Following on the heels of their successful 2015 National Bocce Tournament, the Methuen Sons of Italy Bocce lodge will be hosting the 2016 Pan American Bocce Games starting October 26, the first Pan American games to be held in the U.S. Forty of the top Men’s and Women’s players will be traveling from Brazil, Argentina, and all over the country to compete in the tournament, the second major event the lodge, which is just three and a half years old, has put on.
Opening Ceremonies for the games will take place at 7 p.m. on October 26 at the Methuen Sons of Italy lodge and will be followed by the first round of play. Matches will take place from 8 a.m.- 11 p.m. October 27-28 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on the 29 with an award ceremony and banquet to follow at 7p.m.
Perhaps the most exciting match up of the games will be the Friday night showdown between the World Champion Women’s Team from Argentina and the Pan American Champion Women’s Team from Brazil starting at 8 p.m. Both teams feature stellar players, with two members of the Brazilian team having previously been ranked #2 in the world.
According to Joe Quartarone, US delegate to the Pan American Bocce Federation and Co-Chair of the 2016 games, the Methuen Sons of Italy bocce lodge evolved from “a vision of mine and two friends to have internationally sanctioned courts so we could host these tournaments and make our area the center for bocce on the Northeast as [the sport] grows in popularity around the U.S.A.” It seems this vision has truly become a reality, as the lodge now has two major events under their belts, a feat most other lodges in the US cannot claim.
The style of bocce featured in this tournament and played at the lodge will be entering the roster of the Olympic games in 2024; so some of the players in this year’s Pan Am tournament might very well be future Olympians. Make sure to catch them in action before they head to that biggest of world competitions!