Bocce World Championships: wrap report

Bocce World Championships: wrap report

Silvio Bruzzese at Bocce World Championships.
Silvio Bruzzese at Bocce World Championships.

It was an intense month of world bocce championships as four world championships, two congresses and one planning workshop were jammed into three countries, three different cities, all in three weeks.

It started with the Denise Ravera International Challenge in Monaco, where our young juniors competed in their very first international bocce competition. This event is one of the most prestigious bocce tournaments on the bocce international calendar. It is a favourite of Prince Albert of Monaco, who is the patron of the sport. It is also a favourite of Bocce Australia as it is seen as a good showcase to nurture newbies into world of bocce.

The aim is to have the players and families experience international competition, which is not as intense as a World Championship but has a good mix of young talented players from many nations, all in a friendly and competitive atmosphere so that the players hopefully return to Australia with lots of enthusiasm to continue and improve.

The team of Nina Chiandotto, Chiara Tomasi, Michael Pevere, Ava Tomasi, Lara O’Callaghan, Ayden Respondino and Tommy Campbell did Australia proud. Michael Pevere, who is only 15 years young, did well in the precision throw finishing 5th overall in the under-18 division.

The team had a rev-up by our Bocce Sport ambassador Robert ‘Dipper’ DiPierdomenico who accompanied the team to Monaco to see first-hand why bocce is so popular in Europe and to bring back some new concepts to expand the appeal of the sport here in Australia.

This was followed by the World Junior Bocce Championships in Montbrison, France where the junior under-18 and under-23 teams competed against 27 other nations. The team consists of Lara O’Callaghan, Melissa Danelutti, Aaron O’Callaghan, Max Tricarico and Carlo Bunin.

Again, the team did Australia proud and the stand-out and highest ranked of the Australian players was Max Tricarico who finished seventh in the world in the Precision Throw. You should watch Max’s throw to the ‘jack’ in the Precsion Throw – one of the best ever precision throw finish by a player, where the jack is hit and pushed under the carpet. You can watch this on Bocce Australia’s Facebook page, and watch the crowd and the French commentators’ amazement at this feat!

The men’s seniors of Tony Borrelli and Enzo Tomasi competed at the World Men’s Bocce Championships in Mersin, Turkey. This championship took place simultaneously with the Bocce-RAFFA World Championship at the same location. The Australian World Raffa team was a mixed team of Mary Greco, Diane Penney, Silvio Bruzzese and Rocco Mancini.

Although competitive, the senior teams were out-played by the much more experienced and match hardened opposing teams in both the Bocce-Volo and Bocce-Raffa.  In both the Bocce-Volo and  Bocce-Raffa, Australia finished 17th in the overall world classification ranking table.

Although Australia’s overall ranking  slipped out of the top eight nations into the teens for the first time in many years, this was seen as a ‘build’ year for Bocce Australia having just emerged from a hiatus of almost three years due to the pandemic  and lockdowns.

The coaches assisting the teams were  Stefano Chiandotto, Kerrie Reitano and Franco Fava. They were all supported by Bocce Australia delegates Sonia Fava and Tony Biancacci.

Mary Greco at the Bocce World Championships
Mary Greco at the Bocce World Championships.

World Bocce – Congress

Mersin Toroslar Municipality was host to the World Bocce Championships of Raffa and Volo, Mersin 2022. At the same time, the World Bocce Congress was held in the presence of the Governor of Mersin Mr Ali Hamza Pehlivan, President of CBI Dr Mutlu Turkmen and the Mayor of Mersin Toroslar Municipality, Mr Atsız Afşin Yılmaz. The historical event which saw two important world championships staged simultaneously was the showcase of the sport with 52 teams from 37 countries and much more watching globally as the events played out from November 1 – 5.

In the press conference, the governor, the mayor, and the CBI president addressed press members. All of them underlined the importance of this historic event and expressed their commitment to supporting the success of the organisation. During his speech, Mutlu Turkmen also explained that the elective general assembly of CBI will take place in Mersin on November 3 during the world championship.

The sports director of Mersin Mr Okkes Demir and two Turkish national players also attended the conference. After the completion of the press conference, Turkmen visited the Toroslar Bocce Hall and Volleyball Hall where the competitions were played simultaneously on 10 bocce courts.

CBI General Assembly Held in Mersin
CBI General Assembly Held in Mersin.

CBI General Assembly held in Mersin

The Annual General Meeting of the Elective General Assembly of CBI was held in Mersin during the World Bocce Championship on November 3.

Fifty-one delegates representing 38 countries participated in the elective assembly held in the Culture Center of the Toroslar Municipality. Deputy President Morani Rosati opened the assembly and passed the word to President Turkmen to chair the assembly. After thanking the delegates for their presence, Turkmen asked them to stand up for one minute of silence for Alberto Limardo, Paola Pigni, and Bernard Champey, who passed away. Then the minutes of the agenda was approved and discussed in order.

The delegations approved the financial, technical, and executive committee reports unanimously.

The assembly decided on three years for the new office, and the coming assembly should take place in 2025. The assembly also authorised the new committee to decide on the status of the members and membership fee scales.

The newly elected committee is as follows:

  • President: Dr. Mutlu Türkmen (Turkiye)
  • First Vice President: Moreno Rosatti (Italy)
  • Vice President: M. Yassine Kafi (Algeria)
  • Secretary General: Antonio Biancacci (Australia)

Members elected in the first round:

  • Marcelo Fabian Bravo by the statute (Argentina)
  • Natalia Lele (Latvia)
  • Gian Luigi Giancechi (San Marino)
  • Pablo Juan Munoz Palma (Chile)
  • Denis Persic (Croatia)

Members elected in the second round:

  • M. Amine Maidi (Algeria)
  • Gabor Foti (Hungary)
  • Jasem Manouchehri (Iran)
  • and Fabio Oetterli (Switzerland)

The new auditor committee proposal was approved unanimously and composed of S. Eren Ozturk (Turkiye), Sonia Fava (Australia), Bruno Casarini (Italy), Masoumeh Manouchehri (Iran), and Hasiba Hamel (Algeria).

The new statute proposal was approved unanimously, and EC was authorised to format the final version.

Former CBI President Mr Renato Bullani was opposed as an honorary member by the EC and approved unanimously.
CBI’s legal representation as a founder of FMBP was approved unanimously.

For the future calendar, Algeria is accepted to host the 2023 World Juniors, and for 2024, 2025, and 2026, Iran, Italy and Turkey are potential candidates. EC was authorised to discuss and decide on the hosts for the following years. EC will establish an athlete’s commission.

Danny Passaglia (USA) was approved as the President’s Advisor with consultancy representation on the board. Following the assembly, the newly elected EC members had the first EC meeting in Mersin Doramar Hotel. The EC appointed Mr Claudio Knecht (Switzerland) as the new general manager.