2021 Season Summary

3/31/2021

Are you ready to roll? I sure am.

The board has met and agreed that we’ll be able to play this year. But, while we’re all looking forward to playing, the county and state guidelines are cautiously sanctioning sports like ours, which will mean some changes to how we do things this year. So, here is our plan for playing during COVID-19:

Distancing

Socially distancing must be adhered to. Everyone will need to maintain 6 feet from others who are not in their pod. To maintain enough space, we will only be using one court on each level. This will allow players on both teams to maintain a safe distance from others. Capos, since we don’t have any officials on site, we’re going to rely on you to remind everyone to keep distancing in mind.

This will have implications on the length of the season. More on that below.

Masks

Every person who comes on to the courts, whether playing or not, must wear a mask that covers both their nose and mouth. Masks may only be removed while eating or drinking, only while seated, and while maintaining a 6 foot social distance.

We’ve decided to specifically require folks to be seated when removing their mask, as it’s simply the easiest way to keep things safe without too much effort or reminders. This leaves no grey area for interpretation.

If you would refuse to wear a mask, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated or not, PLEASE do not come down to the courts. It should be routine by now that people take a mask with them when they leave their house. That routine must transfer to playing bocce.

Sanitation

In order to limit shared handling of bocce balls, we’re going to play games with two sets of bocce balls. This allows each player to have a dedicated pair of balls for their own use throughout the entire game. After each round, instead of rolling the balls forward to your teammate, you’ll roll your balls back to your end of the court instead.

Sanitation stations will be located at each end of the courts. Sanitize your hands before and after each game, before tossing the palino, and before handling court maintenance equipment.

Measuring

Because of social distancing, only players within the same household can take measurements together. Typically, both teams tend to review measurements together. Instead this year, if both teams want to take a look, we need them to take turns. You’ll also need to sanitize your hands before handling the tape measures.

Scorekeeping

In order to limit shared surfaces, capos will pick a single person who will be responsible for paper scorekeeping.

Health Checks

Everyone coming to the courts will need to perform a self-check prior to arrival. If you have a fever above 100.4 degrees or cough, you need to stay home.

Waivers

Every player will have to sign a new waiver, which we’ll be sending out shortly.

How successful we are this year will depend almost entirely on the commitment of all players and teams to work together toward a common goal of getting back to playing the game we love and miss. So, if you happen to take objection with any of the special rules, it’s probably best if you sit out this season. The failure of players and teams to follow these rules risk not only individual and team penalties, but cancellation of the season for everyone. We know no one wants that. We are all of us in this together.

Schedule

Because we are only using two courts at a time, the number of matches for the season needs to be reduced. On average, teams will only be able to play every other week. In order to reduce the delay between matches, we’ve reduced division sizes to just 8 teams, preventing the traditional bye week. The plan is to play as many regularly scheduled matches as we can fit into the summer.

Additionally, we are going to be watching closely as state and local guidelines change. If we feel able to relax the distancing rules, we’ll try to schedule more matches, using all four courts.

And finally, some regular news. You can now find out which division your team has been assigned online.

Benicia Bocce Season 2021 - Divisions

You can click into each division to see the schedule, both for your division and your individual team.

Opening Day will be Sunday April 25th, just under a month away. We won’t be able to hold a one-off tournament this year. But, we will be holding a traditional playoff bracket. The schedule for that is to be determined. If we’re still only using two courts, it might take longer than usual to get through it.

Same as in the past, you can reschedule matches online. The full rules for rescheduling can be found in the Rules and Regulations, also available online.

Fees

We are going to send out invoices to capos to collect fees for the season. The invoice will request the full standard fee of $350 per team, plus $10 per player. But, we do not intend to charge full price for only half of a season. Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to use all four courts. And at the end of the season, we’ll process prorated refunds based on the number of matches we were able to play this year.

Note, once invoices are sent, the invoice will need to be paid prior to removing any players from your team. This allows us to have funds to refund the $10 player fee.

Invoices are due by the date of the Capo Meeting.

Capo Meeting

We’re going to be holding the Capo Meeting virtually this year. The meeting will take place on Saturday, April 10th, at 7pm. The video will be recorded, but please do not delay in watching, as important dates and information will be included.

YouTube Live Stream

Summary

That’s it for now! We’re so happy to be able to get together again this year. Hopefully, the trend continues towards opening up, and we can get the most of our long overdue summer. As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask: info@beniciabocce.org

 - Matt DeClaire
   BBL President


2021 Season Registration

12/6/2020

Hi Rollers,

Long time no see... We’ve all been missing bocce, and I for one now realize what an essential part of my summer being on the courts has been. I hope you’ve all found productive ways to adapt your time.

