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Fastest bowl sport


Australian National Senior Championships 2017


the BIG V teams of Vic Metro, NEBA & Morwell



 2nd June to the 5th June 2017

 Tuscany Association, WA inc., Perth – WESTERN AUSTRALIA


The 47th Senior Bocce Championship and 22nd Women’s Bocce Championship was a winner!


The highlights were many and varied with the high spots being the increased skill level shown by all players participating this year, plus the athleticism of the young Nicole Samsa in her confidence in demonstrating the Progressive Throw as part of  the opening ceremony.


This year it was a tussle between the Victorian Teams (Vic Metro, NEBA and Morwerll) and NSW. QLD, Bundaberg, South Australia and Western Australia were again very competitive and gave it their all but failed to win a gold.


The Championship was organized by the Bocce Federation of Australia in collaboration with the Federation Sport Bocce,WA and hosted at the Tuscany Association of Western Australia Club Boccedrome, Perth over the four days, 2nd to 5th June.


The Opening ceremony was well received with a packed Boccedrome came to see the teams march onto the courts while being entertained by local  Piano accordion player Nikki Dagostino entertained the spectators.  Nikki Dagostino is widely recognised as one of Australia’s most entertaining female Accordionists.  Keeping the rare art alive and educating souls with the world sounds of the Piano Accordion and she did just that as the players and spectators enjoyed her tunes. With players and spectators set and ready to go, the MC Nicola Tutt, opened the ceremony followed by Tuscany Association Club President Fernando Pagani, Federation of Sport Bocce WA President Jason Tutt and BA President Raymond Cher welcomed the players along with other local and interstate dignitaries. The traditional bowl throw opening was again fun, with many of the VIP’s having a bowl, including BA President-Elect Frank Funari.  Although the bowls rolled every way except to the jack, the different bowling styles were enjoyed by all participants and spectators making it a fun feature of the traditional Opening ceremony, with Jason Tutt being deemed the winner with his bowl being closest to the jack.

 The Friday evening climax was the Rapid throw and this year it was Heat 1 of the Rapid Throw along with Nicole Samsa demonstrating the Women’s Rapid Throw.


The four day Bocce Tournament bought together the best bocce players from across Australia. With over 70 Men and Women athletes from all corners of Australia – as far north as Bundaberg, to way out west and host city Perth. As well as the traditional forms of the game, the Singles and the Doubles, the teams competed in the more spectacular Bowl Throw, Precision Throw, and the Progressive Throw competitions as well as the team event of Triples.


The championship started on Friday with the Triples as each team set about to dominate the court space and play out for classification. This was followed by the Doubles, Singles, Bowl Throw and then the throwing events. All Victorian teams and players performed well with early wins by the Men's, Women's and NatU35's teams. NSW were in top form  with good performances in all events. Western Australia, South Australia, Bundaberg and QLD  made up the rest as they went on to top their pools in the round robin section of the tournament.


In the Triples it was a full round robin whereby each team played against each other. In the Men’s division, NSW  set the pace for the event and did not drop a game as they overmastered their opponents winning all games plus a draw against QLD to finish top of the pool. They were closely followed by Vic Metro who only lost one game, to NSW 5 to 13. Vic Metro were dominate in most games winning 13 to 0  four times and conceding only 16points in total  7 games. The stage was set for a fantastic final between the 2 top teams of NSW (Milic,Chinadotto & Samsa) and Vic Metro (Mikolic, Parisi, Palermo & Coviello)  and it did not disappoint. Vic Metro shot out to 5 zip lead only to be edged back by NSW. With the score 7  to 5 in Vic Metro favour it was the crucial end as NSW held the point plus more. Brilliant throwing by Dino Mikolic and Anglo Parisi saved the end and Vic Metro went 8 to 5. With 11 minutes to go,  NSW were not out and came back again with grand 3 points to level the score going into the last end. NSW make point and Parisi throws and hits the NSW bowl out. NSW bowls again and makes point only to be replaced by a brilliant bowl by Palermo to  give the Vic Metro team advantage. NSW bowl & regain point. Vic Metro decide to go for the jack to kill the end  and Dino Mikolic does just that and the end is restarted still all level on 8 points all. With the new end Vic Metro gained the lead with another textbook bowl by Palermo. NSW throw and miss, once  and twice. Chiandotto considers throw then does a bowl and lands short. With a point down & 2 bowls remaining NSW reload and bowl – the first goes wide and the last bowl rolls into the cutter giving  Vic Metro the win and championship with 9 points to NSW 8 points. It was the classic game between the two power teams of the weekend!


Overall, in the men’s section of the competition, the powerhouse Victorian Metro team took out 3 titles - Doubles, Triples and Bowl/Throw against a tenacious New South Wales team.  The spectators that packed the bocce stadium at all events witnessed formidable performances from both these teams.  Victoria saw the return of skilled bowler, Tony Palermo teaming up with Vic. Metro heavyweights - Angelo Parisi, Jim Coviello and all-rounder international great - Dino Mikolic.  Team New South Wales was similarly well equipped with rising star, Daniel Samsa, taking out the fast and furious progressive throw title against the defending Under 35 champion, Santo Pascuzzi! All-rounder George Milic and NSW bocce icon, Stefano Chiandotto the strategists of the team!  Their combined brilliance on the courts left the spectators spellbound!  Talented Tony Borrelli representing the Under 35’s team was also a winner against the New South Wales giants - winning the singles against George Milic and the precision against Daniel Samsa in grand style. 


