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      Bringing back the bocce

      The competition and the camaraderie; it's what brings people back to the game of bocce ball every time.

      The Dickinson Area Bocce Association in Iron Mountain has been around for over 20 years, but this year will be the first of a very special event. "Itâ??s going to be an exciting day; there's already $2,000 in cash and prizes,â?? said association president, John Gaudette.

      He was talking about the state tournament for bocce ball, and for the first time ever in U.P. history, it will be hosted at the courts located at City Park in Iron Mountain on August 24.

      "With our seven courts, we are one of the larger bocce complexes in the Midwest,â?? Gaudette said. â??We just had a phone call yesterday from the people from Kalamazoo.â??

      And one of the things about bocce ball is that practically any human being can play it. "You don't have to be able to run a marathon to be able to play bocce ball,â?? Gaudette said.

      One teammate has been at it for a long time. "Nine or 10 years, come or take a few,â?? said mixed league player Rosemary Mosca. Not only is she a remarkable bocce player, she simply enjoys being at the courts.

      "Itâ??s relaxing; it's not too physical. Itâ??s fun," Mosca said.