1 on 1 Tournament Recap

1 on 1 Tourament Episode IV (A New Hope)

There are two reasons I chose this goofy title. Because its our fourth annual 1 on 1 tournament, and because my wife loves Star Wars and she helped me build a wheel of death for the situation.

What does a wheel of death have to do with a bocce tournament, you might ask? The short answer is, it wasn’t part of the tournament exactly, it helped us fill out the brackets, and you can watch that all here if you want.

1 on 1 bracket live draw

Posted by Turbo Bocce on Friday, July 14, 2017

After the preliminaries on Friday, we settled the first leg of the triple crown and the best bocce player in Syracuse on Saturday. So who was it?

Well the opening rounds had all the fierce competition, drama, emotions, thrill of victory, agony of defeat etcetera etcetera that you might imagine . . . and I’m going to gloss over all of it (otherwise we’ll be here all day). The one thing I will say is that by the time the field was paired down to eight people all the previous year’s winners and everybody who traveled from Rochester to join in our bocce tournament had been eliminated.

Lets let this video of Andy Thompson putting in a perfect shot (right next to his previous perfect shot) act as a stand in for the whole first half of the tournament.

The final eight consisted of Bryan Mullane, Robb Jones, Paul Colabufo, and Jim Flint in the winners bracket, and Jim Whipple, Bernard Levine, Andy Ingalls, and Meg Dyer in the losers bracket.

At this point Bryan Mullane faced off against Paul Colabufo, and managed to rattle off the first 8 points of the game playing the pallino short (6 feet or so). I can say Bryan played about as close to a perfect game as I’ve seen, he never missed a shot or a bocce. The first shot he missed I managed to get two points, and went on a mini-run but it was too little too late, and Bryan progressed relatively easily.

In the other game Jim Flint showed why he is a gold medalist in bocce by beating people who have been playing bocce every week all summer, despite only playing once this year himself, but on this occasion Robb Jones was too much for him, and Robb got a big 11-0 win.

In the losers bracket Bernard Levine who had a tough draw and a bunch of great wins took Whipple to overtime before eventually falling 13-11. Meg Dyer was on one of the better teams in Wednesday League last year, but missed bocce this year because of knee surgery – apparently her physical therapy has been successful because she came in cold and got all the way to the elite 8 before losing to Andy Ingalls.

Now Andy Ingalls advanced to play Jim Flint, and Jim Whipple advanced to play Paul Colabufo. I honestly don’t know what happened in Andy and Jim’s game because I was playing myself, but I know that Jim Flint won. As for Whipple and myself, we had a pretty good game as you might expect between two ex-teammates. Whenever we play I always seem to beat him mid-range and he always seems to be me long, but the script got flipped this game and he won all the shorter games and I won all the longer games. The result was a back and forth game where nobody won too many points in a row. The turning point probably came when Whipple was up 11-10 and had the winning point in. I thought my ball was in (because that’s what someone told me) and I wasted two shots throwing in what I thought were extra points when Phil walked up and said “you know Whipple is in by close to a foot right?” Thanks to Phil’s good eye I had one shot left to save the game, which I put in, and then scored two points in the next round (mostly thanks to Whipple suffering from too much sun, beer, and exhaustion) and I won the game 13-11.

With not a second of rest I had to turn around and play Jim Flint, who scored the first 3 points against me, until I realized I had to take a page from Bryan Mullane’s playbook and play him short. That change got me in control and I was able to win the game 11-4.

Before we played, Bryan Mullane and Robb Jones squared off in the finals of the winners bracket, with the winner going to the championship and needing to only win once (while his opponent would need to beat him twice) and the loser dropping down into the losers bracket to play me. This game looked about the same as my game against Bryan, with Bryan going short every time he got the pallino and winning pretty big. I believe the score was 10-3.

I now had to play my third consecutive game, this time against Robb Jones, and I have to say the sun, alcohol, and long day started to get to me. We had a great battle, but right about the time I got an 8-7 lead I started to fail worse than that garlic and mirror store they opened in Transylvania. Robb eventually won 11-9, giving me third place, and giving Robb a spot in the championship.

Bryan had a long wait, but Robb dealt with the heat and 7 straight hours of bocce better than anybody. This time when Bryan went short Robb was able to get the bocces he needed, and when Robb went long Bryan was too tired to keep up. Robb won the first game fairly easily 11-5, but since this is a double elimination tournament and Bryan hadn’t lost yet, Robb had to beat him one more time.

These three videos (Bryan throwing an ace, Robb knocking it out, Robb throwing his own near ace) are a pretty good representation of the first championship game.

In this game Bryan got a second wind, and that seemed just enough to get the job done. He won 11-6 to become the best bocce player in Syracuse, joining Phil Martino, Greg Griffo, and Monica Angelosanto as the only people to ever win this particular prestigious award. I’ve got to say that to me Bryan looked like the best player all day long, and he earned his path to the championship beating the second place finisher twice and the third place finisher twice. Kudos to Robb, for not only playing great bocce, but for playing 7 straight hours of bocce without wearing down at all (he’s the only one I can say that about).

Here we have Bryan throwing a great shot from 45 or so feet, and Robb nearly matching it.

The championship winning sequence!!!

After the event I polled 100 monks about who the greatest player bocce history is. 99 of them said nothing due to their vow of silence, and the other one chose Bryan . . . he was later kicked out of monkhood. So congrats Brian! I suggest you take a long vacation. Perhaps fly to Alaska, hop on a boat and catch some crabs (you won’t mind the itching too much).

First and second place after a long day!

Here are your early (and probably unnecessary) triple crown standings:

Bryan Mullane: 3

Robb Jones: 2

Paul Colabufo: 1