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Scroll down to view photos of the 2012 Mass. Senior Games.
Massachusetts Senior Games

The Senior Games are also called "The Senior Olympics" and feature events for men and women age 50 and over. The competition is in 5-year age brackets (e.g. 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, etc. to 90+)

The 2007 Massachusetts Senior Games included:

Basketball (3-on-3)
Billiards (8-ball)
Bowling (10-pin, candlepin)
Lawn Bowling
Pistol Shooting (conventional)
Race Walking
Road Race
Synchronized Swimming
Table Tennis
Track and Field

My group hosted the bocce segment of the 2007 games and offered just one age bracket - over 50 - and teams could be made up of men, women, or both. We played "triples" - 3 players per team rolling 3 balls each and playing both ends of the court.

Unfortunately, bocce is not yet a Senior Olympic sport at the national level. Other sports like softball and basketball allow medal winners to advance to the Nationals the following year. You qualify one year and compete in the National Senior Olympics the following year. Since not enough states are offering bocce in their Senior Games, bocce is not offered at the Nationals. We're hoping to change that so that 2008's medal winners can compete at the 2009 Senior Olympics in San Francisco.

View the photos below for more details and, if you are able, lobby your state to offer bocce in the 2008 games - you can Google for example, "Senior Games New York" or "Senior Olympics Michigan" to find a contact.

Please feel free to copy the model of how we ran the event and perhaps you can add bocce to your state's offerings of senior game sports. First, get the OK from the Senior Games office in your state. The office (and you) can advertise the event. Above - we set up four courts (80' by 12' on the Astroturf of our baseball/softball venue - then break them down and stack them in a corner when we finish to make room for the baseball/softball crowd).

Find out what kind of budget your state's senior games office has. Find out if you can tap into it. We were able to get a generous donation from our state senator to cover lunch (use part of the money to have a sign printed and display it over the luncheon tables)

You might want to play doubles (two players per team). We did that our first year and went to triples (three players per team roll two balls each and play both ends of the court) the following year. For triples you'll need 6 red and 6 green bocce balls for each court (assuming you use the traditional red and green bocce). Notice we are using the stainless steel pallinos (international size) which are heavier and less likely to be knocked out of the court - available at DaVinciBocce.com.

Two of our top female players. To get the event off and running in your state I don't think you need to set up separate brackets for men and women or even for different ages. Maybe that can come later - for now, how about teams of men, women, or co-ed as long as all participant are at least age 50 (senior games minimum)? It's more important to implement the age groupings (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, etc.) in sports like basketball.

You'll need to decide on a tourney format...single elimination, double elimination, or round robin. We played a round robin and seeded the teams, sending the top 8 teams to a single elimination round. A bracket board for players to track their progress is a must.

If you're really ambitious, you might want to produce a program booklet and solicit ads from sponsors. Our friends at Martignetti Enterprises, Inc. were our major sponsors in 2007. {Click the photo to view their web site.}

Our other sponsors included:
Dennis Hanson
UMACO - www.UMACO.com
Gary Morse Printing - GMorsePrinting@verizon.net
Latitude Sports Clubs - LatitudeSportsClubs.com
Enterprise Bank - EnterpriseBanking.com
Scaccia Physical Therapy - scacciapt.com
UNICO - mjterlizzi@comcast.net
Zurick Davis - ZurickDavis.com
Grella Financial Services - GrellaFinancial.com
Embroidery Loft - embroideryloft.com
Back To Health Muscular Therapy
Sullivan - Twomey Insurance
Fiore & Hamburger Attorneys
Old World Cobble - oldworldcobble.com
Law Offices of Paul Martignetti
William S. Simpson Company, Inc.
Panera Bread
Marquis & Coughlan Insurance
Pin High Products - pinhighproducts.com
Valian Advisers
Ameriprise - Mark.A.Colonna@ampf.com
East Coast Coffee - mpease@lowellvending.com
Law Offices of John P. Rauseo - jpr40salem@verizon.net
Hadley Media - hadleymedia.com
ACCBEST - accbest.com
First Fidelity - joseph@firstfidelityappraisal.com
Cammie's Family Day Care
Wee Care Support Group

Maybe you make a few extra bucks for the cause by raffling off a set of Italian-Made Bocce Balls. { Click the photo to visit DaVinciBocce.com }

You have to feed the troops well - it's the bocce way. We had coffee and Panera bagles in the morning, sandwiches from Borelli's Italian Deli in the afternoon, and plenty of beverages all day. You always have to rehydrate the old bucks!

Strawberry Logs from Piro's Bakery are a big hit, and chocolate, pistacchio, and mascarpone gelato from Dolce Fredo Gelato finish off the day in style!

The Bronze Medal winners - medals supplied by Massachusetts Senior Games.

The Silver Medal winners.

The Gold Medal winners. Yours truly on the left was the hitter, while l to r Peter Picarillo and Rich D'Agata pointed flawlessly. Our strategy was to play the pallino short so that balls/pallinos would be close targets for me to hit. In the semi-finals we were leading a strong team by a 7-0 score. "Pic" placed the pallino just over half court (minimum distance) then left his ball 6 inches in front. The first opponent played two balls without gaining the point. The second did the same. The final opponent succeeded in making the point on his last ball. We had five balls left. I shot the pallino to the end board with my ball following. We then rolled the other four balls just past the other balls at half court, collecting 5 points to win the game 12 - 0 and advance to the finals.

2012 Senior Games Bocce

The Massachusetts Senior Games Bocce was held this year at our temporary Sons of Italy Greenhouse in Methuen. Four 80' by 11' courts on carpet. I started taking photos after the crowd started to thin out - but we hosted ten four-player teams.

This shot gives you a look at the size of the greenhouse - two double courts sharing a center rail - both double courts placed back to back.

Here, a late substitute forced into action by an overbearing husband (yours truly) leads her team to a third-place finish.

Here Sweet Lou shows off his stuff. Lou was one of the finest rollers on display in a very talented field of teams.

That's me with the Gold and Silver medal winners. Winners of the Gold get Mass. bragging rights for one full year!

Me again, this time with the Bronze Medal winners.

2012 Boston Senior Games

The 2012 Boston Senior Games were held indoors in the Steriti Memorial Ice Rink because of inclement weather.

Two nice Har-Tru courts were in use. They play backboard live even if the rolled ball does not hit another ball. Photos by Joe Kalil.

Notice that there are no swingboards. You can bounce a ball off the back wall and let it carom back toward the pallino.

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