In November 2022, USBF members Lisa Labadini and Jim Sacco led a group of 16 volunteers with an Intro to Bocce Clinic and complimentary lunch at the Methuen Sons of Italy. The volunteers, many of who participated in last year’s US Nationals, taught 64 people how to play our favorite sport. It was a huge success! Lots of laughs and 10 people signed up as new members of the Lodge. Congratulations to the volunteers.
Volunteers (left) 1st Place and 2nd Place Teams (right)
(story by Brad Cotton) Paesano Bocce Club of Gresham Oregon hosted their Gresham Ford Mixed Double Championships. The tourney is the league’s favorite, and was held under sunny skies in the 90’s continuing the trend this summer of very warm league evenings and tournament days. This year finalists were truly a family affair with Father & Daughter Paul and Kelly Barasch going undefeated taking first place. Husband and wife, Bob Beyea and Amy Montelone placed 2nd. Third place was Husband and wife team, Mike & Lydia Merrigan.
(left) 1st Place Mixed Doubles – Kelly and Paul Barasch (right) 2nd Place Mixed Doubles – Amy Montelone and Bob Beyea
(left) 3rd Place Lydia and Mike Merrigan (right) Lydia and Mike Merrigan vs Mandy and Ben Mititiero (seated)
On October 21-23, Junior Volo players José Serna and Caleb Delabbio of Colorado, proudly represented the USA in Monaco at the Denis Ravera International Challenge in the Under 18 category. For José it was the second consecutive year he was able to participate in this invitational tournament.
He rose to the challenge by making it into the final four in the Precision Throw where he ultimately finished 4th and set the record for any US junior bocce player in international competition with a score of 15 points. For Caleb, it was his first time playing internationally as he and José played in the doubles event.
From Monaco the two players, along with their coach Luciano Vergara, hopped on a bus and rode to Montbrison, France to represent the USA in the Junior World Bocce Championships from October 25th-29th. Again they played in the Under 18 category and for both players it was their first time at the World Bocce Championships.
Even though they had a tough draw in the opening round against the home French team, who ultimately took home the gold medal, the experience was great and they left the tournament feeling inspired to come back to the USA. They are ready to train hard and teach their friends about bocce in order to be even more prepared for next year’s tournament!
The 15th Annual Aldo Della Croce Tournament was held at the Italia America Bocce Club, St. Louis, November 4-6, 2022. This Tournament was initiated to promote the sport of bocce while incorporating friendly competition among various Bocce Clubs and honoring the first President of the IABC, Aldo Della Croce. Through this Tournament, the IABC is able to further its mission by supporting free youth bocce, at the Grade School and High School levels, free access for individuals with differing abilities through Special School District, and providing a recreational activity for those in Senior Living. A competitive scholarship was implemented in 2017, whereby applicants, children or grandchildren of a member in good standing enrolled in 8th grade, write a self statement in regards to how they demonstrate leadership and teamwork. These two traits were instrumental in the initial formation of the Club and still continues to this day.
Laura Division 1st Place: Sally Drago, Gayle Morris, Susan Zona, & Julie Belfi- Sanna (IABC-St. Louis) Giampiero Division – 1st Place: Lio Giannotti, Robert Bertoncini, Maurizio Perrelli & Anthony LaBarbera from Highwood, Illinois
It was an exciting weekend of bocce playing, eating, drinking, and visiting the area businesses located “on The Hill”. There were 27 total teams of all men or mixed (men and women), divided into 5 brackets, through a blind draw, in the Giampiero Division. There were 15 teams comprised of all women divided into 3 brackets, through a blind draw, in the Laura Division. The top 2 teams from each bracket advanced to play in the single elimination round on Sunday.
To view the list of all finishers, visit www.stlbocce.com and click on Newsletter-IL GIORNALE (November). The Tournament would not be successful without the many participants, sponsors, volunteers, workers, and the Tournament Director, Robert Della Croce.
SAVE THE DATE: The 16th Annual Aldo Della Croce Bocce Tournament: November 3-5, 2023. Hope to see many familiar faces and some new faces next year!!!
Guy DeSantis, who is the president of the USBF East Coast and heads up the Yonkers/Mount Vernon Bocce Club NY, tells me that the 2022/2023 winter bocce league is under way. They have about 60 players who are all members of the USBF. Some members marched in their local Columbus Day Parade and the next week they received several inquiries from interested new players.
For several summers, Guy has run a Bocce league at the Antonio Meucci Sons of Italy Lodge in Westchester, NY. This year the group turned it up a notch with 103 people participating Monday through Thursday nights on the one court at the lodge. As a bonus, 16 Sons of Italy players enjoyed it so much that they joined the Mount Vernon/Yonkers winter league that is only 15 minutes away. A few younger New York guys are being trained this winter by Guy and other players in the club.
