Suburb Busting Ball Ban After 120 Years

Law restricted public ball-related games

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Sep 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:30 PM EDT
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Bocce balls at Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos

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Good news for the idle youth of Los Gatos: the city is in the process of decriminalizing an activty known, thrillingly, as "ball playing in the streets."

The law, first enacted in the 1880s, prohibited Los Gatonians from throwing, catching, or striking a ball on a public thoroughfare. It may not be California's strangest law: according to one compilation of anachronistic orginances, in Los Angeles it's illegal to hunt for moths under a streetlight.

And the rule doesn't only cover streets -- it also prohibits any ball-play in Los Gatos alleyways. Thankfully, private facilities such as Campo di Bocce and charity golf events are unaffected.

It'll take one more Town Council vote, scheduled for September 7, before the law is finally sacked.

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