The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 29 - September 7, 2009 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news & readers' feedback
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos of the week
•   Tournament update
Notes from the publisher
The weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 8, Issue #29 - September 7, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello my bocce friends,

We got some excellent, well written feedback about our recent discussions of bocce, styles of play, and choice of complementary dining (see "Bocce news and readers' feedback below"). No matter what side you come down on, we are opening up dialogue, which is a good thing.

Reminder: Our 5th annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament is set for Sunday, October 11, 2009 at the SportsZone in Derry, NH. This year the proceeds will benefit the Michael J. Cleary Fund.

The fund honors First Lieutenant Michael J. Cleary, a U.S. military munitions expert who was killed during valorous service in Iraq in 2005. More details below - for now, please mark your calendar and join us if you can. This is a great event that has raised money for great causes like The Jimmy Fund, Joey Fund, Alzheimer's research, and kidney disease research.

Note: Please add to your whitelist or address book in your e-mail program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.

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Stay close and always be up front,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Italian Athletic Club - Stockton, California...

Bocce news & readers' feedback
{Publisher's comments in brackets...}

Pat (Gemello) Ferguson asks about The Resolver...

"My father was a bocce enthusiast. After he passed away in '05 my mother gave me his Bocce Resolver. When my bocce-loving friends saw this clever device, they all wanted one. After searching the Internet I cannot see where to order one. I thought I had ordered it from your site, several years ago. I hope it is not extinct! I would appreciate any information you have on The Resolver."

{I think The Resolver is indeed extinct. The clever device, pictured to the right, had a revolving tape set atop a clear acrylic tube that fit over the pallino. The tape swiveled 360 degrees and extended over two meters. Of course, "serious" bocce players made light of the measure, embracing only "inside measure" as accurate enough for their purposes. Still, the device is easy to use and accurate enough for most enthusiasts' needs. It filled a niche.

Its creator, Mike Paccione of Cresskill, NJ kept it alive as long as he was able, but I think production costs got to high for him to make a go of it.

CafePress still sells some items with The Resolver picture on them - check out

See, this week's photos from Cheyenne, Wyoming. They use a device similar to The Resolver.}


Luca Fontana sent a great email with "Beer and Brats" in the subject line...

"I am pleased that your site is beginning to create some very productive dialogue among your readers. I believe that Bocce in the US - and probably around the world as well, is suffering some type of 'identity crisis'. The issue at hand is the dilemma 'is Bocce a sport or a game'? If you were to conduct a survey, most people would probably state that it is a game or a fun activity where friends get together to play while sipping a glass of wine, a cold beer and eat whatever kind of food they like to ingest, from a smoked Kielbasa to finely sliced Prosciutto from San Daniele.

Due to their competitive nature and personal pride, some of these players can get fairly serious but their underlying objective is strictly the fun aspect of the game. In areas with established clubs or federations we have seen the proliferation of a variety of Leagues, some aiming to assemble players for friendly competition and communal libations, others with a higher level of play where winners of different groups will eventually square off for playoffs and different prizes.

Additionally, we have a restricted number of players who have sufficiently honed their skills to participate in local, regional and national tournaments. These players are willing to travel substantial distances to chase that illusive trophy or monetary rewards. Except for a few events, the money rewarded is usually not sufficient to cover expenses (travel, hotel, registration fees) however, these players are driven by an innate desire to measure up against the best and are fueled by a competitive spirit. A portion of these players will eventually learn and fall in love with the highest echelon of Bocce which is the Punto Raffa Volo style of play, the 'ultimate apogee' of the game. This is where the 'game' becomes a sport, where 85 to 90 feet courts supplant the 60 feet backyard type of venues and one has to actually declare the ball he or she wants to hit. And this is when many individuals tend to disagree.

In my opinion, a true sports discipline must involve some type of physical effort along with preparation, concentration and strategy. The way I play golf is a game, albeit full of frustrations, for Tiger it's definitely a sport. The way I bowl is also a game or an excuse to drink beer, for Walter Ray Williams it is a sport. Bocce can be whatever you want it to be. But please, let's do ourselves a favor and separate the definition of Bocce from gastronomical and lucullian gatherings. We never associate tennis, cycling, mountain climbing or target shooting with food and beverages, why must Bocce always be paired with anything we put in our mouths? One of the reasons Bocce is not an Olympic sport is due to the collective failure of unifying the rules and the pervasive attitude that when in Rome you play like the Romans. One can drive a mere half hour and be confronted with entirely different ways of playing Bocce, never seen before and he will likely hear 'this is how we play it here'. And if you don't like the sauerkraut on your Kielbasa you better bring your own food!

PS: Thanks again for the Forum that you have established over the years, it keeps getting better. Healthy banterings about diverging opinions are signs that people are more involved than ever to promote the growth of Bocce."