They will take their new skills to the Las Vegas National Tournament run by Guy and Frank DeSantis. Jack Bilancia and Mike Pennino provide tremendous help as well with the yearly event that will host (80) 3 person teams in March 2023.
Led by Peter Rabito, The American Bocce Club in Huntington, NY (Long Island) runs a summer/fall league each year with approximately 140 USBF members. The winners of the 2022 Platinum Division season are (left to right) Jack Bilancia, Peter Rabito, John Samaritano, Guy DeSantis and Brad Thayer.
Also in Huntington, the annual American Bocce Club Tournament was in August on the (4) 90’ courts the club calls home. Players from across the greater NYC area play, including USBF many USBF members from clubs in Mount Vernon/Yonkers, Babylon and New Hyde Park.
(Press Release from Highwood Bocce Club President, Tom Holleman)
The Highwood Bocce Club is proud to be hosting the USBF National Championships for the fourth time. Our board, players, membership, and city are all looking forward to welcoming our country’s best bocce players and providing them all with a wonderful tournament and experience. Save the dates for the week of June 19-23, 2023.
Planning and preparation has begun and we look forward to building on the success of previous Nationals.
We believe Highwood’s central location and established reputation will attract high participation from all our USBF member Clubs, and we hope to enlist some new Clubs to participate from previously under-represented regions/areas. This paired with an incredibly enthusiastic and talented group of players from Highwood, we believe our overall participation will be greater than ever.
With the new requirement of match time limits, we believe keeping tournament schedules predictable and reasonable for our participants and spectators is an achievable goal this year and are committed to it. We also anticipate being able to provide enhanced online reporting and updates on tournament and match status to individuals following from afar or even participants on site.
Predictable schedules paired with record interest does mean we will have to establish some limits on team entry by Club or region to ensure balanced representation across the country. This will not materially affect most Clubs, and will likely have the most impact to our own Highwood/Chicago teams. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through the details of this implementation. Obviously as more details are available we will keep everyone updated.
The 8th Annual Tom Gialde Memorial Bocce Tournament benefiting Boy Scouts of America Troop 80 was held at the American Sons of Columbus on August 12-14, 2022 in Kansas City, MO. The tournament field included 24 Men’s and Women’s teams boasting players from Columbia (MO), St. Louis, Herrin (IL), Murphysboro (IL) and Dallas (TX). The tournament format began with round-robin play followed by a double-elimination knockout round. On Friday evening, players competed in a “Closest to the Pallino” contest where they had to roll their ball closest to the pallino located on the red dot, without touching. Kansas City player Chris Cardello won the event with a distance of ¼ inch.
On Saturday, players were treated to a KC Style BBQ Dinner after round robin play. Tournament Director John Liberto presented Troop 80 Scout Master Sam Valenti with a donation to assist with essential Troop functions. All scouts in Troop 80 live under the poverty line, and the American Sons of Columbus proudly supports Sam’s mission to provide a high-quality experience to the youth he serves. Contributions from the Gialde bocce tournaments to Troop 80 nears $20,000. On Sunday, play resumed with the knockout round.
Thank you to the players and sponsors that make this tournament successful. We look forward to seeing you at the 9th Annual Tom Gialde Memorial Bocce Tournament in Kansas City, MO on August 11-13, 2023!
Approximately 20 competitors from the USFB Western Sector traveled to the Boston area to participate in the 2022 National Tournament held in Methuen’s excellent Sons of Italy Bocce facility. Under normal conditions we would post award winners’ pictures from the post tournament banquet. However this was the year of Covid, with several players testing positive on final day of competition and missing banquet. It was disappointing to miss the banquet for many reasons but most importantly to say goodbye to our gracious host and to all our friends, we hope to see next year in Chicago.
The Western Sector medal winners sponsored by Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos, CA.
Additional Western Sector players making the trip include: Cynthia Dzendzel, Ursula Hansen, Collen Randazzo, Lisa Watson, Tony Randazzo, Jean Godin, Michael Mathis, Dario Bernardi, and Natalina Bernardi.
Campo di Bocce, established 1997, and famous for hosting National Tournaments, multiple annual charity events, and the infamous Madden/Mariucci Charity Tournament (now Coach Mooch Bocce Tournament), has stepped way forward, beyond expectations, and covered the travel cost of all four members of this year’s USA Pan American team that played this past November in Uruguay.
The USBF was able to cover room, board and nice uniforms that fit. No tailor visits. Paolo Pro and Alan Knox are members of Campo di Bocce and sponsored by Campo at this past summer’s USBF Nationals. However, Jorge Moreno and Gordon Gruenes are from the Chicago area. Gordon is a member of Highwood Bocce Club. A really nice gesture for a bocce business to cover nonmember’s travel costs.
The team is especially grateful for the advocacy and support of Ben Musolf, Campo di Bocce’s C.O.O. Without Ben, we would be selling candy bars door-to-door. Thanks Ben, from all of us and our wives, the accountants.