USBF Newsletter Volume 2 - Issue 3
June, 2005

Volo Dominates at Aquatic Park Bocce Club
By Amacker Bullwinkle

Marco Cuneo and Benji Tosi play Volo at Aquatic Park, San Francisco, Ca.
Photo by Sarah Wolfram


Aquatic Park Bocce, located at the end of Beach Street, near San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square, boasts a volo-first approach when it comes to bocce. While most U.S. bocce clubs are steeped in the never game of Raffa, volo's brass balls dominate the court time here.

Aquatic Park was founded by Italian immigrants in the 1950's, and hosts a conglomerate of volo craftsman who can be found any afternoon at 1:15 p.m. tossing the first pallino down the clay and oyster shell courts. Recently club president, Marco Cuneo and vice president Benji Tosi, finished construction on the club's 3rd regulation sized volo court adjacent to the 2 covered courts. The volo courts have no sideboards and are carved into the ground to maintain their internationally regulated dimensions of 27.5 x 3 meters.

Cuneo and Tosi are proud to practice their competition skills in the games of combination, precision shooting, and speed shooting, necessary as they defend their positions as members of the U.S. Bocce team in Michigan in June, and then, if their training regimen pays off, on to the World Championship in Torino, Italy in September. They consider it an honor to carry on the tradition set by past Aquatic Park members Atillio Asti, Charlie Guaraglia, and Juanito Cuneo; who were all U.S. Team members. Juuanito Cuneo, Marco's father, currently honored on the USBF Wall of Honor, is considered by many to be the greatest U.S. volo player to date.

The thunderous crack of brass balls striking lure handfuls of the thousands of tourists who walk by the Aquatic Park Bocce club daily as they stroll between the Wharf and Marina; historic Alcatraz island and the Golden Gate Bridge bookending a gloriously picturesque SF Bay backdrop. While some are content to watch what they can little guess is a showcase of world class bocce, others may never know that their first volo lesson was given by Cuneo, who ranked 5th in Singles at the last Volo World Championship in Nice, France; a position unrivaled by even Cuneo's late father.