The Payson Area Special Olympics bocce ball team began the season practicing every Thursday morning at Rumsey Park starting Aug. 1.
The team members are preparing for the Camp Verde Area Meet on Sept. 28 and the Fall Classic State Games on Oct. 25 at Pioneer Park in Peoria.
Bocce is an Italian game. The basic principle of the sport is to roll a bocce ball closest to the target ball, which is called a palina. Bocce as a Special Olympics sport provides people with special needs the opportunity to have social contact, develop physically and to gain self-confidence.
Next to soccer and golf, bocce is the third most played sport in the world, according to a Special Olympics website.