What Chavez and the rest of the city got was a huge response – and an exciting inaugural season: 16 teams were formed, split into a Tuesday night group and a Thursday night group. The regular season’s top team, the undefeated Rolling Raiders, were upended in the playoffs by the Delta Blues, who were then defeated in the finals by Let’s Roll. Let’s Roll’s players are Doug and Emily Statler, Maddy Tate, Betty Brown and Debbie Vieira.
“Nobody expected the type of response that we got,” said Chavez. “But there was a lot of interest. The city was behind it, and we had a great time.”
The league was created because courts at Creekside Park were going unused, resulting in frequent vandalism.
Since he had no bocce experience, Chavez researched the rules. After an initial online search gave him far too much information, he called people who run leagues in surrounding cities. From there, he described the process of choosing the rules as taking the best of what other cities had to offer and discarding the rest.
“We wanted to do it Oakley style,” added Chavez. “Everyone had a blast; it was much less cutthroat. The rules were important – they just weren’t that important.”
The league now shifts to its summer season, which will be run by experienced bocce man John Newman. While Chavez will no longer be running the league, he knows it’s in good hands, and takes good memories from his first season.
“I wanted to just keep the vandals out,” said Chavez. “For me personally, it ended up being a lot more than just keeping the vandals out. It was rewarding. I had a great time and met some great people.”