Going for a world record Bocce Match

A bocce court on an upper floor of Syracuse's Ukrainian National Home is the site for an attempt to break the record for longest continuous match. It's a tribute to two brothers who died, tragically, last year (Photojournalist Matt Landers picture)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- They started playing Bocce at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning , and intend to keep doing 'giri' (matches) for 30 hours, to set a Guinness Record for the longest Bocce Match. That means at least 16 people are pulling an all-nighter, and then some, as they keep tossing the bocce (large balls) at the pallino (small ball) trying to score points.

Their court is in the 3rd floor ballroom of the Ukrainian National Home on Syracuse's West Fayette Street. That's where Turbo Bocce leagues meet weekly.

Why the attempt at the record? It's in part, in memory of Robert Mead, from Syracuse and his brother Joseph from Liverpool, who were lost in a kayaking accident on the Seneca River last June. They both played in the bocce league, and their widows thought it would be a fitting tribute.

Organizers expect about 300 people---mostly friends and family of the players---to come and cheer the teams on during the marathon. Besides people, there will be lots of food, with parties set for 8 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday.

There's no one in Syracuse from the Guinness organization to monitor the event, but it's all being videotaped and the files will be submitted for consideration The current record for longest match is 24 hours, 29 minutes. They estimate getting to 30 hours will take 70 straight matches.

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