The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. X, Issue 16 - May 9, 2011 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news and 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 10, Issue #16 - May 9, 2011
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2011
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hi again Bocce Friends,

Our local newspaper is doing a story on our team that's headed to California for the Nationals. They like the angle that we're willing to travel all the way across the country to get spanked by the Big Dogs.

The same old bocce stereotypes showed up for the photo shoot. When the photographer arrived, she said that the people in the office expected there to be VERY OLD guys playing. They told her, "If they're awake and moving, take their pictures" and "Shoot the pictures quickly. Who knows how long they can hold onto a bocce ball."

It's the same old same old. The more things change the more things stay the same. We'll have to deal with this until the day that TV coverage dispels all of these stereotypes.

Hope to see you in June at Campo di Bocce Los Gatos and/or Livermore. If you have stories, anecdotes, or photos for the ezine, bring those along too.

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

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Italian Athletic Club - Stockton, California...

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

Paul DiCicco sends an update about Wickliffe's tourney...

"I wanted to report in about our tournament in Wickliffe, Ohio - both last year’s recap and this year's info.

The Wickliffe Italian-American Club is once again hosting the Pat O’Brien Chevrolet, Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce – now in its 28th year. Our 2010 tournament was our largest and most successful ever. The weather played a HUGE role, and Bocce play was pretty big too…We hosted 96 teams from Ohio, NY, PA, Michigan, West Virginia, and several teams from Canada (Toronto Area). The winner, 'Vandra #1' was the first local team to win in several years. They took home the grand prize of $5,500 along with the tournament trophy, team trophy, individual trophy’s and medals. Second place went to 'MING!' from the Little Italy neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio. They took home $3,200, a team trophy, and individual medals and trophy’s.

Last year we also hosted a Women’s Tournament on Sunday. We had 8 teams, both from out of town and local. The winners were from Kopel, Pennsylvania. They took home the $1,000 grand prize and said next year they are entering the big tournament too!

In the early years we were known as only a bocce tournament. In the past 6-7 years however, we have transformed into an EVENT! We added several Italian Food vendors, a Cultural Pavilion which hosts cultural dancing, singing, food demonstrations, and even discussions from local vintner’s about their secrets to making wine. Friday Night we host an Italian band to play the favorites from our childhood and on Saturday Night we have a more progressive rock band to cater more toward the younger crowd. We have designated Sunday as Family Day. We have a live animal show for the youngsters and a trivia game hosted by a local radio show. We even added a cornhole tournament for those 'bocce wanna be’s'. That tournament, in its 4th year, has brought many people to the event and introduced them to bocce on a level they never imagined. Some come early to watch bocce before they play.

This past year, we also had a visit by the rock star of Bocce – Mario Pagnoni from Joy of Bocce, along with his much better half, Carmela. We gave Mario a microphone and as much time as he wanted to talk 'bocce' to the crowd. Mario also played in the tournament on one of our club teams with some of the members – we didn’t win but we did have a lot of fun.

We also gave Mario a club shirt that we hope he wears with pride and fond memories of the weekend.

In recent years we have acquired sponsors such as local hotels, Coca Cola, Labatt Blue, and Key Bank and several local businesses. With the help of these sponsors and of course our main sponsor, Pat O’Brien Chevrolet, we have been able to add a sound system, new bocce courts (9 total), covers for ALL of our courts, build handicap accessible restrooms to our clubroom to accommodate the large event crowd, and refurbish our parking lot. The crowds range anywhere from 10,000 – 15,000 for the entire three day event and the City of Wickliffe has honored our Club with a proclamation for our service to the city, in particular the operation of this event.

The planning of this year’s tournament is well under way. We met in January to line up entertainment and set our committees for the various areas of operation. We are blessed to have over 100 club members and their families, to volunteer their time and energy to help with the planning and working of all the areas of the tournament. Not one person makes a nickel from this great event. Any profit goes into upgrading the facilities, toward our scholarship committee, and the several thousand dollars we donate to local charities each year.

In speaking with several local players and spectators and out-of-towners, the overall feeling about the tournament is that they love the camaraderie, competition, and of course…BOCCE…They look forward to coming to this event every year, some have played in all 28 years!

