According to bocce.org, throwing balls toward a target is the oldest game known to mankind. As early as 5000 B.C., the Egyptians played a form of bocce with polished rocks. Around 800 B.C., the game made its way to Greece who then taught it to the Romans. The word bocce derives from the Latin word bottia, meaning boss. The game grew rapidly throughout Europe and then spread to America. Supposedly George Washington even built a court at Mount Vernon in the 1780s.
A few hundred years later, the game of bocce, thought still not an Olympic sport, has been sprouting up around Northeast Florida. Here is a picture of two 12x90-foot bocce courts at the Summerland Hall Amenity Center at the Del Webb Sweetwater community, a community for active adults age 55 and older in Jacksonville. Ben Collins, owner of Collins Turf Division, explains that the two courts, situated along the community pool, allows for simultaneous play for tournaments.