Bocce, sometimes anglicized as bocci or boccie, is a ball sport belonging to the boules family related to British bowls and French pétanque, with a common ancestry from ancient games played in the Roman Empire. Developed into its present form in Italy, it is played around Europe and in overseas areas that have received Italian migrants, including Australia, North America, South America. Bocce was played among the Italian migrants but has become more popular with their descendants and the wider community; the sport is very popular on the eastern side of the Adriatic in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the sport is known in Serbo-Croatian as boćanje or balote. In Slovenia the sport is known as bale. Bocce is traditionally played on natural soil and asphalt courts 27.5 metres in length and 2.5 to 4 metres wide. Bocce balls can be made of metal or various kinds of plastic. Unlike lawn bowls, bocce balls have no inbuilt bias. A game can be conducted between two teams of two, three, or four.
A match is started by a randomly chosen side being given the opportunity to throw a smaller ball, the jack, from one end of the court into a zone 5 metres in length, ending 2.5 metres from the far end of the court. If the first team misses twice, the other team is awarded the opportunity to place the jack anywhere they choose within the prescribed zone; the side that first attempted to place the jack is given the opportunity to bowl first. Once the first bowl has taken place, the other side has the opportunity to bowl. From on, the side which does not have the ball closest to the jack has a chance to bowl, up until one side or the other has used their four balls. At that point, the other side bowls its remaining balls; the team with the closest ball to the jack is the only team. The scoring team receives one point for each of their balls, closer to the jack than the closest ball of the other team; the length of a game varies by region but is from 7 to 13 points. Players are permitted to throw the ball in the air using an underarm action.
This is used to knock either the jack or another ball away to attain a more favorable position. Tactics can get quite complex when players have sufficient control over the ball to throw or roll it accurately. A variation called bocce volo uses a metal ball, thrown overhand, after a run-up to the throwing line. In that latter respect, it is similar to the French boules game jeu provençal known as boule lyonnaise. A French variant of the game is called pétanque, is more similar in some respects to traditional bocce. Another development, for persons with disabilities, is called boccia, it is a shorter-range game, played with leather balls on an smooth surface. Boccia was first introduced to the Paralympics at the 1984 New York/Stoke Mandeville Games, is one of the only two Paralympic sports that do not have an Olympic counterpart. Fédération Internationale de Boules Confederation Mondiale des Sports de Boules International Bocce Federation
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep
The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We
AFC Champions League
The AFC Champions League known as the Asian Champions League, is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Asian Football Confederation. Introduced in 2002, the competition is a continuation of the Asian Club Championship which had started in 1967, it is the premier club tournament in Asia, equivalent to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores, the UEFA, CAF, CONCACAF and OFC Champions League competitions. A total of 32 clubs compete in the round robin group stage of the competition. Clubs from Asia's strongest national leagues receive automatic berths, with clubs from lower-ranked nations eligible to qualify via the qualifying playoffs, they are eligible to participate in the AFC Cup. Since 2009, the champions do not qualify automatically for the following year's competition; the winner of the AFC Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The most successful club in the competition is the Pohang Steelers with a total of three titles; the reigning champions of the competition are the Kashima Antlers, who won the competition for the first time.
The competition started as the Asian Club Championship, a tournament for the champions of each AFC nation, had a variety of different formats, with the inaugural tournament staged as a straightforward knockout format and the following three editions consisting of a group stage. Israeli clubs dominated the first four editions of the competition due to the refusal of Arab teams to face them. In 1970, Lebanese side Homenetmen refused to play against Hapoel Tel Aviv in the semi-final and Hapoel thus went straight to the final, while in 1971, Al-Shorta of Iraq refused to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv on two separate occasions in the tournament including the finale itself, with the Arab media considering the Iraqi side as the tournament's winners and the team holding an open top bus parade. After these two editions, the AFC decided that teams who refused to play matches for political reasons would be disqualified from the tournament, but this failed to act as a deterrent as the 1972 edition had to be cancelled after two Arab teams refused to commit to playing against Israeli side Maccabi Netanya.
After this, the AFC stopped holding the competition and Israel were expelled from the confederation. Asia's premier club tournament made its return in 1985, in 1990, the Asian Football Confederation introduced the Asian Cup Winners' Cup, a tournament for the cup winners of each AFC nation; the 1995 season saw the introduction of the Asian Super Cup where the winners of the Asian Club Championship and Asian Cup Winners' Cup faced against each other. The 2002–03 season saw the Asian Club Championship, Asian Cup Winners' Cup and Asian Super Cup combine to become the AFC Champions League. League champions and cup winners would qualify for the qualifying playoffs with the best eight clubs from East Asia and the eight best clubs from West Asia progressing to the group stage; the first winners under the AFC Champions League name were Al-Ain, defeating BEC Tero 2–1 on aggregate. In 2004, 29 clubs from fourteen countries participated and the tournament schedule was changed to March–November. In the group stage, the 28 clubs were divided into seven groups of four on a regional basis, separating East Asian and West Asian clubs to reduce travel costs, the groups were played on a home and away basis.
The seven group winners along with the defending champions qualified to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals and finals were played as a two-legged format, with away goals, extra time, penalties used as tie-breakers; the 2005 season saw Syrian clubs join the competition, thus increasing the number of participating countries to 15, two years following their transfer into the AFC in 2006, Australian clubs were included in the tournament. Owing to the lack of professionalism in Asian football, many problems still existed in the tournament, such as on field violence and late submission of player registration. Many blamed the lack of expensive travel cost as some of the reasons; the Champions League expanded to 32 clubs in 2009 with direct entry to the top ten Asian leagues. Each country received up to 4 slots, though no more than one-third of the number of teams in that country's top division, rounded downwards, depending on the strength of their league, league structure, financial status, other criteria set by the AFC Pro-League Committee.
