Gold Award project pro­vides a pav­il­ion to match bocce court

Record Observer - - Community - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — Kent Is­land High School has the reg­u­lar as­sort­ment of sports pro­grams peo­ple think of — foot­ball, vol­ley­ball, soc­cer, bas­ket­ball, base­ball, softball. In re­cent years, the school has added as eques­trian team (the only one in a pub­lic high school on the East­ern Shore), a sail­ing team and bocce ball.

Bocce ball is a part of the uni­fied sports pro­gram that was started across Mary­land six years ago. It is af­fil­i­ated with Spe­cial Olympics and de­signed to give stu­dents with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties or other spe­cial needs a chance to par­tic­i­pate in a var­sity sport at the high school level. A team is made up of ath­letes, those stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, and part­ners, those stu­dents who do not have a dis­abil­ity.

Para Ed­u­ca­tor Re­nee Kin­der, who has worked with stu­dents at KI High the past six years and in the county schools the past 16 years, is the head coach.

The school re­cently added an out­door bocce court and pav­il­ion. The pav­il­ion was the work of Am­bas­sador Girl Scout Bre­anna Sipes, work­ing to­ward earn­ing her Gold Award in Scout­ing (the Girl Scout equiv­a­lent to the Boy Scout Ea­gle Award). Bre­anna is a mem­ber of Troop 869.

As a Gold Award ser­vice project, the out­door pav­il­ion built to go along with the bocce court, had to ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity in some way. As a bocce player her­self, Bre­anna wants to see in­ter­est in the sport grow.

With the out­door court, the game can now be played or prac­ticed any­time at the school, and the pav­il­ion pro­vides shel­ter.

Gold Award projects in­volve seven steps: iden­tify an is­sue; in­ves­ti­gate it thor- oughly; get help and build your team; cre­ate a plan; present your plan and gather feed­back; take ac­tion; and ed­u­cate and inspire.

Bocce is one of the old­est sports in the world. His­tory rev­els that it was played by the an­cient Phoeni­cians, Egyp­tians, Greeks and Ro­man war­riors to pass the time between bat­tles. In­stead of us­ing the hand­sized (a lit­tle larger than a softball, but more weighted) balls used today, the an­cients used rocks. The balls, or rocks in an­cient times, have to be thrown un­der­hand.

The game can be played between two, four or eight play­ers in one match. De­pend­ing on the num­ber of play­ers de­ter­mines how many balls each player can roll in the com­pe­ti­tion. The game be­gins with the flip of a coin between two teams. The win­ner tosses (rolls un­der­hand) the first smaller or ob­ject ball, that ball called a “palina,” which is a dis­tinct color. The palina marks the area on the bocce court that all other fol­low­ing balls tossed must pass in­side the re­main­ing area of the court. The ob­ject of all other balls rolled is to get the clos­est to the palina with­out ac­tu­ally touch­ing it. The team that does that gets a point(s) fol­low­ing each series of balls thrown, which does not ex­ceed four balls in each set.

Af­ter all four balls are rolled and the clos­est ball(s) is/are awarded a point(s), the com­peti­tors turn in the op­po­site direc­tion on the court, and the palina is thrown out again by the win­ner of the first frame to start the next frame of the match and again de­ter­mine the area where the balls will be thrown. Each team con­tin­ues the process un­til one team reaches 16 points to de­ter­mine the win­ner of the match.

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

The new bocce court and pav­il­ion was ded­i­cated at Kent Is­land High School Sunday af­ter­noon, Sept. 18. The pav­il­ion and score­board shown are the re­sult of a Girl Scout Gold Award Ser­vice Project com­pleted by KIHS stu­dent Bre­anna Sipes. From the left, stu­dents Han­nah Thompson, Jour­ney Taylor, Coach Reneé Kin­der, stu­dent as­sis­tant coaches Mikey Younger and Indy Wilson, and Gold Award can­di­date Bre­anna Sipes. The Gold Award is the high­est award a Girl Scout can earn.

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