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Linear Bocce group hosts Indianapolis fundraising match this weekend

After his first try playing traditional bocce ball in 2015, an Indianapolis native invented a new style of the game.

INDIANAPOLIS — There's an Indianapolis twist on bocce ball, and they're holding a fundraising event this weekend.

In 2015, Indianapolis native Will Higgins invented a new style of bocce ball after trying the traditional game once. He decided to move the game off grass and onto a concrete alley on the north side. 

He calls it "linear bocce."

"It's exactly the same game, but on a bocce court, you're limited," said Higgins. "It's generally 60 feet long on a regulation bocce court and it's groomed, it's nice, it's clubby. This is wide-open bocce. As you can see, we're in an alley. It's bumpy, it's unpredictable and there are no limits to it."

This weekend, they'll hold the North American Linear Bocce Championships, starting in an alley at 42nd Street and College Avenue. It's the first event they've held since 2019. 

The event is a lot of fun and is open to anyone, but it raises money for great causes as well.

"It's a charity fundraiser and I take nominations from the players for what charity we should give the money to this year," Higgins said. "People leave here with a really good feeling, and the fact that they're actually helping a worthwhile organization, not us, is actually getting something out of it. It just adds to that warm feeling." 

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So far, linear bocce has donated to organizations like Second Helpings, Indy Reads, The Indy Public Library Foundation, The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, The Idle and St. Mary's Child Center. Since their start in 2015, they have donated around $20,000.

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The only requirement for attendees this weekend is that they wear some sort of neckwear, such as a scarf or tie. The website says "we are basically tramping through peoples' backyards, and if we look presentable, homeowners are less likely to call police."

Click here to sign up.

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