Bocce, aka… Italian Lawn Bowling, is Enjoyed Worldwide Still Today and is One of the Oldest Yard Games.

Bocce Ball Tourney Collinsville IL

Saturday, September 21, 2024 in Glidden Park
Registration begins at 9 AM, tournament begins at 9:50 AM for bracket setup. Tournament play begins at 10 AM. Guaranteed 2 games.
Bring your own bocces.


Food and refreshments on site.

For more information contact Event Organizer Jordan Dellamano at (618) 792-8907

A Little history of Bocce Ball in Collinsville By Clifton K. Dellamano

People spell it boccie, bocci, or bocce, depending on which part of the state they’re from.  Around these parts, it’s spelled bocce.

Bocce is a sport closely related to ancient games played in the Roman Empire that developed into its present form in Italy.  The Italians have played bocce for centuries and it’s one of the oldest games known to mankind. 

The size of the bocce is 3 ½” to 5”.  The boccino is about 2 ½”.  No lead-filled or metal ball is allowed in a tournament. In Italy, they play in a court, here in Collinsville, we play cross country.

The first bocce ball tournament held in the United States occurred in Springfield, IL in August 1939. The first Collinsville Italian Fest was organized by Joe Ashmann and held on Columbus Day, October 1984. That year, the bocce tournament was held where the Collinsville Memorial Library parking lot stands today.  The teams competing for a first and second place got caught in a thunderstorm but continued to play.  It turned cold that October and everyone was on the porch of Ciuferi’s Funeral Home.  Joe Ashmann brought a big pot of chili down, which went over well.

The tournament was held there for two years.  In the third year, the tournament moved to the Jung Brothers Pontiac lot. Rain delayed the tournament the fourth year, but it was held the following week at the American Legion. The tournament then moved to the high-rise home on Aurora Street, until the tournament outgrew that site and was relocated to Woodland Park for a couple of years. The games finally ended up in Glidden Park, where they are still held today. 

Bocce Rules (Illinois State Rules)

The winner of the coin toss throws the Boccino (small ball) within 20-30 yards (60-90 feet).
If the ball does not reach 20 yards or goes past 30 yards, the Boccino is thrown again.
If this happens a second time in a row, the Boccino goes to the other team.
You are allowed two steps in any direction from where the Boccino was thrown.
The first team to 12 wins!

Bocce Ball Tournament Winners

Italian Fest's Bocce Ball Tourney

View Previous Year’s Tournaments

Italian Fest Event Guidelines

Here is a list of guidelines that will help make Italian Fest enjoyable and safe for everyone!

  • In the event of an emergency, please listen to and follow the directions of Event Staff and Rescue/Emergency professionals.
  •  Italian Fest attendees are expected to avoid unnecessary risks and exercise common sense.
  • Fireworks, firearms, knives, swords, weapons, and explosive materials are strictly prohibited.
  • Pets are not permitted. However, registered service animals are welcome, but you will be asked to show your papers for your service animal as well as clean-up bags.
  • No Bikes, Skateboards, or Scooters allowed.
  • Trash goes into the trash receptacles. Help us make sure the city of Collinsville can stay clean.
  • As a guest of Italian Fest please treat the Main Street buildings and grounds with respect. These historic buildings cannot stand up to abuse, ill-use, or being climbed on. Please conduct yourself and your children in such a way that we can continue to host Italian Fest here for years to come.