“Last year was a real challenge for our sport, so to see people playing ringing in the new year with bocce – albeit with some strict new protocols in place to protect against Covid-19 – has been an absolute dream.”
The final was watched by a keen group of fans on the night and broadcast to a much wider audience via Oddball TV. Player’s Anthem – a team made up of American Bocce Company founder Matt David and teammate Mike ‘the bocce robot’ Brady - took out the final, beating opponents Half Slab 16-15 in the championship match.
“It was a cliffhanger finish, with both teams square at 15-15 at the start of the final frame. Half Slab looked to have it in the bag until a precision ball from Mike Brady clinched it.”
Packaworld courts weren’t the only innovation on show at the event. The American Bocce Company also unveiled new digital scoreboard technology and a groundbreaking multi-camera image capture system that uses computer vision to measure distances between bocce balls to help with automated.
Mr Gara says the new computer vision technology is still in testing, but it will eventually be able to capture footage from multiple angles for use in match broadcasts, and remove the need for referees to physically measure the distances between balls when scoring frames at major events.
“We’re always looking to push the boundaries. Our partnership with Packaworld is helping to take the game to new locations and venues and our work with digital scoreboards and computer vision a logical next step in our ongoing efforts to take bocce to the next level.”
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts said his business was proud to be able to lend its support to the Winter Ball Championship.
“They have done an amazing job re-organising many of their competitions to ensure player safety throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. I can’t wait to see the growth of bocce pick up again this year as more and more people gain access to the vaccine and normality starts to return in the USA.”
Video: Mike Brady secures the win for Player's Anthem