{Luca speaks of “gastronomical and lucullian gatherings.” He may have been a lexicographer in another life.

Backyard and open rules bocce a "game" and PRV a "sport". An interesting way to frame things. Three of my friends and I played in the PRV nationals this past June and loved the experience and the sport. Still, we have a hard time accepting that PRV will catch on with the American people. But that's OK too. Those who aspire to that "higher" level will do so, and others will stay with what's fun for them. What's the underlying point of any game or sport anyway? Isn't it enjoyment? PRV or recreational bocce. It's win-win.}


Tucson, Arizona's Rock Gunnoe's email subject line is...

Beer and Bocce

"Oh, I think I get the point you were making about bocce becoming more popular, finding ways to make it more attractive to corporate sponsors to help defray the costs of building new courts in communities. Any positive exposure in advertising, for instance, that shows bocce as a fun sport for 30-40 somethings in spiffy clothes sipping wine would help the sport take root in America's long list of pastimes. Not sure that beer drinking would drag it down, tho,...

We happen to be very serious about our food and beer, not uncommon for us to break out a few vintage Belgian sour ales on any Sunday play. We are fortunate to have many good cooks among our regular crowd, which is about 40 members in Tucson, Arizona. We have a tournament coming up, and had a major tournament sponsored by DogfishHead Brewery last May - which they do twice every year.

Dogfish pics here:

They even offer logo bocce sets on their site, with a custom bag. They have courts at their brewery in Milton, Delaware, if you are in the neighborhood.

1702 - Tucson,AZ bocce pics:

1702 is a microbrew pub in Tucson, Arizona that has over 65 rare and special beers on draft all the time and is a big sponsor of the Tucson Bocce League. Austin's creations of gourmet ice cream made with beer is incredible, as well as some of his creations of hot sauces!

In fact, over 20 breweries attend the DogfishHead Intergalactic Bocce every year in Phoenix. Dogfish rents out a Scottsdale resort for the over 35 teams that arrive for the weekend. We are very serious about our beer, and have a gourmet catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Can't get any fancier than that with wine."

{Wow! makes me want to become a beer drinker. Alas, I am an uncultured slob, with no taste for great beers or fine wines. But don't pity me. A teetotaler, I am a much sought after designated driver.}


Sean Krezenski comments on bocce etiquette...

"This week’s articles by Dr. Cordano and Phil Ferrari struck a nerve with me. I loved both articles! Why don’t we respect proper etiquette and rules in the game of bocce? This is something I have observed everywhere that I play. This past weekend I traveled to Mayfield, Ohio. The tournament drew over 80 teams and, as always, it was tons of fun. I realize that whenever you travel to a new location there is always a little 'when in Rome...' required. This being said, I would like to point out a couple of topics that my team spent hours discussing (really complaining) during the break between games:

1) During the opening of the tournament, the tournament director handed out a detailed rule book and discussed a few changes to the rules from prior years. The most notable changes were that we would play 'backboard dead' and there would be allowed one attempt to legally toss the pallino before the opposing team is given the opportunity. Upon completion of this discussion, the director promptly stated that before each match the two team captains could agree to modify the rules as they saw fit. NO! THE RULES ARE THE RULES! Every serious player I have come across wants to know how we can attract more people to the sport. Step one; stop changing the rules on the fly. We all may need to accept the 'house rules' from time to time (even this I hope will standardize within the game), but I can’t accept modification on the fly.

Usually, I try not to compare bocce to other sports, but in this case I can’t help myself. Imagine the frustration that would ensue in a basketball tournament if suddenly every shot from the paint was worth 3 points or during a baseball tournament it was decided that we will just ignore the foul poles. One may argue that, as in the Mayfield tournament, a rule modification exclusive to a single game agreed on by both teams should not concern any teams that are not involved in that game. I disagree. Any modifications affect the integrity of the entire tournament.

2) Is it just me, or are the spectators of our sport becoming ruder by the day? Again I use Mayfield for the purpose of example, but I have witnessed similar behavior everywhere I have played in the last 12 months. For those that have not had the opportunity to travel to Mayfield, there are 8 courts in total: 5 covered and 3 exposed with bleachers and benches outside the area of play. There are no guard rails or fences and the courts are separated by a narrow walk way. The walk ways are needed for players to move up and down the courts after a toss and they also provide a place for players to stand.

During the tournament, spectators took it upon themselves to set up camp with folding chairs between the courts making it very difficult to traverse the court as a player and be able to communicate with your team. I (along with my teammates) was shoved out of the way several times during a match as these spectators moved between their chairs and their coolers. If this wasn’t bad enough, the same spectators played the roll of armchair coaches and commentators creating sideline distractions during an inning. My opinion to put it bluntly is simply; SHUT-UP AND GET OUT OF THE WAY! Players come first. No one should interfere with the flow of the game. Please hold all discussion until an inning has concluded, and keep those discussions in the crowd. Do not communicate with a player during the game.

