The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. XI, Issue 1 - January 2, 2012 
•   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 11, Issue #1 - January 2, 2012
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2012
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that this issue of the ezine starts our eleventh year of publishing. I remember the first issue prompted one reader to warn that "Publishing a weekly is a VERY ambitious task." He was so right, but it has been a labor of love for the most part. When readers send questions and comments and photos it makes the job that much easier. In 2011 the stream of emails saw a slight downturn. So, let's get back at it and see if we can't run for another decade.

I'll be in the Pacific Northwest for The 10th Annual Bellingham Bay Tournament in April (4/21/12) and then I'll head back East for our money tourney which will be the following week in Providence, RI (4/28 & 29). I hope to see many of you in one part of the USA or the other. I look forward to meeting the Boccemon, Tom McNutt, who's one of the "good guys" of bocce (there are so few of us!).

My best to all for 2012!

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

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Running a charity event...

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

Let's jump right into our eleventh year of publishing this ezine. The sport has come a long way over the last decade and I hope I have helped with this weekly newsletter. I might be the only guy writing regularly about the sport. I'm not too sure what to make of that.

Wouldn't it be great if we had a glossy full color magazine devoted to bocce or all ball and target games (boules, petanque, lawn bowls, etc.)? Hey, it could happen.


I was hoping to launch a pdf file in this issue for the Providence Tourney which is set for April 28 & 29, 2012. But it will have to wait another week. Then we'll attempt to market it so that we have an annual and successful event in the East.


Bob Freda wrote to ask to be added to the Joy of Bocce Ezine list.

"A great service to all us bocce players, keep up the great job that you are doing."

{A great email. If we only got about 1000 like that a day we'd grow the game at top speed.}


Elliot Jarrett writes...

"I'm hoping to organize a tournament in my hometown, Austin, TX; there is not much of a bocce scene here although people are always interested when I'm playing with friends.

Do you have any suggestions/resources on organizing a tournament or can put me in touch with someone who has? I have not decided on the details yet."

{Here's some info copied and pasted from the Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition.}

Promote Your Group And Bocce At The Same Time – Run A Tournament

Consider promoting your group and the game by putting on a modest tournament. If you start with a small number of teams, do a good job, and offer the event the same time each year, it will grow. If you do a really good job, it can even be a money-maker for your group.

Tournaments can be Single Elimination, Double Elimination or Round Robin/Pool Play events. The number of teams entered and the number of courts available will determine which style to use. If you have a lot of teams and only a few courts, single elimination is the way to go. With a handful of teams, a round robin is the answer.

Most tournaments are 4-player events, but sometimes we see 2- or 3-player competitions, since organizers feel it is easier for people to round up two or three players per team rather than four. Tournaments can offer Open, Mixed or Co-Ed, or Novice Divisions.

If you want to attract top flight teams, you will have to offer large cash prizes and seek out sponsors to cover that expense. I prefer to run more low-key events that encourage beginners to give bocce a try. For this you have to require a reasonably small entry fee, and provide modest awards like sweatshirts or jackets for the winners and runners-up. For our annual May tournament at Home Run Park, we offer jackets for the winners and sweatshirts for the runners-up, all bearing our Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. logo.

Single elimination is often used when tournament organizers don’t have enough courts available to run a double elimination event. One loss and you are out. Single elimination makes it difficult to draw a lot of teams because people may not want to travel for what might turn out to be just one match. Also, single elimination is a tough sell as far as value for your entry dollar goes.

Double elimination is a more common tourney format. If you lose a game you drop into the losers’ bracket, and will then play against others teams who have lost. A second loss will send you packing.

Round robins are particularly suited to small numbers of entrants. Teams will get more games than with the "two and out" or "two and barbecue" formula. For example, if you had only eight teams in your event, double elimination would guarantee everybody two games and the entire schedule would be 14 or 15 matches depending on whether the "If Necessary" game is played. (One team emerges as the winner of the losers' bracket to challenge the one team that has made it though without a loss. If the losers' bracket team is victorious, that would be the first loss for the winners’ bracket team, and this would force the "If Necessary" game).

By changing to the round robin or pool play format you could put four teams in each of two brackets and have them play each of the other three teams in their “pool”. Now, you can use the results of the round robin to establish seeding (first, second, third, and fourth in each pool). You'll need to have tie-breaker categories ready. Maybe the four teams will finish 3-0, 2-1, 1-2, and 0-3. In this case the seeding is obvious. But if they finish 2-1, 2-1, 1-2, 1-2 you need tie-breakers. You might use 1) record against each other 2) most points scored 3) least points allowed, and 4) coin toss. If time is an issue, you could play shorter games in the seeding round (if you normally play to 12 or 15, play to 8 or 10 just for seeding).

Once seeding is established, one loss and you are eliminated. So, everyone is guaranteed at least 4 games with this format (three in the seeding round). You can have the top seeds "cross over" and play the 4th seed from the other side, and 2 vs. 3 cross over with the losing teams being eliminated. At this point, four teams are eliminated. The remaining four teams play and two are eliminated. The two surviving teams play for the championship. If my math is correct, we've had a total of 19 matches with four teams playing four games, two teams playing five, and two teams competing in six contests.

