four new courts

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COLUMBIA - City council leaders are expected to approve the construction of four new bocce ball courts at its meeting Monday night.

Bocce ball is a competitive sport and often played in teams. Players underhand toss lightweight balls to see who can get the ball closet to the target.

The $25,000 courts are set to be built on the old airport lot in Cosmo park. The project is being paid for through the park sales tax.

Council Member Michael Trapp said there was a real demand for the sport. 

"We’ll be able to host tournaments, it might bring in some folks from out of town," Trapp said. "I think it’s a great amenity."

The president of the Italia-America Bocce Club, Tony Sanna, said he likes the sport because its a game everyone can play. 

"It’s a sport for all ages and abilities. Anyone can play bocce," Sanna said. 

Bocce is often played in the Special Olympics. Sanna said those looking to start a club should find people who are committed to playing. 

"Just make sure that you have people that are interested in playing and hosting local tournaments, if you can," Sanna said. "A lot of people learn the game as they practice." 

Bocce ball courts can be made out of sand, stone dust and tennis court clay. According to the city, the four courts being built in Columbia will be made out of processed oyster shell.

The bocce ball courts are expected to open in 2019.