Superb performances from the skilled Australian masters of the sport of bocce, including the tactics of Bundaberg’s Lou Masotti, the dead accurate pointing of SA’s Schievenin and throwing of Rodolfo Mancini, not to mention the doggedness of the whole of the WA team, determined to salvage some pride for their home state, kept everyone on the edge of their seats - as did the young guns from regional Victoria (Morwell) Nick Penney - Nick was awarded the male best and fairest trophy (based on points from the referees), Joe Maselli along with team-mates Nick Albanese and Felice Prezioso and new-comers from Queensland Metro!


In the women’s championship - the Vic. Metro team of experienced national competition, Vanessa Allegretto (female best and fairest winner) and Attilia Mezzalira joined by Angela Allegretto made it through to the semi-finals in all events, only to be beaten in the singles by NSW’s Antonietta Ruscio, in the doubles by SA’s Onorina Bersan and Maria Ferraro. Vic. Metro took their revenge in the triples semi-finals, beating SA 13-6.  In the bowl/throw semi-final, Diane Penney (Vic. Regional - Morwell) proved too strong for Vanessa. Vanessa, however, was the jubilant winner of the precision throw final against NSW’s emerging star athlete, Nicole Samsa! Vanessa and her team went on to set up a battle in the triples final against their regional counterparts from Morwell, Anna Prezioso, Maria Maselli and sharp shooter Diane Penney in a nail biter finish - winners Morwell 9 - Vic Metro 8!    The doubles final was the match of the super pointers from regional Victoria (NEBA) and South Australia - the NEBA pair of Angiolina Borrelli and Rosa Russo taking out the match in an exciting finish.  The singles final between local champion, Rosetta Kuscevic and NSW’s Antonietta Ruscio was a challenge of skill and tactics down to the last point - WA denied a win on home soil and NSW triumphant! Another great win for NSW came in the bowl/throw final contest between Nicole Samsa and Diane Penney with an ecstatic Nicole taking out the title 20 to 15points.  Nicole thrilled the opening night’s spectators in the presence of distinguished guests, including Councillor Stephanie Proud, JP, and representatives of the Department of Sport WA, with an exhibition match of the progressive throw - the first time this event was included in the Australian championship program in many years - ushering in great expectations for the future! 


Bocce Australia with the endorsement of the State bocce delegates made the following special awards:-

 Hall of Fame:


Gino Cencigh - for his service to bocce in New South Wales, especially in the formative years of that State’s Federation; Franco Capriotti - (Mt. Gambier SA) for his tireless promotion of ‘raffa’ bocce in Australia which led to the formal formation and regular competition of  ‘raffa’ bocce in Australia.



Life Membership:

 Awarded to Mafalda Zambon - (WA) for her leadership and tireless work with and promote women’s bocce in that state over two decades.




National Volunteer Awards:


Sally Fava wasthe recipientof a National Volunteer Award for her ongoing support and promotion of the sport of bocce and organisation of the Australian Raffa Open Championship over many years in Morwell, Victoria.


Michael Migliaccio - (Victoria), was bestowed the award for his advocacy and organisation of programs for athletes with disability especially in the area of Special Olympics in Victoria.


Congratulations on the outstanding success must go to the President and Secretary of the Federation Sport Bocce of WA, Jason and Nicola Tutt for their exceptional organisation in conjunction with the President of the Tuscany Association Fernando Pagani, his great team of volunteers and participating sponsors! As the national body charged with the responsibility of staging the National Championships, Bocce Australia, acknowledges the work of the State Federations and the national volunteers associated with the conduct of the tournament, especially Chief Referee, Franco Fava and state referees Ottorino Beccegato and Mario Ottaviano, Tournament Director, Mary Massena, Technical and Disciplinary Chairperson, Anthony Biancacci and Technical Draw Director, Frank Funari.


The 2018 National Bocce Championships will be held at the Redlands Club in Queensland.


At the 2017 Annual General Meeting of Bocce Australia, President, Raymond Cher, announced that he would not be standing for re-election as President of Bocce Australia. His decision not to stand for re-election was made in the interest of the sport as it enters what is hoped is a new phase for the sport internationally -  being accepted as an Olympic sport for the 2024 Olympics.  Raymond Cher who has been involved for over 50 years in the promotion, and along with the late Virgilio Turco responsible for the formation of Bocce Australia, counts amongst his achievements, the staging of 3 world championships in Australia, leading a delegation to promote the sport in China in 1983 and again in 1995 (Australia now hosts the annual Asia/Oceania Junior and Under 23 Invitational Championship with the participation of China and Japan); having the sport of bocce recognised by the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Olympic Committee.  The introduction of a Women’s Sector and National Women’s Championship is another achievement he is proud of.  Raymond, who is Vice-President of World Body of Raffa Bocce (Confederazione Boccistica Internazionale) will remain involved in the sport and one of his ongoing ambitions is to see the history of the modern bocce sport in Australia he helped institute, be written. Raymond wishes to thank all those who have, over the years contributed to development and evolution of the sport and those who, over the years have assisted him personally.  He wishes to particularly thank Ubaldo Larobina and Il Globo staff, who over the years have supported him and the sport by giving voice and space to the activities of bocce in Australia.


Raymond congratulates the President-Elect, Frank Funari, a man who has shown outstanding leadership as President of Bocce Victoria, for accepting to take on the presidency.  Frank and treasurer, Anthony Biancacci, are equally as passionate advocates for the sport of bocce.

 Article by FF & RC.


Photographs courtesy of Raymond Cher & Federation Bocce Sport WA Facebook.

   For more photographs go to WABF Facebook

   Also visit the following link for a replay webcast of Bocce Opening


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