The moral of my rant is respect. Respect the tournament. Respect the rules. Respect the players. If we do this, guess what? Our little sport might get a little more…respect.

I would love to hear what people’s opinions are. Is there any thought to a bulletin board on Joy of Bocce to debate these issues? I would set one up, but I have no idea how to do that.

{Great idea, but I have all I can do to get the ezine out in a timely manner. I toyed with the concept of a Joy of Bocce Blog but decided it was too big a task for me to add to may already full plate. For now I'll keep on keeping on with the ezine being my main focus.}


Richard Heisler sends a link to Father Guido Sarducci's discourse on bocce, calling it...

"Help for beginners and experienced alike."


Sandro Martignetti sends a request for help with this year's charity bocce tourney...

I am writing to invite you to participate as a volunteer for this year's Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament. It is hard to believe that we are in preparation for our fifth annual tournament. With the support and hard work of so many, we have raised nearly $120,000 over these past four years. Our funds have supported research for children with cancer (Jimmy Fund) and cystic fibrosis (Joey Fund), and they have also supported research into ground breaking work on kidney disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will be donated to the Michael J. Cleary Fund, which honors First Lieutenant Michael J. Cleary who was killed during valorous service in Iraq in 2005. Michael, a true American hero, lost his life at the hands of a roadside bomb. The goals of the Fund include supporting causes in the community that Michael gave his life supporting, aiding wounded veterans, helping families of our fallen heroes, and supporting other organizations which support OUR U.S. veterans. Plus, we hope to bring awareness to the daily sacrifices made by our servicemen and women in keeping our country safe.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to seeing you on October 11. (Details of the event can be found at .)

{If you are going to be in the neighborhood of Derry, New Hampshire and can help, please REPLY to . If you can make a contribution, please send to MFCBT c/o Martignetti Enterprises, 29 High St., Woburn, MA 01801.}


Joy of Bocce - Third Edition Update

The current plan is to keep the 2nd edition in print, while updating and tightening the new edition to make it more helpful to the average player and the person interested in learning the game. Of paramount importance for the new edition are an attractive, high impact cover, high quality images throughout, and simple, easy-to-read chapters for beginners and devotees.

Still need a foreword from someone with a pretty high profile – am attempting to contact John Madden and Steve Mariucci regarding this. They are not only high profile, but they love bocce.

Please feel free to comment and help shape the new edition.

Looking for high resolution photos (300 dpi) of the following:

great looking bocce courts
lawn bowls play
petanque play
kiss the fanny image

Send to along with your name for proper credit and permission to reprint. Thanks.


Bocce in Vermont

Zander onzo, President of the Burlington Bocce Club sends news of the Vermont State Bocce Championship...

"We now have three bocce courts in Oakledge Park in Burlington, Vermont. Their development and operation are a joint venture of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Burlington Bocce Club. We have a bocce league, bocce ladder, and have six other tournaments during the season."

{Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240 or . This sounds like an event that some of my bocce posse and I may be able to attend. We are always looking to connect with bocce players within driving distance.}


Pat Pezzin sends news of an event...

"I just wanted to let you know about an upcoming tournament in the Toronto area. Joe Defillipis is the club president and it looks like he is on the right track on making this a great annual event.

The attached link is the Application but below I've highlighted some of the details.

Toronto 777 Bocce Club -1st Annual Classic Cup
Date: September 25 - 27, 2009
Format: 2 person team, open rules with no direct backboard contact, double elimination and games to 16
Entry Fee: $100 per team
Prizesl: 1st Place $3000 - total Guaranteed prize pool of $6000 with prizes from 1st -8th places
Location: Ciociaro Social Club featuring 4 indoor professional sized courts, 7412 Kipling Ave , Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

Contact: Joe Defilippis @ 905-856-5956 ext 5250 or e-mail


Lio Giannotti is running a charity event...

"I am heading up a Charity Bocce Tournament at the end of October. It is for a foundation call Italidea. Italidea is a not-for profit organization created in 1995 with the purpose of promoting and expanding the knowledge of Italian language and culture throughout. Working in close relationship with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura and with the Education Office of the Consulate General of Italy, Italidea organizes a variety of private courses and promotes several public and private school programs for the teaching of the Italian language, providing financial support for teachers' salaries as well as instructional materials."

{View the pdf file brochure here: }


Paul E Cunningham - President, Bocce-at-Sea Club - sends this...

"Perhaps you could tell the players in your tournament about the event that my club is promoting. This will be a lot of fun for those who can take advantage of it."

