Over 40 bocce sport playing nations set to converge onto Casablanca for the World Bocce Championships 2017.
Two athletes one from Victoria, Santo Pascuzzi and one from New South Wales, Daniel Samsa with International Australian Team Coach Jurica (George) Milic are set to represent Australia in Morocco.
Australia’s Santo Pascuzzi is a seasoned international competitor. Just returned from the World Games where he achieved PB world ranking of 5th in the Progressive Throw. Santo also holds the Progressive Throw Oceania record and is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the best in the world with renewed confidence!
Daniel Samsa is bound for Casablanca, full of confidence, having recently had smashing performances in the U23 Asia/Oceania International and the Australian Senior titles. Daniel has an impressive international experience winning the Precision Throw in 2016 at the International renowned Denis Ravera Bocce Challenge in Monaco. His youth, enthusiasm, stamina and past Junior World experience will be up to the challenge!
Coach George Milic has put the team members through gruelling practice over the past three months. Milic says that the boys are fit, have trained well and so the plan is to contest all six championships on offer - Singles, Doubles, Bowl Throw, Precision, Progressive and the Doubles Relay Progressive. Milic is confident that the team will perform at their best and make the finals.
The top nations to beat are France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Argentina.
The World Bocce Volo Congress will be convened during these Championships. The Australian President Frank Funari will participate as the Australian delegate.
Contact person: Frank Funari, on [email protected] mobile 0417 339 690
Follow the Championships on www.fiboules.org
Photograph: Australian contingent: Players - Daniel Samsa, Santo Pascuzzi, And Coach - George Milic.
Photographs by Raymond Cher.
Bocce (pronounced bot-chee) as the Italians call it, or boules, its French equivalent, is one of the world's oldest games. It resembles lawn bowls, although it may have its origins in a game played at the time of the Pharaohs. A similar game was popular in ancient Greece and during the Middle Ages. Today over 4 million players participate in competition games around the world, with 67 affiliated countries spread across in all continents.
Bocce is played between two players in a single game or between teams of up to four. The player aims to place the bowl (ball) as near as possible to the target (jack). The opponent, in turn, attempts to place his bowl nearer to this jack, which may involve displacing the opposition's bowl; the bowl can be bowled along the ground for placement or thrown from a run through the air to displace another bowl. In recent years new disciplines of the game have been developed and introduced which include rapid and precision throwing events. Both these events have excelled in popularity and are included in the World Games, as they require athleticism, fitness and eye-bowl coordination.
The only equipment required by players is bowls and a small jack. Bowls are either made of hollow brass or hard plastic and are unbiased. The court can be made of any surface, in most cases consists of packed sand. The standard court length is 27.5m with a width of 3 to 4m.
The sport is suitable for people of all ages from about seven upwards, and is played by both sexes. BFA also embraces disability bocce – Special O’s & Paralympics. It has a strong social component. Recreationally, bocce is vigorous lively game providing fun and enjoyment for players. It is well suited to juniors, schools and families because the equipment is inexpensive and both sexes can participate.
Australia was introduced to bocce in the early 1900's, but with post war migration from Europe, it has grown from a game played in backyards and social clubs to a competitive sport with an annual Australian championship.
In 1970 Victoria lead the way by forming the first State Bocce Federation and the start of the Australian Bocce Federation. This was closely followed by the formation the equivalent state Federations. That same year the very first Australian National Titles were held in Melbourne. In addition to the annual Australian Championship, Australia has participated in bocce international championships since 1972. In 1979 and 1985 Australia was host to the world Senior championships and 1988 World Junior Championships. In 1997 was host to another international tournament Australia versus Croatia and again in 1998 with the Women’s Tri-Nation International Tournament between France, Italy and Australia. In 2007 saw the beginning of a regular biannual tournament between Australia & Japan and China participating the Junior Open. In 1998 Australia achieved Gold by winning the Women’s World Bowl-Throw title and more recent , 2016, in Monaco we received gold in the Under23 Precision Throw.