The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1, Issue #18    May 6, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni   Copyright 2002

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In This Issue

* Bocce quote of the week
* Question of the week - {feedback on that pesky oyster shell}
* Question of the week - round robin tournaments 
* Photos of the week - Barrington, NH tournament finals
* Bocce product of the week - Travel Bocce
* Non bocce product of the week - CoEnzyme Q10 for a healthy heart
* Tournament Update - partial listing (complete list next week)


Bocce quote of the week

This week's web gem comes to us from Stan Stanton of Las Vegas (which he calls The Bocce Capital of Southern Nevada)

"Last week a very good team jumped on us early and had us down 5 to 0 when I blurted out to my team members that 'We need to kill the skunk!' We did, too. I was really happy when we 'killed the skunk'. We did go on to win that game! It is like the 'get the red out' or 'Visine shot' you mentioned some time back that I've been spreading around. Colorful language for a wonderful game." 

{Publisher's note: do you use this "skunk" rule? For example, the game goes to, say, 12 points but at 8-0 you win by default. In softball they have a "mercy rule" or "slaughter rule" where, if one team gets ahead by X amount of runs (10, 12, 15) after X number of innings the game is over. Please REPLY and let me know the details of your "skunk rule" - also list where you are located.}


Question of the week {feedback on that pesky oyster shell}

Donald Hardin's (Oklahoma) question about locating a source for oyster shell flour continues to evoke responses. 

Jim Vaughan offers this: "I entertain a lot of clients with bocce ball and they frequently ask this question regarding the oyster shells. One fellow in Hawaii told me that there aren't any oyster shells harvested in Sicily which, of course, put a curve ball on the theory. I'll stay tuned for any updates."
Bob Masullo of Sacramento, California told us that
"You can get oyster powder at most nurseries/garden supply places. It is a fertilizer. If they don't have it they should be able to order it. However, you may want to reconsider using it. I have it on my backyard court and find that, because it is a fertilizer, it encourages crab grass growth. As a matter of fact, I am thinking of replacing it. Any good suggestions for a better topping?"
"Tell Bob to contact Rick Wagstaff who plays bocce at East Portal Park 
in Sacramento and lives in Granite Bay. Rick is in the process of 
building a new court at his house and is using the most up-to-date 
material available. It is called granite fines. It comes out of 
Aromas, CA. It is crushed granite that has been screened. It compacts 
well when rolled and when oyster flour is placed on top, it makes one of the best topping available. Or, ask John Ross (Tournament Director of the United States Bocce Federation's National Tournament to be held at Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos, CA (John Ross: - Rick Wagstaff:

Downey Bocce Club's Perry Michienzi (California) adds that "We find that on our courts a combination of sport mix and decomposed granite works best. We have tried others and this one is best so far."  


Question of the week - round robin tournaments

Steve Kahn of Banning, California asks...
"Do you have round robin schedules for more than 18 teams? The schedules I have were found on a horseshoe site.

A little background on us. We're a senior retirement community with two
not-very-well-built Bocce courts. We have almost 400 members and in our last three tournaments are averaging almost 50 four-person teams. We play four days a week, 16 points for game and have four one-hour time slots each day. With our present facilities we can handle up to 64 teams (16 a day) and I have no problem with working up the schedules. However, one of these times we're going to field more than 64 teams and then I'm going to need scheduling help."

Answer: Wow! This sounds like a big operation. Here is my best answer - please REPLY if anyone reading this has more to add.

Most of the tournaments I know about use the double elimination format. Round robins are particularly suited to small numbers of teams. Teams will get more games in 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 other team and this would force the "If Necessary" game). By changing to the round robin format you could put four teams in each of two brackets and have them play each of the other three teams in their bracket. Now, you can use the results of the round robin to establish seeding (first, second, third, and fourth in each bracket). 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. In softball, usual tie-breakers are 1) record against each other 2) least runs allowed 3) most runs scored {this is tricky because it can encourage a team to "pile it on" when they are beating a team badly} 4) coin toss. For bocce you might use 1) record against each other 2) most points scored 3) least points allowed, and 4) coin flip. If time is an issue, you could play shorter games in the seeding round (if you normally play to 15 or 16, play to 11 just for seeding). 

With seeding established, from here on out 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.

I don't know how those horseshoe pitchers play such large round robins. They must have a lot of horseshoe pits or run multi-day events. Here is the site that Steve Kahn alluded to. Check it out for yourself...


