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P&O introduces sport of bocce

P&O introduces sport of bocce thanks to New Zealand innovation

Three cruise ships operated by P&O Cruises have added the sport of bocce to their list of on-board activities, thanks to an innovative portable court developed by a New Zealand company.

Packaworld developed inflatable ‘Packabocce’ courts in competition and recreation sizes to overcome the storage challenges posed by traditional bocce courts, which are 60 feet long and 12 feet wide. The size and bulk of traditional courts has posed a significant barrier to offering the Italian sport on cruise ships or in shared spaces in the past.

P&O Cruises Head of Entertainment Brett Annable said it was exciting to be able to offer bocce as an activity in a part of the world where it was less well known.

"We’re always looking to create new experiences for our guests, so the bocce courts are great as they’ve given us a way to take a new game to sea,” said Mr Annable.

“The response from our guests has been wonderful – they’re really excited to try a new activity.”

Bocce is a participation-based sport similar to pétanque or lawn bowls. Despite being one of the world’s oldest sports, it is a novelty for many New Zealanders and Australians.

Packaworld CEO Peter Roberts and co-founder of the American Bocce Company Ben Tudor have been cruising the South Pacific, training P&O staff on court setup and maintenance as well as the sport of bocce so they can deliver the best experience for the cruise line’s guests.

Mr Roberts said the invention of portable recreation courts in a new 30 foot by 8 foot recreation size meant recreational bocce could now be considered anywhere there is space to set up the courts.

"Traditional courts are usually made of wood and require a dedicated space. Moving them takes a lot of effort, and transport has been dependent on trailers and shipping containers. This led us to invent Packabocce courts in full-sized competition size and smaller recreation size, and they are revolutionising the way bocce is set up. One of the world’s oldest sports can now be offered just about anywhere."

He said bocce was a great fit for recreational play on cruise ships as it encouraged people of all ages and physical abilities to get involved as well as providing opportunities for social interaction in a relaxed environment.

"Being inflatable, Packabocce courts can be used inside or outdoors, and can be set up and packed away in minutes. The best thing is they don't need much storage space which is ideal on board ships where space is at a premium.”

Distributed via, Packabocce courts are provided as part of a suite of Packaworld’s inflatable products to support P&O Cruises’ guest activities, including volleyball and futsal goals for beach excursions and water polo goals for on-board swimming pools.


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