Australian Raffa Open 2011

This two day Raffa Bowls extravaganza, played over the Australia Day week end, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th January 2011, brought the best of best Bocce-Raffa players to Morwell in Victoria’s LaTrobe Valley for the Fourth Australian Raffa Bowls Open, with 18 teams participating in the mixed triples event. The game is similar to Bocce volo played with brass bocce, but the bowls are of plastic material and the player can bowl or throw to knock the opponent’s bowls away and make a point close to the jack, or bounce the bowl off the side boards for a placement. The Triples teams, each of two men and a woman player competed for the first time in the history of this championship for prize money. The popularity of the event necessitated the host club, the Italo-Australian Club in Morwell, Victoria, to prepare an additional two temporary courts alongside the current four permanent courts to ensure that the RAFFA OPEN was completed within the programmed two days. Raymond Cher the President of the Bocce Federation of Australia congratulated the players and officials on participating in the weekend’s Bocce Raffa Open. Mr Frank D’Urbano, President of the Italo-Australian Club Morwell, and Tony Paolini, President of the Morwell Bocce Sub-committee welcomed the players and officials to the Club and throughout the weekend provided first class hospitality. The Italo-Australian Morwell Bocce Club, situated in the heart of the power producing region of Victoria, put its bocce courts at the disposal of the Bocce Federation of Australia for this event. Frank Fava and his volunteers of Felice Maselli, Jim Fava, Frank Finocchiaro and Pat Kennedy did a fantastic job of constructing the Raffa Bowls courts which were in superb condition for the championship. President Raymond Cher commented that they were of a world standard and on par with those in he had recently seen in Rome, Italy. The Championship was a great success for the players and the many bocce spectators, especially for those who combined sightseeing and enjoying 1st class competition, taking advantage of the event to experience an enjoyable holiday in the region. The success of this Championship was due to the vision of Bocce Australia in expanding the Raffa Bowl game, the sponsorship from the Morwell Italo-Australian Club, the support of the LaTrobe City Council and the dedicated Bocce subcommittee volunteers, led by Sally Fava. The Australian Raffa Mixed Triples Open 2010 was keenly contested by 18 teams. The over 40 degree heat did not deter from the determination and tenacity of all the competing players. The event drew players from South East Australia and internationally. Competing for the first time in Australia was a team from Genoa, Italy, the home of the sport. Players and clubs from Adelaide, Melbourne, Mt Gambier, Myrtleford&Morwell, all enjoyed this Bocce-Raffa Australian Championship for its friendliness and great hospitality shown by the host Club. Overall, the tournament was a great success – with a battle between the up and coming teams from Myrtleford and Morwell against the powerful teams from Mt Gambier and Melbourne. To everyone’s surprise, most of the Mt Gambier teams were knocked out in the qualification round, with great promise being shown by the teams from Genova, Italy, Morwell, Melbourne and Adelaide as they progressed to the elimination round. Frank Capriotti and his team of Grace Letizia and John Vourounas were one of the favorites, but two consecutive losses with a score of 5 points to12 points against the Morwell team of Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, and Nick Albenese and then another loss with a score of 6 points to 12 points against the Myrtleford team of Germano ReBuffo, Nadia Rebuffo and Pina Pozzi, saw Frank’s team bundled out of the championship in the early rounds. The only Mt Gambier team to make it to next round was the reigning 2010 Champions and hot favorites for at least a placing, was the team of Sam Letizia (captain), Rosaria and Frank Iarossi, who made it through to the quarter final elimination round only to miss out, as they did not have sufficient wins to qualify for the semi-final as they lost 7 to 12, to the Veneto Club, Melbourne team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Ciacomin, Giovanni Puggia and then only narrowly beating the Myrtleford team of Ottavio Cardamone, Rosa Volpe, Franca Cobbe by 2 points with a score of 7 to 5. The four teams to qualify to the semifinals were from Melbourne, the Veneto Club team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Giacomin, and Giovanni Puggia, from Myrtleford Giovanni Mercuri, Adriano Novak, Maria Mercuri, and two teams from Morwell - Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, Nick Albenese and the team of Gino Montuoro, Kelly Sperne, Nick Cooper. The semifinal was a tough encounter for all four teams as opportunities were had and lost by the teams to take the