Maybe the only truly Italian tradition that The Godfather omitted was having the dons decide who would run New York with a game of bocce ball. Dating back to ancient Rome, bocce is played on a court eight to 13 feet wide and about 90 feet long. It involves bowling a bocce ball (round, about four inches in diameter) close to a smaller ball, called the jack. It’s kind of like horseshoes with balls, and players are skilled, serious, and armed with a number of tactics, including throwing the ball to move the jack over. One of several sporting events sponsored by Recess New York, the Recess Bocce Ball Tournament’s motto is “Participation is always voluntary…Passion, however, is mandatory.” This event is a great chance to grab the ferry and have fun watching the players. Plenty of aficionados are there to teach you the basics.

Sat., Aug. 23, noon, 2014