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The 17th Annual Joey O Bocce Classic will be held on April 28th 2024

You are invited to take place in our annual bocce ball tournament. 100% of the proceeds are donated to Cystic Fibrosis research. We are seeking players including individuals or teams, sponsorships and/or monetary contributions.

As always, a big thanks to our sponsors and contributors. Because of your ongoing support, we have raised over 500k.


April 28th, 2024 – 9 a.m. team check-in


Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC


April 28th, 9 a.m. team check-in

Hotel Information

If you’re joining us from out of town, we’re happy to offer discounted group rates at 2 area hotels:

The Joey O Bocce Classic is a family friendly bocce ball tournament for any level of experience. The competition is round robin play with the highest scoring team returning after lunch for single elimination play.

What’s included?

  • 3 Games guaranteed
  • 4 players per team
  • Lunch included for all players
  • 4 t-shirts per team

Saturday 4/27: Pairings Night

  • We are excited to bring back “Pairings Night,” where teams get matched for play, for the first time since 2019!
  • Players and families are invited to High Park Bar & Grill, 625 East Whitaker Mill Road in Raleigh. Event starts at 6:30 p.m.
  • Join us for raffles plus COMPLIMENTARY food, drinks, and the TapSnap photo booth, thanks to our dear friends and supporters, the Kaznowskis.

Sunday 4/28: Joey O Classic Bocce Tournament

  • The tournament is at Cardinal Gibbons High School, 1401 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh, NC 27607.
  • Check-in is at 9 a.m.; first team member to arrive should check in and pick up T-shirts
  • A brief welcome and announcements will start at 9:30 a.m.
  • Bring: sunscreen, chairs / hats / chairs / tents (no spikes!)
  • Water and lunch courtesy of High Park Bar & Grill is included for players.
  • Special thanks to our partners: Chiesi USA, High Park Bar & Grill / Upper Deck, Cardinal Gibbons High School, and Enrigo Italian Bistro.
Bocce Referees

Four Players vs. Four Players – Two Balls for each player

  1. Flip a coin to determine which team plays first
  2. The winner of the coin flip tosses the pallino, from behind the foul line, to put it in play. The pallino must roll past the “mid field line” and stay in bounds. If the pallino is not tossed properly by the first team, the second team tosses the pallino to put it into play.
  3. The team that tosses the pallino properly becomes the first team and tosses one bocce ball as close to the pallino as possible. The first team then steps aside to let the second team toss its first bocce ball, trying to get it closer to the pallino than the first team. If it does not toss its first ball closer to the pallino than the first team’s bocce ball, then the second team continues tossing its bocce balls until it does. As soon as a team gets it’s bocce ball closer to the pallino than the opposing team, that team steps aside to let the opposing team toss a bocce ball or balls until it gets a bocce ball closer to the pallino of the other team. This procedure continues until both teams have tossed all the bocce balls. THIS IS CALLED A “FRAME.”
  4. Players can use their bocce balls to knock their opponents’ bocce balls away from the pallino at any time during the frame/ All bocce balls must remain in bounds at all times. If the bocce ball goes out of bounds, it is removed from the game during that frame’s play. If the pallino goes out of bounds, that frame ends. Play then resumes from the opposite end of the court with the team that originally tossed the pallino tossing it again.
  5. Only one team can score in each frame. One point is awarded for each bocce ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest bocce ball of the opposing team.
    Example: The first team has two of its bocce balls closer to the pallino than the second team. The first team is awarded two points for that frame, and the second team gets zero points for that frame.
  6. All balls must be tossed from behind the foul line as per court layout. All balls must be tossed, rolled or bounced underhanded. OVERHAND tossing, rolling or bouncing is not permitted. Any time a player is tossing a bocce ball, safety and courtesy must be observed. All players must remain outside the bocce court, preferably behind the tosser.
  7. Games will be played with teams on opposite ends of the court. At the end of each frame, the game starts at the opposite end of the court. Teammates have the option to toss their bocce balls consecutively or alternately
  8. First Team to 11 points wins
  9. Must Start with four and end with four players. Only Alternates listed at start of play on original team may play in semi final and final game.

Contact Elana at


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Rolling to cure cystic fibrosis!

Joe O’Connell lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis in November 2009, at the age of 32. He had spent three months fighting in the ICU at Duke University Hospital. During this time his wife, Kristy, gave birth to their daughter, Piper Rose.

Those that knew Joe remember his positive spirit, infectious laugh and zest for life. He was quite the character, life of the party, and friend to everyone. We are inspired by his energy, and continue the march forward in the battle against Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus. In the 1950s, few children with Cystic Fibrosis lived to attend elementary school. Today, advances in research and medical treatments have further enhanced and extended life for children and adults with CF.

Joe O'Connell in 2008. He was chair of our first ever bocce event called "The Bocce Blast."
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