This year’s Tournament and Italian Festival is planned for August 26-28. Free Entry – Free Parking – Free Entertainment. Visit our website for more information."

{A first-rate operation - I can attest to that. The good folks running this in Wickliffe are just about the best hosts you can imagine. I hope to make it back this summer.}


May 28th 3-player USBF sanctioned Raffa event at Sacramento's East Portal Bocce Club...


Mike Constantini writes:

"Our club (DABA) is in the market for purchasing 7 professional sets of bocce balls for club outdoor play.

Playaboule has a great deal on their Perfetta Club Pro sets. The dilemma is that I need colors that assist with color blind members.

If I could get 7 of the sets in yellow and the other 7 sets in red or green this would work.

Do you have any suggestions?"

{This is a problem for those of us who have color blind members in the group. We have two in our posse, so we acquired a couple sets of yellow to remedy the situation.

Mike Grasser has sets of yellow (the high end balls in sets of 4). Give him a call or email and see what he has to say (248-505-4744 - ). I know that Bede at Playaboule is trying to get yellow balls (and other colors) made at a reasonable price too. You might give him a call at 206-953-5342 - .}


New Orlean's Robert Agnelly sends this...

"As you know, we have 3 indoor, heated and air conditioned Bocce Courts which allows us to play bocce all year without interruption. Come visit us in New Orleans sometime. I’m sure you will appreciate the indoor courts more than our members who seem to take them for granted.

One would think that with all the interest in Bocce in New England, you would have several indoor courts as in the Chicago area. Just thinking. Maybe you could do a special on indoor courts. Our web site is We have links to St. Louis and other places."

{Bob is right. You'd think someone would build some first-rate indoor courts here in New England. Interestingly enough, our local Sons of Italy Lodge #902 is considering doing just that. The lodge came into a kind of windfall when they sold their property for something like 2.6 million dollars. A couple of us have given Mike Grasser's contact info to the new building search committee and they are considering putting up a building with 4 international sized courts (with the poured, polyurethane surfaces). A few of the committee members want short courts, like 70 or 75 footers to keep construction costs down. Mike has suggested the shortest international courts that would still allow us to host world class competitions (something like 82 feet by 12 feet).

I have told anyone who will listen that there is a potentially huge, untapped market for parties and corporate outings here in New England. I run quite a few myself despite the fact that we have no high end venue like Campo di Bocce, Palazzo di Bocce, or Pinstripes.

Because there is so little international style bocce in the East, the group thinks that staying local and small is the answer. They forget that we can still play open rules on those international courts. Some of us, who are giddy thinking that world class courts might be in our own backyard, are trying to get them the info they need to make a sound decision.

Can you imagine? We'd have the first international sized courts in the East. The possibilities are endless.

If you want to weigh in on this, send me your thoughts and I'll forward to the building search committee. The more pursuasive and compelling the argument the better.}


Dr Cordano writes...

"I have to inform you that for the first time in 23 years I will miss the nationals this year. I had everything ready with my team, but at the end of March suffered a severe infection needing to be hospitalized for almost 3 weeks.

I lost 25 lbs and I’m still in the process of recovery and will take more than 6-8 weeks before being back to normal and by then the tournament will be over.

You know how much I love to compete and will miss the challenge tremendously. Best of luck with your team.

Who ever wins this year will give the USA a powerful team for 2012. My favorite is Jose’s team and if he gets good support his team should come on top. Jason is playing quite well and will be a great help and he has become a very seasoned player. (Remember that he, me, Moreno and Lapcevich got 5th place in the world in Brasil in 2006).

Moreno has a decent team which I believe is another contender. I believe it is going to be a very high quality display, because California is preparing like never before and will give a tough fight.

Regards, stay well and again enjoy the Nationals!"

{Bummer! I always enjoy talking with the good Doctor. He is a wellspring of bocce knowledge.}

Another of our bocce regulars is on the DL too...

It seems that David Canclini suffered a pretty serious tractor related accident and is recovering.

He wrote that "Some of you may have heard that I was in some kind of accident but have not heard exactly what occurred."

He went on to say "I want to thank all of those who heard about my accident and have send cards, e-mails, flowers, kept me in their prayers, and called me to wish me a speedy recovery. It has been very humbling to receive well wishes from so many people in the bocce community. "

I later sent him the following...

