The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. I, Issue 45 - November 25, 2002 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce related product of the week
•   Readers’ feedback
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos of the week
•   Tournament update
 Notes from the publisher
The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1, Issue #45 November 25, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2002 http://www.joyofbocce.com

Come visit us often at joyofbocce.com. We have bocce info, merchandise, links to other great bocce sites, and the best selling bocce instructional book in the USA.

Order Now @ just $12.95 by clicking on the book cover to the right.

I hope you will like this electronic newsletter. To be deleted from my list, you can Unsubscribe at the end of this issue. One of our enthusiastic readers suggested that “…bocce and unsubscribe are mutually exclusive terms.”

If you know others who would enjoy and benefit from this Ezine, encourage them to sign up. You could forward this issue to them so they can decide for themselves if they want to "opt in". I promise that I will never be in the business of selling or trading your email address or other personal information.

A word about ads: Like any entrepreneurial type, I'd love to turn a profit from something I really enjoy. For now, I have decided not to accept paid advertisements. If I pitch a product here, it is something I have examined and tested and deem it beneficial to our readers.

PLEASE – we are always looking for bocce photos and feedback from all over the USA. We want to connect bocce fans everywhere. You can email (author@joyofbocce.com) or snail mail (Mario Pagnoni, P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844).

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Ad swaps to build readership

Ezine publishers like me sometimes swap ads with other publishers as a no-cost way to build readership. The idea is this - we each print the other's ad in our newsletter. No money exchanges hands. The brief ad describes the newsletter and tells the reader how s/he can "opt in" to join the subscriber list. My goal is to build a big enough list of bocce aficionados that my ezine can be a tool for growth and unification of the sport. So, I am carefully selecting ezines for ad swapping. Here is this week's offering, Healthful Living, by Shannon Kadlec. The newsletter and web site have craft ideas, games, money saving ideas, and more. Shannon endorses a home-based business, but it is not necessary to join to benefit from the newsletter ideas and tips.

Work at home FOR yourself but not BY yourself!!
No Selling/inventory/home parties
Join an ethical family-focused company that values financial security, social consciousness and complete health:
http://www.moms-connection.com/momsforlife.htm

Subscribe to newsletter: moms-subscribe@moms-connection.com

Check out moms-connection

 Readers’ feedback
{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

Tom McNutt of Bellingham, WA writes…

“I went up to our local Sportsplex facility which features indoor ice hockey on one side and a Field Turf soccer field on the other. Due to the fact that winters are wet and cold in Washington State I was looking for an option for indoor play. I am now looking to get one of our local lumber businesses to donate for our use a unit of 10 foot 6x6 timbers which will act as walls for about 5 short term courts... I met with the Sportsplex folks and they have agreed to help make play time affordable and for a minimal fee set up and take down the courts.

I am trying to schedule playing time and notify our local Parks and Recreation bocce teams of the opportunity. The advantage of an indoor facility is that the field doesn't have to "crown" in the center for water run off. It doesn't ever get wet so the field is flat. Huge advantage of course over an outdoor field. It plays a bit slow but the play is true, which I believe is ultimately more important.

At this time, our bocce community is not organized enough for me to anticipate the level of interest but some friends in Seattle have agreed to help me get a winter tournament off the ground as well.

We'll see how it goes... hopefully I can get our Parks and Recreation friends to find a spot for some oyster or clay courts next spring...

Happy Bocce to you!”

{We applaud your effort Tom. Can any others in that area join forces with him in this endeavor? Contact Tom through his web site at www.boccemon.com.

We are starting our second year of indoor bocce at Home Run Park in Lawrence, Mass. where we set up 6” by 6” timbers for two temporary courts measuring about 72’ by 12’. This year we are going to start a “ladder” and then pick teams for league play. More on this in coming issues. See photos of these courts at the Bocce link on http://www.kenwaldiessc.org}

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Pete Rabito from the Long Island Bocce Club…

”I have a question for you regarding "official" or "professional" balls. Do you have any idea what size, weight and make of balls (including the pallino) would fall into a professional category?

What were they using at the North American Bocce Championship in Illinois?

In short, what do the pros use?”

{I hear that many top players prefer the Perfetta 107 mm balls. But other American companies make balls to the same specs. I know that Sportcraft donated some balls to the North American Bocce Championships that were the same specs as the Perfetta - these were Sportcraft Model # 01075 (a very high quality set, comes with a wire basket instead of a carrying bag – but I’d prefer a bag).

Can any reader help us with this question about “professional” balls? – please REPLY with any info you can provide.}

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Bryan Mero of iBocce.com sends this nifty tidbit…

”I was walking through a department store when I noticed a wooden crate containing bocce balls. It was an Eddie Bauer brand set of 110mm balls ($89 set). The crate was broken, one red ball and the pallino were
missing. It was selling for $12. I figured for $12 it was worth it. Then I did some research and found out that Sportcraft was the manufacturer and it was under warranty. I was able to order replacement parts from their website (Sportcraft.com) and they sent me a new crate, bocce and pallino and even a measuring device all
for free. Bocce sets are expensive. So be aware out there of the clearance section for these bocce sets. Most sets are under warranty.”

{Wow! Bryan, what a great tip! You’re the man!}

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More on the Skizzo set (flashing lights inside balls for night bocce play)

I heard from Ron Green of Skizzo who says that…

“Skizzo is currently being evaluated by one of the large manufacturers for possible acquisition.”

{If that transpires, the game will be widely available through department stores.}

View our indoor temporary courts in Lawrence, Mass.

 Photos of the week
This week's photos chronicle our bocce group’s attempt at top dressing my backyard court. I already had a satisfactory surface of stone dust over crushed stone and sand. It played pretty well and drained beautifully (there could be a heavy downpour and a couple hours later my court was play-able). Still, we wanted to “step up” to a faster surface like the top bocce players use.

