(Submitted by Danny Passaglia, from the December 2022 Newsletter)
Happy Holidays to our USBF Members and Guests,
By now many of you know the results of our National tournament held at Methuen Sons of Italy Club. The event was extremely well attended and was probably one of the largest turnouts in recent memory. It was especially rewarding to see the large group of first-time participants that brought with them excitement and enthusiasm. Many of them received medals and some even won Gold and the opportunity to represent the USA in International competitions.
I wish to thank all the volunteers that helped make the event a success. Without them no tournament can ever be held and they deserve all the thanks we can give them. In particular the efforts of our Director Joe Quartarone must be acknowledged. He was the driving force that organized and solicited many players and teams. For the first time in many years he was able to create a “B” Division Championship! Great work, Joe! See all of the Nationals details below in Joe’s story.
As of this writing, both Uruguay and Mersin tournaments have been completed and our players are back home. Mersin is a coastal city and the team stayed at a lovely resort near the water. The daily routine was breakfast and then a bus ride to the bocce venue. While the facility was large and had plenty of room for spectators it was not usually crowded. The courts were equally bad both for Volo and Raffa. Basically, we played on concrete covered with sand.
It was a battle of who adapted and was capable to use the court complexities to their advantage. Our team never gave up and fought for every point but I am sure we would have had better results if the courts were at least average. We should all be proud of them and they were especially valuable creating public relations, in particular, the children that attended. Next year the World Championships will be held in Algeria for the Junior players.
The very first Club PanAm Championship was held in Colonia Valense, Uruguay. A very special thank you to Ben Musolf and Campo di Bocce for sponsoring the team. It was not an easy task playing against every Club during the event but they gave all they had. The courts were carpets and the same facility that was used for the Women’s PanAm four years ago. All the results are posted on Facebook so if you are interested check them out. While South America are always gracious hosts, the poor courts are always an issue.
We thank Paolo Pro, Alan Knox, Gordon Gruenes and Jorge Moreno who filled in as Coach/Player as a substitute for a player who couldn’t make the trip.
As always, the presence of the USA is valued and extremely important to the host country. We are regarded as a major influence in all sports but especially in bocce!
I also want to thank the Board and Officers for putting up with me these past years. I have always tried to promote the sport and gain the respect overseas that the USBF deserves. It is a very difficult task due to the fact we are the only country playing several forms of Open rules. We have tried over the years to unify the rules but understandably many areas of the country create their own set of rules. I would have liked to accomplish something greater during my time as President but regrettably I was not able to meet all of my goals. I wish the new administration the best of luck and hoping they continue to elevate our Federation to new heights.
Thank you all and God bless everyone!
Respectfully, Danny Passaglia