Photos of the week - Barrington, NH tournament finals

This week's photos highlight the tournament finals at Dante's Pasta and Primo Vino Restaurant held Friday evening in Barrington, NH. Three teams from our Monday morning "bocce bunch" faced off in a round robin format. Check the photos out at the link below, and if you are in the Barrington area, a visit to Dante's for good food and bocce will be well worth the trip.
Check it out at 


Bocce product of the week - Travel Bocce

Bryan Mero ( offers a travel bocce kit made of 1 1/2 inch red and green painted wooden balls that allows you to play a miniature version of bocce in your living room or other suitable venue. The pallino is the same size as the other balls (but a different color) because a smaller object might present a choking hazard for small children. Mero claims that it is very popular with campers who take it along on excursions (making the waterproof pouch that the kits comes in a big plus). Travel Bocce is listed in OUTSIDE Magazine as a fun activity while camping, hiking or going to the beach. It retails on Bryan's site for $14.95 plus shipping. Check it out at ....


Non bocce product of the week - CoEnzyme Q10 for a healthy heart and other benefits
{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers}

Coenzyme Q10 With Vitamin E is a multi-purpose nutrient. A valuable supplement found in spinach, broccoli, nuts, meats and fish, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a fat-soluble nutrient that has a multitude of therapeutic benefits. It revitalizes and energizes the body's cells and immune system and increases stamina by fueling the body's energy production cycle. CoQ10 is beneficial to the body's cardio-vascular system, helping to protect and strengthen the heart, normalize high blood pressure without side effects in addition to enhancing mental alertness and brain activity for those with hypertension. The supplement has also been shown to bolster natural weight loss by speeding the body's metabolism of fat and it can even serve to control, and sometimes reverse, periodontal disease. 

$59.95 plus shipping for a one-month supply- click the following link (AOL users copy and paste to your browser)... 


Tournament update {chronological order - partial listing - complete list next week}

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.

May 4th - 12th - The United State Bocce Federation - 2002 United States Championships are coming to Los Gatos, CA. Go to their website listed below and click on "bocce events." That will bring you to the US Bocce Championships page where you can print an entry form or email the event promoters. The facility is fabulous. Check it out at Both International style of rules will be played as well as Open Rules.

May 18, 2002 - 700 athletes will compete in Santa Clarita, California Special Olympics 1st annual area games named The Spirit of Discovery. Twenty-four Bocce teams will represent 10 chapters in Southern California. The tournament will be held at Hart Park, Santa Clarita. The UCLA Basketball Coach and Legend John Wooden will officially open the games! Each athlete, coach and full day volunteer will be given a complimentary continental breakfast and free lunch provided by local restaurants. Valencia High Schools students under the guidance of Santa Clarita's Mayor Frank Ferry are coordinating an outstanding Olympic Village. Olympic Village will be open from 10am-5pm and is open to the public.

May 18 & 19, 2002 - Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. bocce tourney. Ken was a friend of mine who was lost due to the madness that was 9/11/01. I've formed a 501-C3 in his name that will run softball, basketball, and bocce for seniors (age 50 and over - exception - no age restriction for bocce). We'll play four-player teams at Home Run Park in Lawrence, Massachusetts. There will be a Novice Division for beginners (entry fee just $40) and an Open Division (entry fee $80). Winners awarded sweatshirts or jackets with our new Ken Waldie SSC logo and runners-up get their entry fee refunded. We hope to attract lots of newcomers to bocce to promote the game. Also, we hope many will participate to support our effort to establish a sports circuit in honor of our friend Ken Waldie. REPLY, give your address and ask for a flyer. I'll snail mail an entry form with details.

NEW - June 7, 2002 - Unico Tourney at Forest Park, Springfield, Mass. Two player teams - one must be a member of a recognized Unico Chapter. For info email Rico Daniele @ 1-800-BOCCE54.

NEW - June 23, 2002 - Open Bocce Tournament in Downey, California. Held at Apollo Park Downey Senior Center. Entry fee = $35 per person or $140 per team. Includes coffee and doughnuts at the 8:30 AM meeting and lunch at noon. Also, you get 3 chances to win round trip air faire to Italy - sponsored by Merano Tours of Los Angeles. Accepting 16 to 24 teams - double elimination event. Contact Perry Michienza @ 562-869-8782 or email or fax 562-8691772. 

June 29, 2002, there will be a charity bocce fundraising event to be held in Charleston, SC. Team fee is $400, 32 teams already registered (double elimination). The proceeds go to Special Olympics. More info: e-mail



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