Once again the World Series of Bocce has shown its class, skills and pizzazz by offering locals and visitors a terrific opportunity to compete in one of the world’s oldest games.
The 46th World Series of Bocce had a steamy weekend but the warm weather didn’t slow any of the action at the Toccolana Club. We like to think everyone was a winner.
More than 150 teams vied for over $30,000 in prize money. The tournament was free and open to the public.
The kick-off party Thursday began with live music, an appearance from Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo, and a ceremonial “first ball” rolled by members of the first women’s team to win the series in 1976. “We’re trying to recognize the women of the area, because we’re moving them up to Thursday to start, we’re trying to highlight them,” said Mike Ferlo, one of the event’s organizers.
There were 109 open division teams this year and 43 teams in the women’s division, a total of 152 squads.
Last year, there was a record field of 153 teams.
The top team in the open division took home $7,000, and the winning women’s team got a $2,200 prize.
Top sponsors for this year’s iteration of Rome’s biggest sporting event included McCraith Beverages, Worthington Steel, Rome Federal Credit Union, Victory Automotive, Varflex Corp., First Source Federal Credit Union, America and Il Forno restuarant.
The city again provided a stage for live entertainment at the event. This year’s lineup featured Julie Falatico, Rick Montalbano and Friends on Thursday night, Baddog and area favorite 24/7 on Friday night, and Nervous Rex on Saturday night.
The Franklin Hotel catered the event, as it did last year.
All in all it was a hot weekend for the venerable game of bocce.