great sport substitute.

Played with teams of up to 11 people or one-on-one, Bocce Ball is an easy way to hang out with friends. Campo di Bocce combines authentic Italian food and the love of the game with more than two courts placed in the center of the restaurant. Campo di Bocce is located at 565 University Ave, Los Gatos and charges $10 per player. The bocce ball courts are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Much slower in pace than bocce ball, croquet is a simple game of skill. Six or more hoops, know as wickets, are inserted into the ground and players take turns to place their croquet balls through each wicket in a set order with a long, wooden mallet. The player who reaches the end of the wicket path and knocks the final stake wins. But there are challenges on the way; players may hit opponent balls out of the wall of the wickets with their own croquet balls, making the path to the end stake slightly more difficult.

Croquet does not require strength or speed; it is dependent entirely on the skill of the player to get a ball through a loop, and any number of people can play. The nearest croquet club is in San Francisco, the San Francisco Croquet Club, where people may rent mallets and balls, take lessons and compete in tournaments.

This may be out of students’ budget with a yearly $50 student membership fee.

But this isn’t the only way to get a croquet-fix: Croquet sets are sold locally at sporting goods stores, and all that needs to be added are players and a lawn.

Roller Skating
Although similar to ice skating, roller skating allows for fun on wheels without the cold. Usually set to loud dance music, roller skating on a roller rink involves the skater moving in a circle around the rink and having fun while trying not to fall. For the new skaters, there is a ridge that runs around the rink, and it can be grabbed if falling seems imminent.

The Redwood City Roller Rink in Redwood City provides skate rentals for only $4 per person plus admission, which varies from day to day. It’s open from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 1o to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 3:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday and Thursday, the rink is available for private parties. Included in this schedule are hours allotted to Early Bird Skate, Public Skating and Disco Skating.

Sports may not be for everyone but there are ways to have fun and be active. It’s easy to do these sport substitutes, and they’re even better with friends. For other substitute options, be creative and check out some of the local places like Planet Granite or even some of the campus clubs dedicated to things like dance, badminton and martial arts. All you need is a few bucks and a bit of courage.