The assessment criteria and ranking for participating associations would be revised by AFC every two years. The current format sees the eight group winners and eight runners-up qualify to the Round of 16, in which group winners play host to the runners-up in two-legged series, matched regionally, with away goals, extra time, penalties used as tie-breakers; the regional restriction continues all the way until the final, although clubs from the same country cannot face each other in the quarterfinals unless that country has three or more representatives in the quarterfinals. Since 2013, the final has been held as a two-legged series, on a home and away basis; as of the 2009 edition of the tournament, the AFC Champions League has commenced with a double round-robin group stage of 32 teams, preceded by qualifying matches for teams that do not receive direct entry to the competition proper. Teams are split into east and west zones to progress separately in the tournament; the number of teams that each association enters into the AFC Champions League is determined annually through criteria as set by the AFC Competitions Committee.
The criteria, a modified version of the UEFA coefficient, measures such thing as marketability and stadia to determine the specific number of berths that an association receives. The higher an association's ranking as determined by the
United Football League (Philippines)
The United Football League known as the UFL, was an association football league, replaced by the Philippines Football League, based in the National Capital Region of the Philippines, governed by the Football Alliance in partnership with United Football Clubs Association. The UFL was the Philippines' primary football league. In its last season in 2016, it was contested by 12 clubs and operated without a system of promotion and relegation with UFL Division 2, discontinued. Games were scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. To avoid the country's rainy season, the league kicks off sometime between the months of January and February each year; the league started as a semi-professional tournament in 2009. For its inaugural season, the first UFL Cup, sanctioned by both the Philippine Football Federation and National Capital Region Football Association, was held in 2009 to determine the clubs that would participate in the league. Since it has been described as a thriving football league, organized by former football players and aficionados.
A total of 20 clubs have competed in the UFL since its founding. It was organized by the Football Alliance, whose long-term goal is the continued development of football in the Philippines through a premier league. Four clubs have been crowned league champions: Global, Philippine Air Force and Ceres; the last champions were Global. The league was composed both with clubs playing a double round-robin format. During the course of a season, which commences sometime in January, each team plays every other club twice for a total of 18 games. However, during the 2014 season, the first division implemented a triple round-robin system, which increased the games from 18 to 24. Like most football leagues around the world, it adopts the standard point system wherein match winners receive three points and losers get none; each club receives a point, on the other hand. At the end of each season, the team with the most points was crowned league champion. For clubs that were level in points, the following tie-breakers were applied: Goal difference for the entire season Total goals scored for the entire season Head-to-head results Head-to-head goals scored Head-to-head away goals scored Total away goals scored for the entire season Since the start of the 2013 season, a new promotion-relegation system has been adopted by the league.
The club that finishes second in UFL Division 2 had a chance of being promoted via a two-legged aggregate-goal playoff against the ninth-place team in the first division, similar to the system used in the Bundesliga. For the 2015 season, a single team in UFL Division 1, was relegated to the second division. Further, the top two clubs from the latter and Manila Jeepney, were both promoted to the first division. Before the start of this season, Manila Nomads' decided to voluntarily step down from the first division to play in UFL Division 2, citing its inability to comply with the league's foreigner cap rule. With the discontinuation of the UFL Division 2 in the 2016 season, the adoption of the promotion and relegation system has been ceased. Below is a complete record of the number of clubs that have played in the first division throughout the league's history. In January 2013, Global FC chairman Dan Palami posted a picture via Twitter of the letter of approval from Asian Football Confederation general secretary Dato Alex Soosay of his club's participation to the 2013 AFC President's Cup, scheduled from 2 to 12 May 2013 for the group stage.
The team's participation marked the first time that the UFL and the Philippines sent a team in the cup to compete against clubs such as Taiwan Power Company, Hilal Al-Quds, FC Dordoi Bishkek, to name a few. Global qualified and was chosen to represent the country after winning the league title in the 2012 season. However, for the 2014 AFC President's Cup, instead of the UFL, the PFF–Smart National Club Championship served as the qualifiers for the country's representative. Ceres, the 2013 PFF–Smart National Club Championship champions, represented the Philippines in the 2014 edition of the tournament. In December 2014, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano Araneta, Jr. announced that the Philippines has been allocated a couple of slots for the 2015 AFC Cup. UFL club Global FC has been assigned an automatic slot for winning the 2014 UFL Division 1 league championship. 2014 FA League Cup champions Ceres FC, on the other hand, entered the 2015 AFC Cup play-off round against Maldivian football club Maziya.
Starting the 2015 season, the United Football League champion automatically qualifies for the group stages of the AFC Cup, while the UFL Cup champion earns an AFC Cup playoff spot. In the event that the league and cup champions are the same club, the AFC Cup playoff spot goes to the runner-up of the league competition; the regular season of the UFL was composed of two competitions, namely: the United Football Cup, a single-elimination tournament that allows clubs to participate regardless of their division, a domestic league. The latter is composed of separate round-robin tournaments for clubs in the first and second divisions; this is similar to the season schedule of the Philippine Basketball Association, which follows a three-conference format in a single season. The cup competition used to run from November to December of each year, while the league ran from January to July. Thus, these two competitions used to happen in separate calendar years. Since UFL officials have continuously introduced new formats and tournaments to align the league calendar with those in the ASEAN region.
Beginning the 2015 season, the football sea