This is the time of year that we start preparing for the next season of bocce. Of course, things are still very much up in the air. But, if we’re going to be able to play, we need to start planning now, even without knowing whether it will be possible to be on the courts this Spring. So, we’re going to get started, preparing as we usually would, and cross our fingers real hard.

We’re going to hold registration as normal for the 2021 season, but with one important difference. We won’t be charging for registration up front. Instead, we’ll get all the teams registered, and then later in the Spring, if and when we determine we’ll be able to play, we’ll invoice everyone for the fees prior to Opening Day.

We’re not exactly sure when we’ll know if we’ll be able to play or not. It will be determined largely by the City of Benicia and state regulations. Beyond that, we still need to consider the nature of bocce being a mass gathering, mixing people between bubbles, with shared equipment, and a culture of food and drink. Rest assured that we’ll be as conservative as we were with the 2020 season.

With that all said, Registration will open on Sat. Jan. 30, starting at 12pm, and wrap up on Sat. Feb. 27., also at 12pm. As usual, registration will be done completely online at beniciabocce.org/registration. Be sure you know your password, and have gotten your team settled when registration opens. If you are looking for a team to join or more players for your own team, head over to the BBL - Find a Team Facebook group.

Here are the key dates:

  • Registration: Jan. 30, 12pm - Feb. 27, 12pm
  • Capo Meeting: Apr. 10, 10am
  • Opening Day: Apr. 25

The dates for the rest of the season are still TBD.

One important note: If you do not feel comfortable registering to play this season, rest assured that you will not lose your priority for the 2022 Season. If you played on a Wednesday in 2019, you’ll be first in line for Wednesday in 2022, regardless of whether you play this year or not. We don’t want anyone to feel they need to put themselves at risk to ensure their spot in the future.

We’re all looking forward to a return to the courts. It’s just a matter of time. I hope to see you all soon.

 - Matt DeClaire
   BBL President



2020 Season Cancelled

6/3/2020

I hope that you and your families are all doing well.

I’ll get right to it. The board met earlier this week, and after reasoned deliberation, unanimously decided to cancel the 2020 bocce season. The board does not foresee an immediate future in which getting together on the courts is going to be safe for our players, particularly with many in the league being in a high risk population. The safety of our players is our top priority.  We are also cancelling the July tournament. The remainder of your 2020 registration fees will be refunded in the near future.

I look forward to when we can put this crisis behind us and have a happy community celebration with everyone down on the courts. Until then, please stay safe and let’s look forward to the 2021.


2020 Season Start Postponed

4/5/2020

We’re going to postpone the start of the season until later this summer. We’re going to refund half the registration fees at this time (not including the $10/player fee for now). We’ll reevaluate as the situation evolves. And if the entire season needs to be cancelled, we will refund the rest.

At this time, the Tournament is still tentatively planned for July 11-12. But, we’1ll need to play that one by ear as well. Feel free to optimistically sign up, as we’re not collecting fees up front.

The safety of our players and community is our top priority during this time. If getting on the courts is at all risky, we will not hesitate to cancel the season. But, hopefully we see a return to normalcy soon enough, and bocce can be a happy reunion for friends and family. Until then, please stay safe.


Capo Information 2020 - Capo Meeting Cancelled for COVID-19

3/16/2020

In light of general guidance around COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), we are going to cancel the Capo Meeting this year. At this time we are still planning to hold the season as scheduled, particularly because we are still many weeks out from Opening Day (April 26th). But, please keep an eye out for further news as that date approaches.

Instead of holding a Capo Meeting, we're putting all the information online. We ask for all team capo and co-capos to review the following information.

In the event that the season will be held as planned, we are looking into measures to provide a safe environment down on the courts. In the event that the season needs to be cancelled, we will develop a policy to refund registration fees. Though, we will look into potential middle ground, such as a shortened schedule. We don’t want to wait all the way until 2021 to roll! ;)

Thank you for your understanding. And as usual, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to to send us an email at info@beniciabocce.org.

