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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It may be thousands of years old, but bocce plays on at Wilmington’s Empie Park.

The Romans first played the game around 300 BC with coconuts they brought back from Africa. Now it’s an age-friendly sport with a lot to offer.

Bocce is a unique sport. It puts both men and women, young and old, disabled and abled on the same playing field.

“You can have people playing at 10-years-old or younger, and 90-year-old and older,” said bocce player Joe DeMichino.

Players say bocce does not require much energy or agility. Instead it’s a game of strategy.

The idea is to get your team’s bocce ball closest to the white pallino ball. The team that has the best spread around the pallino gets the most points.

But bocce is not just about bragging rights.

Salt Magazine says bocce is “a game played in the comfort of good friends.”

“I do it mostly for the camaraderie,” Marco Zaza said. “I like to be here with friends and make new friends and play the game. I want to win, of course, and so I try to take advice when it is given to me. But on the whole, I pretty much throw the ball and maybe hope for the best.”

A group of bocce players meets every Saturday at 9 a.m. at Empie Park.

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