The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1, Issue #15    April 15, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni   Copyright 2002

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In This Issue

* Update on The Learning Channel & Bocce
* Question of the week
* Bocce quote of the week
* Bocce product of the week
* Non bocce product of the week
* Photos of the week - courts in the public domain
* Tournament Update - NEW this week - Stamford, Connecticut


Update on The Learning Channel & Bocce

I recently spoke with Kanika Utley, the associate producer for television's The Dating Story (which airs on The Learning Channel). As you may recall, they were hoping to film a "bocce date" outdoors in a New York City park, but wanted an indoor venue in case of inclement weather. Several Joy of Bocce readers sent in suggestions. Ms. Utley reports, however, that the weather cooperated beautifully. "It was sunny...perfect...and so much fun!" The episode was filmed at Washington Square Park and several boules and bocce players who are "regulars" at the park were happy to coach the couple (and get in front of the camera). The dating couple, Caroline from Hoboken, New Jersey, and Carmine, of Staten Island, had a passing familiarity with bocce (mostly gleaned from the Internet), and were happy to have a little intro from more experienced players. From all accounts, the date was successful. But we'll have to wait until the production airs to know for sure.

Caroline and Carmine are both Italian, but that fact is hardly worth mentioning any more as the game of bocce has broken free of its ethnic origins. Virtually everyone we introduce the game to, no matter what their ethnicity, enjoys this wonderful pastime!

The show will air in the new fall season (A Dating Story, Banyan Productions - Producer Christine Engel - The Learning Channel - Showtimes: Mon-Fri - 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 1:30 pm - all Eastern Standard Times. {Note: Joy of Bocce Weekly will give readers a "heads-up" when the production date gets closer}.


Question of the week

{the question of the week comes from Philip Henry of North Dakota who is looking for a special type of measuring device...well, here it is in his own words...}

Hi bocce fans!  Mario has been kind enough to let me reach all of you via his newsletter.

My name is Philip Henry, and I live in Oxbow, North Dakota. I am a volunteer with Special Olympics, and am particularly active in S.O. bocce competitions. I'm in search of a particular type of bocce measuring device. It consists of a four-legged molded plastic part (always white, in my experience) that has a string poking out the top. In use, the plastic part sits over/around the pallina; the string then can be extended to judge the relative distance of balls from the pallina.

If I can track down a source for this item, I'd like to purchase several to take to competitions. I know this device/gadget probably isn't suitable for serious competitions, but it's ideal for Special Olympics events. It's easy to use, and easy to explain. Cost also is an issue; the devices should be fairly inexpensive if I can find them for sale.

Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.  You can e-mail me at, or call me at (701) 588-4410. (I will be away from about 4/18 to 5/3.  If you leave a message while I'm gone, I'll respond soon after I'm back.)

Many thanks, in advance.


Bocce quote of the week

This week's bocce quote comes from Dr. Charles Portera, originator of the Chattanooga Southeastern Bocce Tournament.
{reprinted from The Joy of Bocce website}

Long-time promoters of bocce, my friend Rico Daniele and I had similar questions when asked to run a bocce event in the Arts District of Chattanooga, Tennessee. "They play bocce in Tennessee?" asked Rico, while I countered with "You mean to tell me they have an Arts District in Chattanooga?" Surprisingly (and fortunately), the answer to both questions is Yes! And Dr. Charles (Tony) Portera is the man largely responsible. A transplanted Mississippian, Portera is one of the South's leading cancer surgeons. The tall, handsome 63 year-old has a staunch passion for medicine and the arts, an unwavering vision about what he wants for his city, and a firm grasp on his roots. Together with his wife Mary and their family, he has conceived and developed the Bluff View Arts District, a classic conclave of cafes, gardens, museums and galleries. Nestled in one of the city's finest historic areas, Bluff View features bed and breakfast in elegantly restored homes (circa 1900), gourmet dining in any of several restaurants (fresh made pastas, pastries, and chocolates), and culture in the River Gallery and the outdoor Sculpture Garden featuring local as well as nationally known artists' work.

Gazing over all that comprises the Arts District, including the gorgeous, well-manicured bocce court overlooking the Tennessee River, renowned oncologist Portera declares "I deal with death every day - I did this for joy."

{Do you have a bocce quote? Please hit REPLY and share it with our readers}

Click for more on the Chattanooga Tournament.


Bocce product of the week - The Joy of Bocce

Still available - The Joy of Bocce (128 pages - 7" X 10" B/W Photos & Diagrams ISBN 1-57028-044-4) The first instructional book on bocce in America.

Chapters Include:

The Game
The Terminology
The Game, A Closer Look
The Game As Played on Official Courts
The Equipment
Strategy & Tactics
Building A Backyard Court
Tournament Play & Rules
International Play
A Brief History Lesson

Here's what people are saying about The Joy of Bocce:

"Answers Yes, Yes, Yes to the three questions most frequently asked of our bocce organization: Can you show us how to build a court? Can you tell us where to buy equipment? Is there a good book on the subject?"

Donna Allen, Editor
United States Bocce Federation

Only $12.95 plus shipping - you can pay by mailing a check or on-line with PayPal. Let me know if you want any special autograph inscription. Click to order (AOL users copy and paste into your browser)


Non bocce product of the week

Arthritis or Joint Problems Slowing Your Bocce Game?

My company does about $3 to $5 million in retail per week, and about $1 million of that weekly revenue comes from this one product alone. It works and people re-order it because it works. It is an extremely powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the joints and has produced good results with the symptoms of arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, allergies, asthma, and a laundry list of illnesses making the product sound like a snake oil that's "good for anything that ails you." This powerful substance composed of natural substances like extracts from grape seed, red wine, and pine bark, does two major things in the body - improves circulation and boosts immunity. So many of today's maladies can be traced to poor circulation and low immunity. My son James, pretty expert in herbal remedies and holistic medicine, turned me on to the product almost six years ago.  "I think it will help your arthritic old basketball knees," he offered. Within a week of faithfully using the product, I was going up and down stairs without pain. I took a serious look at the company, liked what I saw, and became a manufacturer's rep for their many excellent products.

Click the link below (AOL users copy and paste into your browser) to read about this very powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the joints.  $64.95 for a three-month supply.


Photos of the week - courts in the public domain

This week's photos come from Szot Park in Chicopee, Massachusetts (sorry about the New England slant, please send photos from your area - especially looking for photos of families enjoying bocce). To promote the growth of the game we love, we need to get more courts in the public sector. These three courts are 76 feet long by 10 feet wide and feature the stairstep type endboards that are so popular in Western Massachusetts (lots of hard hitters there - balls go flying). They play the backboard live even if a rolled ball does not strike another ball.   
Check the courts out at 


Tournament update {chronological order - due to space limitations April events only - will run the full list next week}

April 21, 2002 - Doubles tournament in Barrington, NH @ "Dante's Pasta and Primo Vino." Buffet, Prizes, Surprises. Entry fee of $30 per person includes gourmet buffet. Call Dante D'Antilio @ 603-664-4000.

NEW - Stamford, Connecticut - Bellantonio Cup Tournament - April 28 - 30 - Registration Fee is $50.00 and 7 Cash prizes will be awarded. Their season starts the following Monday (May 6th) and they currently have six openings. Team registration for the league is $200.00 and the season runs until September (seven players on the roster, four play each game). Contact is Domenic Corbo (President of the Stamford Bocce League - e-mail at or call 203-912-9633). They have an All-Star game at the mid-point of the season and playoffs and championship at season's end. 



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 - Click to check them out.