Board

This year, we had just a few changes on the board. Matt DeClaire continues as President for 2020. Zac Van Blake decided to step down as Vice President, however, he remains a member of the board.Greg Richey is holding the VP position in interim, until we can find someone to take it on permanently. John Van Blake continues on as Treasurer. Gale Sequeira decided to retire. We thank Gale so much for her help, particularly in helping to revamp the shed organization. We have a new member, Lynn Hannafin. That brings the board to the following:

  1. Matt DeClaire - President, Secretary
  2. Greg Richey - Interim Vice President
  3. John Van Blake - Treasurer
  4. Ron Kane
  5. Scott Reep
  6. Zac Van Blake
  7. Steve Pieroni
  8. Beth Szabo
  9. Lynn Hannafin

We are on the hunt (as usual) for more board members. We've got some folks that have given more than their share of service, and are looking to retire. We could particularly use members with expertise in any of of the following:

  • legal
  • banking and accounting
  • web development
  • social media
  • communications

Financials

We continue to operate in a surplus, allowing us to accelerate payments on the loans for the new courts. More info on that to come. It also allows us to save for much desired improvements, such as shade, better lighting, and court surface improvements.

Schedule

Most of the dates have been posted, but we have now finalized the date for this year’s tournament. Below are all the important dates for review.

  • Opening Day: Sunday, April 26
  • Tournament: July 11-12
  • Year End Celebration: Aug. 29
  • Playoffs: Sept. 9-19

If you are interested in the tournament, find out more information here:

beniciabocce.org/tournament

Schedules for each division, as well as individual teams are available online. Simply find your division in the nav under Schedule. From the division schedule, use the team selector to find individual team schedules.

Announcements

We’ve got a few standard announcements. Typically, the shed code is given out to capos during the Capo Meeting. We’ve now put it online, but are still only making it available to capos and co-capos at this time. Capos can get the shed online at beniciabocce.org/shed-code

We’ve made adjustments to the website such that capos and co-capos can see contact information for players on other teams. Just be sure to remember to log in, and then navigate to any team to see player email addresses and phone numbers.

This year we are introducing some alternative ball colors. We’re going to have one or two sets of yellow and black bocce balls. The idea is that these balls will particularly help with color blind players. They might also help when players are having a hard time distinguishing balls during twilight hours. Give them a try and let us know how it goes. Please give priority to color blind players.

Last year we introduced telescoping measuring devices. While we had mixed reviews, the biggest issue is that we no longer know where they are… So, if you can find one, and the other team capo agrees, you can still use these devices.

We will not be posting scores and standings in the shed this year. It was simply too much overhead, and it was always out of date compared to the online standings.

Reminders

And finally, we have some reminders.

We had some confusion around rainouts in the beginning of last season. We’re going to adhere more closely to the City guidance on rainouts. The City of Benicia makes the call if matches are rained out. And that call is not made until the day of, typically in the afternoon. If we receive a call cancelling play we will post that information on the website and send an email to the Capos and Co-Capos. If your match is cancelled, you should go online to begin the process of rescheduling, https://www.beniciabocce.org/reschedule. So, unless an email goes out notifying teams of a rain out, matches are still as scheduled.

Rescheduling is done online by capos and co-capos only. Find your match in the schedule and hit the Reschedule button. You’ll see a calendar of alternative dates. Pick ALL the dates that your team can play, not just the one you want. The capos on the other team will be emailed and will see a list of dates you’ve given them. If one of those dates works for them, they will select it, the match will be rescheduled, and both teams will be notified. As you can see, providing as many dates as possible makes it more likely the opposing team will be able to find one that works for them.

A reminder about Disputes. If you believe the rules to have been broken during a match, and you can’t work it out with the opposing team capo, it’s important to continue playing the match under protest. You can then bring your dispute to the board, where the Rules Committee will evaluate. Please do not abandon the match, or your team will forfeit.

Shed cleanliness is important. It’s fairly easy to just throw all the equipment into the shed at the end of the match. But, we’ve had equipment get damaged this way, particularly the brooms and chairs. We’ve organized and labeled where equipment belongs in the shed. Please take the extra few minutes to replace equipment where it belongs.

A copy of the rules will be posted in the shed. But, they are also conveniently available online at beniciabocce.org/rules.

And some final, but simple reminders. Home teams need to prep the courts, and need to arrive early enough to do so and include practice time. 45 minutes early is a good idea. Don’t drop the hose nozzles on the court. The concrete is very unforgiving, and we had a lot of issues with it last season. And… hey everybody. Don’t be jerks.

Questions

That’s quite a lot to sit down and read. And I don’t have you all as a captive audience this year, so I’m trusting you all to read through it.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to send them to info@beniciabocce.org

The league sends out news and announcements via an email newsletter. Sign up now to stay in the loop.