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David "Ned" Neilson

A Bocce Pioneer

In 1984 Ned moved with his family from Kingston, Ontario to London, England. There began his journey to Bocce glory. Ned joined the exclusive West London Bowling Club, foregoing his grade one year for an education in the basics of lawn sports. During his yearlong apprenticeship Ned discovered the French variant of bowling, Pétanque.


When the Neilson family returned to Canada in fall 1985, Ned moved to La Ciotat outside Marseille to begin rounding out his game. After two years of tutelage at the hands of the French master Philippe Quintais, Ned's development culminated in a victory at Le Mondial la Marseillaise à Pétanque . The legend of the 9 year old prodigy began to grow. Clubs from around the world vied for Ned's patronage, and to try and meet the demand he began a global barnstorming tour competing in championships from Laos, to Madagascar, to India.


Nearly 3 years later, now 11, Ned grew disillusioned with Pétanque and began to search for a new challenge. Ned traveled extensively playing Bolas Criollas in Venezuala, Bochas in Brazil, Bocce in Italy and Bocanje in Croatia. However, the years of strict training had drained from him the love of the game and he sought to escape the rigidity of the structured game. Ned returned home to Canada and went off to high school leaving behind the glory that had been predicted for him.


More than 15 years later an older and wizened Ned found a case under the bed at The Neilson Cottage containing a set of 107mm Perfetta Italian Bocce Balls. Immediately, the past came rushing back, Ned stepped outside and saw the future: all- terrain Bocce. Finally free from the  constraints of the 13x91 box Ned saw The Turtle’s Back, The Plinko Trail, The Septic Plateau and had a vision of what could be. Thus was born the Krupnik Cup, the world's preeminent all-terrain Bocce tournament. Ned convened a group of the world's greatest athletes in fall of 2007 and a tradition was born. Ned has two titles (2009 & 2012) and is considered the father of all-terrain Bocce globally. He is the founder of the Cottage Bocce Association and is still the organizer of the Krupnik Cup Championship.

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