The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VIII, Issue 33 - October 5, 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 #33 - October 5, 2009
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2009
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again faithful readers,

I'm thinking of taking a drive to Burlington, Vermont on Saturday, October 10 to meet members of the Burlington Bocce Club and maybe even participate in their Vermont State Championship. The event was rained out last weekend and rescheduled to a day that I can attend.

Zander Ponzo is the leader of the pack in Burlington and he was able to finish the singles portion of the tourney, but had to re-schedule the doubles. Looks like the NYC Championships got rained out too and are rescheduled for October 10 & 11. I'm trying to talk my friend Ralph Bagarella into taking the three-hour drive to Burlington with me. Ralph's the one who played so well in the Punta Raffa Volo Nationals at the Campo di Bocce of Livermore last June. I figure he ought to be able to carry me. We'll have to hustle right back after the event as we're running the Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney the following day.

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.

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

Little slice of heaven in Western Sonoma County...

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

A note from the good people at the Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament...

Hi Mario,

As you know, the bocce tournament is only about one week away. As always, my family and I greatly appreciate all that you, Carmela, and the great people from KWSSC have done to bring enthusiasm and professionalism to the event. Thanks for your willingness to help once again this year.

As I'm sure is the case with many nonprofit events in these difficult economic times, our donations, players and raffle prizes are down somewhat from last year to date. I do not wish to put undue pressure on ourselves that we must do better than last year, only to challenge ourselves to do the best we can in any given situation.

This year's recipient of our proceeds, The First Lieutenant Michael J. Cleary Memorial Fund, is an extremely important and deserving one. Its goals are to support 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.

I would appreciate it if you could appeal to your friends, associates and the KWSSC organization for paying players, sponsorships/donations or for raffle prizes (gift baskets seem to be a big hit with our crowd).

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to discussing the logistics of the Tournament with you later in the week.


Sandro Martignetti
Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament

{Please help if you can - click the photo top right for a pdf file with more info...}


Oregon's Lou Ures answered some questions I had about his 76' by 10' bocce court.

"Almost all courts in Oregon are 60 to 65 feet in length and on either concrete, or carpet. In the construction of this contoured court with 'personality' I have added a couple of innovations. First, the court can be fitted with removable floating backboards taking it down to 65 feet in length. Secondly, since it has a decomposed granite base with a crushed oyster shell topping, the surface is kept pliable to a depth of an inch or so and I can drag it perfectly flat. I have a roll of visqueen on a 3" piece of PVC 80 feet long that serves to keep the pine needles under control. If I drag, wet, and roll the court and roll out the visqueen cover, the court plays very close to the majority of courts in the area. But, I strongly emphasize that you must be able to 'read' this court to play well on it."

{Lou has sent some pictures and info that I will post soon...hopefully by next issue.}


Michelle Pigman has a couple questions...

"Your site inspired me to install a Bocce court in our yard. I ordered your book in anticipation, but although it is close to completion I have a glitch with the finished surface. After looking at as many pictures of bocce courts that I could find, I had my heart set on a Har-Tru surface. Ultimately the problem is really one of cost, as I have not been able to find a supplier of the Har-Tru surface at a reasonable cost in California. My plan to keep it as reasonable as possible was to do a 1.5” layer of oyster shell (readily available in this area) and finish with 1” of the clay over the 5” aggregate base. It seems that the surface color of the clay would work with the visual of our yard better and stay looking cleaner as a result of the darker color. I am hopeful you might help me with a couple of questions:"

Do you think it is ok to use the clay on top of the oyster shell?

{I'd check with the Boccemon, Tom McNutt who is the oyster shell expert out west. Contact him at I don't have much experience with oyster shell as we don't get to play on them here in the east. Har-Tru ships from Virginia, making the shipping to the west coast pretty costly. Similarly, the oyster shell ships from the west coast making it pricey to ship here in the east.}

Are you aware of any suppliers in California who might carry the Har-Tru?

{You can check with the bocce court builders in your area - David Brewer at and McNutt. Or, you might try to find a tennis court builder nearby who stocks the product or who might just have a couple tons left over from a tennis court installation.}

Is there any other surface treatment you might suggest that has a darker color than the oyster shell?

{I know that Har-Tru has a greenish tint and a reddish one too. Getting it to you is the pricey part of the equation.}


Elizabeth Jade Wong Fontana has an idea she wants to run with...

"I would like your input and assistance on organizing this women's triples raffa tournament to be held in 2010, hopefully in February or October. I will be inquiring with the IAC as to which Sunday would be available, and I will try to have it not conflict with a USBF tournament date.

The purpose of this tournament is to introduce more women who are already playing Open bocce to our beloved game of Raffa. I have been thinking that teams comprised of advanced, intermediate, and novice players would make this sport grow because we would have top level players sharing their knowledge, and helping to develop the skills of other players.

On each team there can be no more than one Category A player, but team combinations can be: (A,B,C), (A,C,C), (B,B,C), (B,C,C), (C,C,C). You may ask how can a team of all C players really compete against advanced and intermediate players. I can say to you is that I remember when my more experienced Raffa team was beaten by a team of Open players in the 2006 Nationals, 'Shooting wins frames. Pointing wins games.'

When I made up this list on Saturday, I thought to use only results from past USBF Nationals. If you want to be declared an Category A player, then you won't be able to play with another A player on your team. If there is an A player on the team, she is automatically given the Captain of the team status, and all decisions are made by her. If there is a team without an A player, then the person who organizes the team is given the Captain status.