advantage and seal the game. Some unlucky ends saw both Myrtleford team of Giovanni Mercuri, Adriano Novak, Maria Mercuri, and Morwell team of Gino Montuoro, Kelly Sperne, Nick Cooper loose 8 to 11 and both teams settling for equal third placing. The final, between the Melbourne, Veneto Club team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Ciacomin, and Giovanni Puggia, and the Morwell team of Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, Nick Albenese started off with the first few ends see-sawing as both teams took the control of the “pallino” and took holding point. In the end it was the experienced Veneto Club team that opened up the game, taking a commanding lead and eventually winning the game 12 points to 5 points and the Australian Title of Bocce-Raffa Mixed Triples Champions 2011. This was the first time that the title was taken away from Mt Gambier, who won it for the past 3 consecutive years since the inception of this championship. Final Placings: 1st Melbourne, Veneto Club’s team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Ciacomin, and Giovanni Puggia. 2nd Morwell Club’s team of Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, and Nick Albenese Equal 3rd Myrtleford’s Savoy Club team of Giovanni Mercuri, Adriano Novak and Maria Mercuri Equal 3rd Morwell team Gino Montuoro, Kelly Sperne, and Nick Cooper Thanks to the Italian Australian Club Morwell, the Club President Frank D’Urbano along with Tony Paolini and his Morwell Bocce sub-committee for their hospitality and friendship shown in helping to make this a great success. For this event, the excellent conversion from four to six courts was due to the efforts of organizer Frank Fava with Felice Maselli, Jim Fava, Frank Finocchiaro and Pat Kennedy. Also thanks to Tournament Director Frank Funari, Technical adviser and Finance Co-ordinator Anthony Biancacci, Chief Referee Frank Fava and assistant referees, Emilo Colla, Dianne Penney, Nick Penney, Anthony Biancacci and Lina Cher; Photography Raymond Cher, Logistic&Catering Operations Sally Fava. Also a special mention to the volunteers who have contributed to the preparation & organization of the Raffa Bowl Championship from the Morwell Club: Sally Fava, Christina Finocchiaro, Mirella Alesi, Anna Prezioso, Leonie Finocchiaro, Sam Finocchiaro, Mary Pagani, Maria Fava, Nick Cooper, Nick Penney and Dianne Penney and the many other volunteers who helped out in support of this event. The Semifinal was a tough encounter for all four teams as opportunities were had by the teams to take the advantage and seal the game. Some unlucky ends saw both Myrtleford team of Giovanni Mercuri, Adriano Novak, Maria Mercuri, and Morwell team of Gino Montuoro, Kelly Sperne, Nick Cooper lose 8 to 11 and both teams settling for equal third placing. The Final, between the Melbourne, Veneto Club team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Giacomin, and Giovanni Puggia, and the Morwell team of Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, Nick Albenese started off with the first few ends see-saw as both teams took the control of the “pallino” and took holding point. In the end it was the experienced Veneto Club team that opened up the game taking a commanding lead and eventually winning the game 12 points to 5 points and the Australian Title of Bocce-Raffa Mixed Triples Champions 2011. This was the first time that the title was taken away from Mt Gambier, who have won it since its inception 3 years ago. Final Placings: 1st Melbourne, Veneto Club team of Silvio Gatto, Agnese Ciacomin, and Giovanni Puggia. 2nd Morwell Club team of Christina Finocchiaro, Frank Finocchiaro, and Nick Albenese Equal 3rd Myrtleford Savoy Club team Giovanni Mercuri, Adriano Novak & Maria Mercuri Equal 3rd Morwell team Gino Montuoro, Kelly Sperne, and Nick Cooper Thanks to the Italian Australian Club Morwell, the Club President, Frank D’Urbano along with Tony Paolini and his Morwell Bocce sub-committee for their hospitality and friendship shown in helping to make this a great success. For this event, the excellent conversion from four to six courts were due to the efforts of organizer Frank Fava with Felice Maselli, Jim Fava, Frank Finocchiaro and Pat Kennedy. Also thanks to Tournament Director Frank Funari, Technical adviser & Finance Co-ordinator Anthony Biancacci, Chief Referee Frank Fava and assistant Referee’s Emilo Colla, Dianne Penney, Nick Penney, Anthony Biancacci and Lina Cher; Photography Raymond Cher, Logistic & Catering Operations Sally Fava. Also a special mention to the volunteers who have contributed to the preparation & organization of the Raffa Bowl Championship from the Morwell Club: Sally Fava, Christina Finocchiaro, Mirella Alesi, Anna Prezioso, Leonie Finocchiaro, Sam Finochiaro, Mary Pagani, Maria Fava, Nick Cooper, Nick Penney & Dianne Penney and the many other volunteers who helped out in the support of this event.

Aust Raffa 2011RAFFA POSTERThe finalistsRaffa Gold Medalist