Another alternative, if you are short of courts or time, would be to have just the top two seeds in each bracket advance to the elimination round. The bottom two seeds on each side are out, but they played three games rather than just the two they may have settled for with the double elimination format.

Your event could include a picnic, family events, or other activities. You could join forces with a charity, and raise money for a worthy cause. Hosting a tournament will raise consciousness about your group and about bocce.


Jean-Yves BOULAY introduces the New Petanque.

{It's a great idea for sports like bocce, petanque, boules, lawn bowls, and curling to band together to support each other. It creates greater numbers for all of us as we try to promote, attract sponsors, and market our sport.}

The concept is simply that: each player plays with 3 boules (bowls) of three different values. These three boules are worth 1, 2 and 3 points and the choice to launch the boule is free at all times ....

The rest of the rules of the game remains almost identical to the traditional Petanque game. However, this new concept changes spectacularly the strategy in the game. This makes this new version of Petanque game more attractive and more fascinating: at each run launch the choice of the played boule, but also those to be drawn, will greatly influence the course of the game! This ability to choose, for each run, the value of the boule and what happens then to the ground boules will also introduce a strong atmosphere of suspense throughout the round. This outstanding suspense will be felt so by both teams either the audience!

You can find all of this new concept on this site: The new Petanque (sorry, just today some pages in English).

Please, thank you for forwarding this email to all your contacts from the Petanque circle and to add this new concept on your website.


$8400 Bocce Tourney at Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe, Ohio

February 11 & 12, 2012

Click for a pdf:

1st place $4000
2nd place $2000
3rd place $1000
4th place $800
5th place $600

Contact or call her at 440-585-5800




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



Bill Wallace's Sonoma County Bocce court...

Perfetta Club Pro set of 4 red, 4 green, pallino, carry bag...

Photos of the week
We're starting a Free Friday Bocce Night when we'll teach the high schoolers to play a little bocce while providing free pizza and soft drinks. We've redefined the term "cheap date."

I spent a day teaching the kids in phys. ed. class and most of the kids took to it pretty well. Most had played before and were familiar with the game.

Our program will run for 8 or 10 Friday nights and maybe next school year we'll be able to run a Bocce Club team program for several high schools.

Click for High School Bocce pics...

Bocce product of the week
Holiday Bocce Gift Ideas...


Bocce sets, books, measures, embroidered items. Check them out.

Will ship right away.

Click to see some bocce gift ideas...

Non bocce product of the week...
Free Shipping on Everything - Use Code EB-4374

Tournament update
{chronological order}



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.


January 21, 2012 - Massachusetts - Methuen. Sons of Italy Lodge #902 Novice Tournament. Four player teams. Pool Play followed by single elimination. Teams vie for Dinner for 4, Lunch for 4, and Breakfast for 4. Old Pros need not apply - intermediate/novice players only. Contact Mario Pagnoni @


January 22, 2012 - Masachusetts - Methuen. Cash tourney limited to 16 teams at Sons of Italy Lodge # 902. Open to 16 teams - double elimination. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ .


February 11 & 12, 2012. Ohio - Wickliffe. Freeway Lanes. $8400 Bocce Tourney. $4000 first prize - four-player teams. Contact or 440-585-5800 ext 130.


March 11 - 17, 2012 - California - Campo di Bocce of Livermore. First California Senior Games Bocce Tourney. For more info contact or
Click for a pdf file:


April 21, 2012. Washington - Bellingham. 10th Annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament. Contact . {I'll be in attendace this time - please come by and say "Hello."}


April 28 & 29, 2012. Rhode Island - Providence. Two-day Cash tournament. Held at Dunkin Donuts Center. Details to follow shortly as they become available. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ .


June 17, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Open Doubles Tourney (June 18 is the rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 7, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Men's Singles Tourney (July 8 rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 14, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Women's Singles Tourney (July 15 the rain date). Double elimination or round robin depending on # of teams. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 21, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Novice Singles Tourney. A novice is any player whose name is not on a courtside BBC plaque for a first or second place finish in either singles or doubles. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


July 21, 2012 - {1:30 PM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Novice Doubles Tourney. A novice is any player whose name is not on a courtside BBC plaque for a first or second place finish in either singles or doubles. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


August 4, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Mixed Doubles Tourney (August 5 rain date). Depending on number of entrants, the tournament will either be double elimination or round robin. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


August 11 & 12, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Vermont Senior Games. Singles on Saturday, Doubles on Sunday. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


September 8, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. 9/9 rain date. Ladder Tournament's Championship Tourney. Players in positions 2 - 5 will have a double elimination tournament to determine who will play the season champion in the tournament final. A player, including the season champion. will be eliminated from the tournament after two losses. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


September 29 & 30, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. Burlington Bocce Championship. Singles on Saturday, Doubles on Sunday. October 6 & 7 rain dates). Depending on number of entrants, the tournament will either be double elimination or round robin. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .


October 13, 2012 - {9:00 AM Start} Vermont - Burlington. This tournament is open to anyone who has placed first in a singles or doubles championship on BBC's courts during the 2012 season. October 14 rain date. Contact Zander Ponzo @ .

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