By Kirk Kern

The next time a bocce ball tournament names winners at the Mesquite Senior Games, they will also get another title: Nevada State Champion. 

That’s because the two organizations have consolidated the tournaments, with MSG taking on the role of organizing the tournament not only for itself, but for the Nevada State Games as well.

“We used to have bocce at Nevada Senior Games, but our coordinator hasn’t been available and for the third year in a row, we’ve had to cancel our bocce,” said Liz Palmer, NSG executive director. “Mesquite had such a thriving bocce event and the courts are fabulous, so Mesquite is taking over the state championship.”

This is the second sport put on by the Mesquite Senior Games that qualifies as state champion. The first being softball, which has had that designation for many year.

“We’re excited about the prospect of running it for the state and our bocce ball community is ecstatic,” said Amy Bradshaw, MSG executive director. “In bocce, we’ve gotten players primarily from Mesquite and St. George. The state champion is a bigger deal and it will bring in people from around Nevada and out-of-state.”

Mesquite’s bocce tournament gained in popularity this year with a change in format that guaranteed four games instead of the previous double-elimination event that left a number of players competing in only two games.

The Nevada State Games is scheduled in September with early bird registration that began on May 1. The non-profit organization was established more than 40 years ago and offers a variety of events.

“Our mission is to improve the health and wellness of seniors in our communities,” Palmer said. “But there’s not only physical benefits, but also social benefits. We call it ‘Fitness for the Fun of It.’”

Those interested in competing in NSG, visit the website