Tag Archives: bocce

Juniper Valley Park to hold qualifier for citywide bocce tournament

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The city’s Parks Department will play host to the qualifying rounds for their Citywide Bocce Tournament on Sept. 12 in parks throughout the five boroughs.

Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village will be the site for the Queens qualifying round. The Bronx tournament will be held at Pelham Bay Park; Brooklyn’s Dyker Beach Park will be that borough’s location; James J. Walker Park will hold the Manhattan qualifier; and Staten Island will play at South Beach Wetlands.

The best teams during the qualifiers will advance to the championship round on Sept. 26 in South Beach, Staten Island, where one borough will be crowned the citywide winner.

Registration for the tournaments is currently open. Adults are welcome to join, either individually or as a group of up to four. Beginners and experienced bocce players are welcome.

For more information or to register, visit the Parks Department website.


Middle Village bocce court repairs miss the mark

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos by Anthony Giudice

Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village received an $850,000 renovation for its bocce courts, located near the corner of 79th Street and Juniper Boulevard North, in July. Now, players are saying that more needs to be done to make the courts playable before the one-year warranty on the site expires.

Longtime bocce player Anthony Sozio believes some of the designs of the new courts are flawed.

The panels on the top of the protective canopies “are slanted the wrong way,” Sozio said. “When it rains, the water drips right onto the court,” he explained. The dripping creates divots in the court, leaving it unplayable.

“We are aware that to reverse the panels to face outside the courts is a costly proposition,” Sozio said. However, he has a cost-effective suggestion that would alleviate the problem. Sozio believes a heavy-duty tarp could be placed atop the canopies to divert the rainwater away from the courts.

Icicles also formed on the canopies this winter, posing a danger to players below, he added.

“Last week, one of the players got hit by an icicle while removing snow from one of the courts, thankfully without any consequence,” Sozio said.

Photo: Anthony Giudice

Other bocce players, Nick Fazio and Peter Bozanic, agreed with Sozio’s claims and feel something should be done.

“We get no help from the Parks Department with maintenance,” Fazio said.

The players take it upon themselves to repair damages to the courts, having already gone through the 60 bags of replacement soil given to them for maintaining the courts, Sozio said.

The benches alongside the bocce courts pose a problem for spectators. “The benches are so low and the courts are high, so no one can see the game,” Sozio said.

The lighting around the courts do not do enough to illuminate the area when the sun goes down, Bozanic said. “The yellow lights don’t provide enough light,” he continued.

Sozio plans on creating a petition, getting it signed by the bocce players who use the courts and sending it to the local politicians in hopes that they will help fix the courts.

“We are going to petition the City of New York, the Parks Department and our elected officials to prompt responsible people to make proper repairs,” Sozio said.

The group wants the repairs made to be able to keep playing the game they love. “Bocce is very good for us,” Sozio said. “It keeps us healthy. People come from all over to play here and it is how we make friends.”

“The three new bocce courts are great new amenities at Juniper Valley Park, and will allow our community to host citywide bocce tournaments,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who serves District 30. “My office has been working closely with the community members who regularly use the bocce courts at Juniper Valley for years, and we have conveyed their concerns to the Parks Department – which is ultimately responsible for design, construction, and maintenance of the bocce courts.”

The Parks Department did not immediately respond for a request for comment.


Groundbreaking held for Juniper Valley Park bocce courts

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of the Parks Department/Photos Courtesy of Dominick Totino Photography

Soon Middle Village residents can say buon giorno to new bocce courts.

Local elected officials and the Parks Department joined members of the community on October 3 for the groundbreaking of a nearly $1 million project to repair the deteriorating Juniper Valley Park bocce courts.

The Parks Department will renovate the two existing courts and construct a third. The agency will also install new seating, tables and trees around the courts and Plexiglas structures over each to provide shade during the summer.

“Today’s ground breaking for the bocce courts in Juniper Valley Park marks the start of an investment in our parks that will provide a safe and refurbished area for visitors of all ages to relax and enjoy this sport,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who allocated $800,000 to the project.

The new bocce courts are set to open in the spring of 2014.