12th Annual Bocce Championship Hosted by Madison Forum Club

(Right to left): Katherine Walczak, Danny Phillips, Jerry Frangiulli and Tony Cianci received gold medals Thursday night for their bocce championship win. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Referees measure each team's distance from the small white ball, known as a "pullina," to see who wins the frame. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Danny Phillips, who finished his first season of bocce with the Forum Club, makes his throw. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Forum Club President Victor Bocchino awards the winning team with gold medals. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Though the opposing Chatham Collision team lost the championship game, it still took second place overall. Members (left to right): Billy Palmer, Sr., Billy Palmer, Jr., Nick Shaw and Patrick Palmer. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Patrick Palmer of the Chatham Collision team makes his throw. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
A clock with green and red hands signifies the color of balls each team throws and marks their respective scores. Credits: Lindsay Ireland

MADISON, NJ—The Madison Forum Club’s 12th annual bocce season ended Thursday with a final championship game behind the Villa Rose Wine School on Edgewood Road.

People were on the edge of their seats before every player’s throw, shouting encouraging words and chatting about the game.

“Our intention as the Forum Club is to get people to socialize and get people to know each other” through the sport of bocce, said Victor Bocchino, president of the Forum Club and Chairman of the club’s bocce tournament.

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Two teams were selected to play the championship game after they scored the most points in their regular, seven-game season, which runs annually from the first week in May until the last week in June.

The winning team’s members were Danny Phillips, who finished up his first-ever bocce season this year, Tony Cianci, Jerry Frangiulli and Katherine Walczak. Each winner received a gold medal.

Although the opposing Chatham Collision team lost the championship game, it still took second place overall in the Forum Club’s 31-team league. Team members Billy Palmer, Sr., Billy Palmer, Jr., Nick Shaw and Patrick Palmer all received silver medals for their efforts.

The medals will be personalized and engraved with each player’s name, according Bocchino.

Madison’s Forum Club is an Italian-American social club where members come to “be together and shoot the breeze,” Bocchino said. Club members have a weekly dinner on Friday nights at their clubhouse near the Villa Rose Wine School property.

Like many members of the Forum Club, bocce has its own history with Italy.

Bocce comes from the Italian word “boccia,” which means “bowl” in a sporting context. Italian migrants were one of the first groups to bring the sport to the U.S., where it is now played by many of their descendants.

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