I will be sponsoring the gold medals, and I am also seeking sponsors with bocce products and cash to increase the prize awards.

I will be making up fliers for this event as soon as I book the date. Thank you for your suggestions and participation."

{Elizabeth is one of the "movers and shakers" in the bocce community. Contact her at .}


Wethersfield, Connecticut's Michael Fortunato sends news...

"We had a tornado blow thru Wethersfield at end of June, 6 houses were condemned and hundreds of trees down....your readers will be happy to hear our courts held up fine!"

{If you haven't seen these great courts in the public domain, click here: }


Danny Passaglia of the USBF sends this...

"Bocce is being promoted heavily in the Chicago area via the Pinstripes advertising on ESPN Sports Radio. I have been getting calls almost weekly asking for more information."

{It's all about TV exposure. The sooner our sport gets it, the faster the word will spread.}


John Ross writes...

"Here is a link to view the world championships currently under way in Macon, France via live video feed. We have sent Marco Cuneo, Benji Tosi, and Delio Cuneo.

To check the results go to:


Mike Grasser sends notice of the Pallino D'Oro...

"I am going to have the USA Pallino D' Oro at the Palazzo Di Bocce on Friday, November 20, 2009 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. and finishing Saturday morning, November 21. Round robin play - all USBF and Canadian Bocce Federation players welcome.

I am going to also have the North American Pallino D'Oro on Saturday, November 21 starting at noon and finishing Sunday morning. It will be a single elimination tournament. The top16 USA players and the top 16 Canadian players will compete. They will qualify in the USA Pallino D'Oro. Thanks for posting this. I am the contact person - Ph# 246-505-4744. The costs and prizes will follow in a week."


Joy of Bocce - Third Edition Update - Plan B

Plan A was to finish things up by the end of September and try to get the new edition in print for the holidays. This can actually be done with today's print-on-demand technology. Unfortunately, I'm only about half way through the editing and am still waiting for photographs from people who promised to send them. So, I figured...what's the rush? Let's take our time, do it right, and have a gala launch in the spring.

The current plan is still 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.


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: }


Sam Pilo from Brattleboro, Vermont...

"Now that the season is changing, several of the group are wondering if an indoor court is possible. Can't seem to find any information about surface. Is Astroturf recommended? Any certain kind?"

{You have the same problem we all have here in New England. You either have to find a club that has indoor courts (like a Sons of Italy) or find a location that will let you set up courts on their carpet or Astrotur/field turf. We have set up temporary courts on both at indoor baseball/softball or soccer facilities. Astroturf plays faster than field turf, but in a pinch, any carpeted surface will do. Someday maybe we'll have a Pinstripes or a Campo di Bocce or Palazzo di Bocce in the East.

View some indoor set-ups here: and let us know if you land a new home for your bocce group.}


Sheila Gerbarg writes this in the subject line of her email:

Advice please! bocce court construction in cold snowy mountainous climate...

"Mario, I love the Joy of Bocce, and refer to it constantly! With it as my reference, I built a bocce court at my home in Paradise Valley, AZ, and decided on a clay surface for that climate. Our town in the CO Rockies (elevation 9156') is considering installing public bocce courts, and I need to determine which surface would be best here: clay or oyster shell blend. Can you possibly put me in touch with towns or clubs in very snowy and cold areas which have dealt with the climate conditions we have? I would be so grateful. Bocce is the perfect community-building activity for all ages, and we'd love to have it become a focal point for our town!"

{Can anyone chime in on this topic from experience? If so, REPLY and I'll get the word to Sheila and post the info for others to learn from...or contact her directly at .}


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."



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: . }

Glo Boules by Playaboule...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Zander Ponzo, President of the Vermont's Burlington Bocce Club. I hope to make the trip to Burlington this Saturday to see the courts in person and maybe play in their Vermont State Championship. Stay tuned. I hope to add a couple photos to this posting which is a permanent part of Bocce Venues at

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Maintenance Tools

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

7' Drag Brush

Manufactured by Lee Tennis (makers of the Har-Tru surface material), this court maintenance tool created for tennis courts works exceptionally well for bocce courts. The 7-foot drag brush is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without keeping players waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $169.95 plus shipping.


This strangely named 30” wide device is actually two implements in one. It is an all-aluminum combination tool for scarifying, leveling, and removing loose court material.

Strong and sturdy, the tool is light enough to handle with ease and is excellent for spreading new material during top-dressing. The concave shape of the 30” wide blade allows the tool to “float” along the surface without digging in. Use the serrated edge to scrape material from high spots, then flip the tool over to rake and smooth that spot and drag the loose material to fill in a lower point. Retails for $63.95 plus shipping.

Besides a heavy roller, the lute/scarifier and 7-foot drag brush should be all the maintenance tools a bocce court owner needs.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll down to bottom of page.

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.


October 10 & 11, 2009 - New York - New York. 15th Annual Citywide Bocce Tourney. Visit


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


October 10, 2009. Vermont - Burlington. Vermont state bocce championship - Doubles. Oakledge Park. Contact Zander Ponzo @ 802-658-0240 or .


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 20 - 22, 2009. Michigan - Palazzo di Bocce. USA Pallino D' Oro and the North American Pallino D'Oro. Contact Mike Grasser at 246-505-4744.

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