"So glad to hear that you came out of your serious accident with a relatively decent prognosis. I hope you heal quickly and get back on the bocce court where you belong!"

Any well wishers can email David at .


A Little Humor Forwarded From Vermont's Zander Ponzo
By Way Of Paul Kervick...


This guy is stranded on a desert island, all alone for ten years. One day, he sees a speck in the horizon. He thinks to himself, "It's not a ship."

The speck gets a little closer and he thinks, "It's not a boat."

The speck gets even closer and he thinks, "It's not a raft."

He makes it to a flat hard sandy beach and then, out of the surf comes this gorgeous woman, wearing a wet suit and scuba gear. She comes up to the guy and says, "How long has it been since you've had a cigarette?"

"Ten years!" he says. She reaches over and unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes. He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag, and says, "Man, oh man! Is that good!"

Then she asked, "How long has it been since you've had a drink of whiskey?" He replies, "Ten years!" She reaches over, unzips her waterproof pocket on her right sleeve, pulls out a flask and gives it to him. He takes a long swig and says, "Wow, that's fantastic!"

Then she starts unzipping this long zipper that runs down the front of her wet suit and she says to him, "And how long has it been since you've had some REAL fun?"

And the man replies, "My God! Don't tell me that you've got a set of bocce balls in there!"


Date Change For Yonkers Bocce

The Mount Vernon Bocce Club will host its annual Spring Tournament on Sunday, May 22 instead of Saturday, May 21.

Please respond ASAP to yonkersbocce or by phone (914-310-8814).


The USBF has published a newsletter. Here is a link to it. Check it out, become a member if you aren't one already, and subscribe if you are so inclined.

Kathi Tesarz, Member Secretary says...

"This is the first USBF email newsletter. By following the link below you will be taken to the April edition of the USBF newsletter. All members that do not have an email on file will receive a printed copy of this newsletter."


Carlo from South Africa writes...

"I’m emailing from South Africa and at the club we have bocce courts that were redone last year but they are a mess and need to be redone properly!

Unfortunately in SA we don’t have experts on bocce courts and other courts are mostly synthetic.

I have searched the deepest internet to find how to redo and although I have found some sites they seem to use material we cannot find in SA, e.g. crushed oyster shell.

Currently the one court is about 50mm of a clay and then a layer of a few mm of some form of sand. But the courts are cracking badly and this one is unplayable.

The other court is made from ant hill sand and it ok but not the best.

Do you have a document which explains perhaps what materials could be used in bocce courts (I have ordered the book online.)?"

{An inexpensive court surface is what we call in New England "stone dust" - it is fine without large pebbles in the mix. Sometimes tennis court clay or Har-Tru is used. Granite fines work too. You need something that packs hard and makes for a fast rolling surface. Can you check locally to find out what materials are indigenous to your area?

I'll post your email in my newsletter and let's see if anyone responds.}

{Readers who can help please REPLY or email directly to ]


Butch Swanberg from Maine writes...

"We're having a 4 person team tournament to raise $ for Relay for Life. I'm expecting 8 -10 teams 2x Elim would take too long and single would be too bad for those who traveled some distance. Do you have any thought about single elim. but each match would be a short game to 5 or 7, 2 out of 3, winner advancing to next level. We're using 2 temp. courts 60 x 10 and half have never played."

Here's an option for 8 teams on two courts guaranteeing each team at least 3 games - put 4 teams in each pool. Each team plays the other 3 in their respective pool.

After the pool play, seed the teams based on win/loss record and point differential.

Top 2 seeds play two more games - Pool A vs. Pool B

...................Pool A.......................Pool B
Time............Court 1.....................Court 2
9.................1 vs. 2......................1 vs. 2
9:30............3 vs. 4......................3 vs. 4
10...............2 vs. 3......................2 vs. 3
10:30..........1 vs. 4......................1 vs. 4
11...............2 vs. 4......................2 vs. 4
11:30..........1 vs. 3......................1 vs. 3
12...............1 A vs. 2 B................1 B vs. 2 A


Western Sector Championships

2011 Western Sector Championships on June 11, 2011 hosted by Campo di Bocce of Livermore.

Click for the registration form.


