I would like to thank all of the candidates for offices in the Western Sector of the USBF for accepting their nominations to serve for the next 2-year term starting in January 2023.
As current President of the Western Sector, I would like to express my appreciation for all of the current officers, especially our Treasurer, Marsha Jones and Laura de la Rosa, Treasurer for the National USBF, who reestablished the USBF’s non-profit status and put us on a sound footing. Marianne Schmidt, Secretary, helped me with the Zoom meetings and all the correspondence sent to our members. The Membership Committee, including Cynthia Rivera, Marsha Jones and Diana Pellegrini, established a system to send out and track memberships, and welcome new clubs and members.
The Newsletter Committee, including Alan Knox, Jerry South, and Brad Cotton, with Nancy Mueller, made progress in publishing newsletters and contributing to the national website, and JoAnn Jacobs maintained the USBF Facebook site for the Western Sector, However, there is much for the new leadership to do, building on our first steps. I believe I speak for all of us who have chosen not to run for an additional term, when I say that we are here to cheer on and support the new Board with all of the knowledge we have gained during our time in office.
I am encouraged to have heard some of the candidates express their intentions to focus on promoting bocce to youth groups, schools and families. Their youthful energy and familiarity with social media are bringing in many younger players. We all benefit when new bocce courts are built, existing courts are improved, and new players are welcomed into the USBF bocce family. Building partnerships between public parks, private corporations, individual donors and politicians can accomplish wonders, with the right people pushing and organizing events that can bring us together.
The new Western Sector officers that were officially elected at the November 14th meeting are Lisa Watson, President; Ron Fideldy, Vice President; Margaret Shindelus, Sector Representative; Colleen Randazzo, Secretary; Marsha Jones, Treasurer and Populous Director; and Natalina Bernardi, Mark Bigel, Martha Crosley, and Jessica Libien, Populous Directors. Ben Campbell has volunteered to help Jessica Libien with the Outreach Committee.
We have certainly weathered some hard times during Covid but we have been making progress as we have adjusted to live and play with its restrictions. By continuing to work as a team we can accomplish much of what we set out to do. We each have a role to play, and no one can do it alone. The organization is what the members make it!
Stay Safe and I hope to continue seeing all my friends on the courts.
The historic World Bocce Championships was a joint venture of the Confederazione Bossistica Internazionale (Punto Raffa Volo) and Federation Internationale De Boules (Volo). The event was a gathering of 52 teams from 37 countries.
The championship was held at the Toroslar Bocce Hall and Volleyball Gymnasium in Mersin, Turkey. There were 10 outdoor Volo courts and 4 outdoor and 4 indoor courts for Raffa that were used for the 6 disciplines of Volo and 7 disciplines of Raffa. The huge, covered bocce facility was part of a sport complex built for the 2013 Mediterranean Games. The outdoor courts were concrete covered with sand and the indoor courts were carpet laid over a sport court floor.
Raffa Team USA contingent started our long journey by meeting at Chicago O’Hare airport and traveling together on the same flight to Adana Turkey, which was a 1-1/2 hour bus ride to Mersin. Speaking of the Mediterranean, our living accommodations were at a low-rise resort hotel complex located at the seashore. We had adjoining two story 4-plexes that housed our entire USA Raffa and Volo contingents. The American flag was proudly hung from the upstairs railing.
The tournament was well organized, and we had a team member participating in every PRV event. We started each day with breakfast at 6:30 am, a 40-minute bus ride to courts at 7:15 am, and team members competing every hour from 8:30 am to 9:00 pm. We stayed together and supported each other throughout the week. If we had any break we were able to watch the Volo competition and appreciate the precision shooting skills and athleticism of the competitors.
Team USA fared well and finished with an overall PRV World Ranking of #16. The team was led by Amy Lazeretti going undefeated in the Women’s Singles preliminary rounds with a 4-0 record and finishing with a #5 World Ranking. Miles Russell teamed with Amy Lazeretti in Mixed Doubles and attained a #9 World Ranking. Teresa Passaglia and Margaret Shindelus competed in Women’s Doubles and finished with a #9 World Ranking. Greg Della Croce competed in both Men’s Singles and teamed with Miles Russell in Men’s Doubles attaining a #17 World Ranking in both events. Miles Russell and Margaret Shindelus each competed in Precision Shooting and both finished with #11 World Rankings.
Each team member proudly represented the USA displaying their skills and all were gracious in both victory and defeat. We are grateful to USBF President, Danny Passaglia, for accompanying Team USA as Head of Delegation/Coach, and for outfitting all National Team members (PRV and Volo) with great uniforms that he obtained through sponsorship of TOP87.
Highlights of the event were Opening Ceremonies where we marched into a huge ovation from the crowd only to be followed by and even louder roar when the host country Turkey came in behind us. Each day it was awesome to see the young children bused in to watch the games and to see how excited they were to cheer for Turkey and seeing the kids request autographs from team members from around the world. Everyone we encountered was gracious, kind and helpful to us throughout our entire journey. It was an incredible experience for each of us and we are grateful for having the opportunity to proudly wear a USA uniform.
(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.