{Met with Paul recently and can recommend him to you without reservation. He's spending what should be his retirement years giving back to the community by sharing his cruise earnings with various charities.}



We should all be card carrying members. Every club should be affiliated. For the sport to gain the attention it needs we need to boast of many thousands of members. Download a USBF Membership Application here: . }

No Boys Allowed League...

Photos of the week
This week's pics come courtesy of Jeffrey D. Thompson who recently helped run the 4th Annual Mia Maria (Sons of Italy Lodge #2813) Bocce Festival in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The festival was held at Frontier Park's Indian Village.

"We got there to set up @ 7:00 AM and as the day progressed, temperatures probably got near 80ish. A few showers fell during the day with one rain delay for about 20 to 30 minutes.

But by the time we loaded out about 6:00 PM, winds were gusting about 40 to 50 mph, rain was pounding and the temperature was down in the 40’s.

As I’m sure you are fully aware that 'Bocce-ites' all over have and will continue to be of the heartiest sort. We had enough antifreeze to keep us warm!

Keep us in mind if you are out our way."

{Yes, I'll definitely keep your festival inmind. From the looks of the photos, you have all the elements in place for an excellent event.

These photos are now a permanent part of The Joy of Bocce web site under Bocce Tidbits.

Please follow Jeff's lead and send photos of bocce in your area. People LOVE seeing courts and bocce play from around the country, and we might include one of your photos (with your permission) in the new book!}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $26.95 plus $5.00 shipping and will be shipped US Priority Mail.

Click the photo for more info, pictures, etc.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll down a bit...

Non bocce product of the week
{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers}

Thinking about Fall weather yet?

$15 off With Coupon KC-6983 at

Costume Kingdom

Tournament update
{chronological order}


Don't let the West Coast players hog all the space!


Please - anyone running a tournament - do me a favor - put a notice near your tourney bracket board informing players that they can go to and "opt in" for my FREE Ezine on bocce. Click the logo to the right to opt in if you do not already receive this ezine every Monday.


Please consider designating someone as "official event photographer" and directing that person to send snapshots for us to reproduce as photos of the week. Our readers love seeing bocce action from around the continent.


September 19, 2009 - California - I.A.C. - Stockton. RAFFA - 1 MAN AND 1 WOMAN. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


September 20, 2009 - California - P.I.A.S.C. San Mateo
OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. At least one woman. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


September 26, 2009 - California - I.B.S. - Sutter Creek. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Gold Country Classic. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


September 27, 2009 - California - I.A.C.C. - South City. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. 24th Ital.-Amer. Games. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


October 3, 2009 - California - Stockton - Waterloo. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


October 3 & 4, 2009. Vermont - Burlington. Vermont state bocce championship. Singles and doubles. Oakledge Park - doubles on Saturday and singles on Sunday. Contact Zander Ponzo @ 802-658-0240 or .


October 4, 2009 - California - South City I.A.C.C. VOLO - 2 PLAYERS. Contact A. Bettucchi @ 650-697-7702.


October 10, 2009 - California - San Rafael - Marin. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Diana Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


October 11, 2009 - New Hampshire - Derry. 5th annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney. Proceeds benefit the Michael J. Cleary Fund. Details .Contact .


October 17, 2009 - California - Sacramento - East Portal. RAFFA - 3 PLAYERS. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


October 23 & 24, 2009. Illinois - Franklin Park (9230 Belmont Ave.). 4-person teams. Contact Lio Giannotti @ . View pdf file here:


October 23-25, 2009. Arizona - Surprise - Kokopelli Winery & Bistros Grape Crush Festival featuring a Bocce Tournament, Wine stomping competition, wine, beer, & food demonstrations, music, local vendors, kids play area, & art show by Arizona Art Alliance. $20 per 2-person team (part of fee goes to the Chamber of Commerce). Contact Melissa at 623-556-4810 or .


October 24, 2009 - California - Stockton I.A.C. RAFFA - 3 players. Western Sector Championship. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.


November 12-14, 2009. Nevada - Reno. Peppermill Casino. OPEN - 4 players. Contact Dana Shores @ 800-648-6992.


November 14 - 15, 2009. Nevada - Las Vegas International Open. 4-player teams - double elimination. Contact Pasquale D'Aliesio @ 602-569-9149 or . More info:


November 21, 2009 - California - South City I.A.C.C. – RAFFA-2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @


December 5, 2009 - California - Stockton. I. A. C. OPEN – 4 PLAYERS. At least two women players. Contact Romano Lotti @ 209-951-8256.

Joy of bocce t-shirts, mugs, buttons, magnets, etc.

Merchandise still available at

Check out the first-rate equipment we offer. The finest measuring devices for bocce (made in UK by Prohawk for lawn bowling, petanque, and bocce) - the finest bocce balls in the world (made in Italy by Perfetta) and the number one selling instructional book on bocce in America - Check them out.
 Check out the merchandise