2011 United States Bocce Championships.







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: . or


Perfetta Bocce - 107 mm - red/green/pallino/carry bag...

Photos of the week
This week's photos come courtesy of Marty Watts who is getting some bocce moving in Albuquerque, New Mexico including the New Mexico Games.


{These are not senior games.}

Says Marty... "I am one of the board of directors and I am looking to add Bocce ball to our Games. Our NM games are 37 years old and my best friend Fred Hultberg is head of Parks and Rec. here in Albuquerque, NM and he is the president of the NM games.

We have a population of 750,000 people in the Albuquerque Metro area. Bocce ball has a big growth potential.

Portable courts are the answer to promote the games at our parks here in Albuquerque.

{Marty refers to Backyard Bocce Courts by Chris Pfeiffer.}

I hope in the future we can budget money to build bocce courts around the City of Albuquerque. Our weather is good for 12 months and we have 345 days of sunshine. We can play outdoors 12 months.

Our NM games provide medals (gold, silver, bronze) for the first three athletes or top three places in each sporting event.

We depend on volunteer help to put on our events and
our cost is the medals and tents and supplies or bocce ball sets that we will need. I probably can get a sponsor to cover most of the cost.

I had a great meeting today with Trevor Levandoski who is the President of the Albuquerque Bocce Ball club.

He has agreed to be Commissioner of our NM Games Bocce ball tournament.

Your book, the Joy of Bocce, has been a great read and help for me to understand this great game of Bocce.

Mario you are the Godfather of Bocce and I hope we can have you come out to NM for a Joy of Bocce book tour and maybe for our 1st NM Games Bocce ball tournament.

So far we are making some progress. I did receive the portable Bocce ball court and my girlfriend and I went to the nearest park here in Albuquerque and we set up the whole court within 10 minutes.

I have attached three photos for you to review."

{Sounds like Marty is a "mover and shaker". To get things rolling he's counting on using Chris Pfeiffer's Backyard Bocce Courts. It's a start! Check them out here: .

Please follow Marty's lead and send info and photos from your bocce travels. I'd love to post them here. And our readers LOVE seeing courts from other parts of the country/world.}

View this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week
NEW..........NEW..........NEW..........NEW..........NEW.......... NEW..........NEW..........NEW..........NEW

Joy of Bocce Embroidered Patch

This nifty embroidered patch with the Joy of Bocce logo can be affixed to hats, shirts, bocce ball bags, or any other item longing for identification with Experiencing the Joy of Bocce.

Measures 3 1/2 inches long by 2 inches high.

Retails for $5 plus shipping.

Click to get a better look at the logo/patch and to order...

Non bocce product of the week
I've come into possession of a great many collectible items. I have all manner of items including costume jewelry, art work, and all kind of curios. So, I'm giving eBay a whirl.

Some item links to eBay below - for others bookmark StrikerPag...

Vintage Engraved Quadruple Plate Cup By Pairpoint Mfg.


Prancing Horse Unicorn? Brooch Marked Silver Mexico


7 Pc Mixed Lot Wooden & Ceramic Small Animal Figurines

Tournament update
{chronological order}


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

SEND INFO - WE'LL POST - NO CHARGE - SEND ME A PDF (File for me to post).

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.


May 12, 2011 - Massachusetts - Lawrence Sons of Italy. Bocce fund-raising tourney for Greater Salem Caregivers. Four-player teams. Contact Richard O'Shaughnessy at - 603-898-2850.


May 15, 2011 - California - PIASC San Mateo. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


May 15, 2011 - California - PIASC San Mateo. RAFFA 3 MEN PLAYERS. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


May 21, 2011 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


May 21, 2011 - California - Napa - 2nd Annual Bocce Ball Tournament and Game Day benefiting Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center. Http:// .


May, 22, 2011 - New York - Yonkers Annual Spring Tournament. 4-player teams - USBF sanctioned. Please respond ASAP to or 914-310-8814. We can only accommodate 14 teams.


May 28, 2011 - California - East Portal Sacramento. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


June 3, 4, 5, 2011. Pennsylvania - Bessemer. The 2nd Annual 4 Person Tournament for The Special Olympics will be held at the Bessemer Croatian Club. More information will be posted @ . This will be the highest pay-out tournament in Pennsylvania."


June 4, 2011 – California – Campo di Bocce Los Gatos – Raffa – 2 men players – contact Ben Musolf at 408-857-0074.


June 4, 2011 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ginger Henley @ 650-271-6009.


June 5, 2011 - California - Downey Bocce Club. Contact Don Gaggiano @ 949-855-8554 or .


June 5, 2011 – California – IBS Sutter Creek – OPEN – 4 players – contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


June 11, 2011 – California – Campo di Bocce Livermore –Raffa – 3 players (Western Sector Championships) – contact Heather Veon @ 925-249-9800.


June 18, 2011 – California – IAC Stockton - OPEN – 4 players – contact David Canclini at 209-957-3314.


June 18, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Open Doubles Tournament. Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


June 25 - July 2, 2011. California - Campo di Bocce Livermore and Campo di Bocce Los Gatos. United States Bocce Championships. Check this pdf for details and contact info...


July 8, 2011 - Oregon - Portland. Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS - Oregon vs. Washington. Contact Larry Cereghino @ 503-201-4585.


July 9, 2011 - Oregon - Portland - Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. California vs. Oregon & Washington. Contact Vern Cooper @ 916-550-2526.


July 9, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Men's Singles Tournament. Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


July 10, 2011 - Oregon - Portland. Paesano Club. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Larry Cereghino @ 503-201-4585.


July 10, 2011 - California - Laguna Niquel. Contact Gene Leo @ 949-637-6008.


July 16, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN 2 MEN PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 16, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Women's Singles Tournament. Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


July 23, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA 1 MAN, 1 WOMAN. Contact Bob Kennedy @ 209-570-7500.


August 6, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


August 6, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Mixed Doubles Tournament. Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


August 6 - 7, 2011. Ohio - Ashtabula. WARREN ANDREWS BOCCE TOURNAMENT Hosted by the Ashtabula S.O.I. and EAC. Four Person Teams. Entry $150.00 per team. Contact Mark Andrews at: .


August 13, 2011 - California - IACC South City. OPEN 4 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


August 13 - 14, 2011. Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. VT Senior Games: August 13 (singles), August 14 (doubles) Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


August 20, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408-379-9409.


August 26 - 28, 2011 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 28th Annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE sponsored by PAT O'BRIEN CHEVROLET. $5,500 first prize, $16,000 in total prize money – GUARANTEED. $175 per team entry. Trophy’s and medals for Champion and second place finishers and tournament t-shirts for ALL participants. We are also hosting a Women’s Tournament – DOUBLE ELIMINATION – $100 per team entry – all money paid out in top three prizes - Both Tournaments: Four person teams (plus one sub) Contact Gino Latessa ( @ 216-789-6393 for more info. Applications and info online @


August 27, 2011 - California - East Portal Sacramento. OPEN 4 PLAYERS. Contact Bob Martinez @ 916-717-1947.


September 17, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. RAFFA - 2 PLAYERS. Contact Roy Ramacciotti @ 209-369-2389.


September 17 - 18, 2011 - Vermont - Burlington - Oakledge Park. Burlington Bocce Championship (singles), September 18 (doubles). Contact Zander Ponzo at 802-658-0240, or


September 18, 2011 - California -PIASC San Mateo. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS, at least 1 woman. Contact John Bernat @ 650-341-4045.


September 24, 2011 - California - IACC South City. RAFFA 3 PLAYERS - Italian American Games - Contact Gene Semenza @ 650-872-0192.


October 1, 2011 - California - IACC South City. VOLO 2 PLAYERS. Conat A. Bettucchi @ 650-697-7202.


October 8, 2011 - California - IBS Sutter Creek. OPEN - 2 MEN - 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 15, 2011 - California - Marin San Rafael. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact Diane Pelligrini @ 415-485-5583.


October 29, 2011 - California - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. RAFFA 2 PLAYERS (Play 3 Balls Each). Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074 or .


November 5, 2011 - California - Waterloo Stockton. OPEN - 4 PLAYERS. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


December 3, 2011 - California - IAC Stockton. OPEN - 2 MEN 2 WOMEN PLAYERS. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.

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.
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