After some research I opted for Har-Tru material, a popular tennis court surface that is making inroads into the bocce court market. I‘d add a one-inch top coat of this over the existing stone dust. Somewhat concerned about drainage, the manufacturer and others who owned or played on such courts allayed my fears.

The good people at Lee Tennis in Virginia and a Massachusetts distributor determined that I’d need about 5 tons of Har-Tru to create a one-inch top coat for my 76’ by 10’ court. A do-it-yourself project from the get-go, our bocce crew lifted, lugged, laid down, leveled, and landscaped 125 eighty-pound bags of Har-Tru. And it was one "L" of a job!

Materials needed:

Har-Tru or other top dressing material (manufacturer will calculate how much you need - get a few extra bags to have on hand for repairs)

one straight 2 by 4 for “screeting” (should be about 6 inches shorter than the width of the court)

four pieces of strapping (8 feet long or longer)

transit (and someone who knows how to use it)

level (at least 4 feet long)

shovels

rakes

tamper

wheelbarrow

garden hose or two

heavy roller

one crew of workers (willing to work for food)


Procedure: {Please REPLY with questions, comments, suggestions, or corrections as this may serve as the basis for a new chapter for the 2nd edition of The Joy of Bocce}

We are assuming that we are starting with a relatively level surface over which we will place the top dressing.

Place unopened bags of surface material onto or near one end of the court area. Lay two pieces of strapping (actual measurements 1 1/2'” by 1”) down about 1/3 of the distance from each side board (the eight-foot length running parallel to the length of the court).

Set transit up (properly leveled) at opposite end and carefully level these pieces of strapping - getting a reference point that you can use all the way through the job. We placed a yard stick on end right atop the strapping and were able to sight on the stick's calibrations. You may have to dig material out from under the strapping or add more material beneath to level them. Verify the reference point at both ends of each piece of strapping.

Open bags and dump material onto the court starting at the end board and moving down the length of the strapping.

Take the straight two-by-four and “screet” the material. Screeting is a masonry term for leveling concrete by dragging a straight object over it, pulling excess material away, and smoothing out the surface. It takes two people on their knees to maneuver the two-by-four. Use a side-to-side motion as you screet the material toward you – thus, the two-by-four must be about 6 inches shorter than the width of the court.

Set another two pieces of strapping in place starting from the ends of the previously placed pieces. Level these properly and then carefully remove the first two pieces of strapping, filling in the spaces that they leave with new material.

A trowel can be used to smooth over any minor “bumps and bruises.”

Continue down the court in this manner…moving the strapping, checking the reference points, leveling, adding top dressing, screeting, and troweling. The person with the trowel may want to place a piece of plywood down to better bear his/her weight while doing the surface “finish work”. Also, workers may opt for surgical masks while working in close proximity to the fine particulates of the top dressing.

Once all the material is in place and leveled you must wet it thoroughly. We put down an inch-and-a-half of material and ALL of it must be wet. On subsequent occasions of wetting and rolling your court, only the surface needs to be moist.

We used a Y connection added to our backyard faucet and got two hoses going at once. Periodically we took “coring samples” with the trowel to see if the bottom-most part of the material was getting wet. The idea is to make sure it is thoroughly wet but not drenched so that it becomes mush.

The surface material needs to be completely wet so that it can “cure” or “set up” over the next couple of days.

Next, roll with a heavy roller and use a tamper to get the edges and corners where the roller can't reach. Roll again each day as you wait for the material to "set up."

We've had a lot of rain, snow, and dampness since we put the surface in. And, since we've gone to our indoor schedule anyway, we've decided to stay off the court until the spring - will keep you posted about how the finished product turned out in this ezine.

 Bocce related product of the week
Outdoor Games Book Series

I've located a gem of a series of Outdoor Games books by talented author Steven Boga. He's written short, well crafted, clearly illustrated books on

Horseshoes
Croquet
Badminton
Volleyball
Archery

These make for great, inexpensive holiday gifts. I recommend them highly (each under $10.00).

Outdoor Games Book Series - great, inexpensive holiday gift

 Non bocce product of the week
Business opportunity

Last week’s offering in this spot was one of the most “clicked on” links since I have been publishing. It tells me that people are looking for an additional source of stable income. So, I am running the piece again…

I’m looking for a couple of new partners. Come and check out my Internet business. Network marketing is the business modality of the present and future. Even Donald Trump admits that if he had to start over from scratch, he’d chose network marketing.

If you are looking for a home-based business, I can save you a lot of time and effort. I evaluated scores of them and sifted through the scams and poorly run outfits. Truth is, the only thing wrong with many of them is that it is too difficult for the average person to achieve success.

This forward-looking company got me to early retirement (at age 53…not too shabby). Now I play bocce on Mondays, softball on Wednesdays and Sundays, basketball on Thursdays and do a little networking while I play.

I’ve described the business in generic terms on my web site (my company is very concerned with its image and will not let us write copy that gives product names etc. unless that copy is pre-approved by corporate). Anyway, click the link below and check it out. It’s a work program…not a get rich quick scheme…and it isn’t easy. But I do believe it’s the easiest one. Hey, you get to work with me – what could be better?

REPLY and I can plug you in to one of our franchise-like meetings in your area. There you can better evaluate the opportunity and the people involved.

 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 http://www.joyofbocce.com and "opt in" for my FREE Ezine on bocce.

March 8 & 9, 2003 - The Italian/American Bocce Association of Punta Gorda, Florida.
Fourth annual Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament. For more Info, contact George Farruggio at Tel. # 941-575-0482, Fax. # 941-575-6231 or E-Mail wam@strato.net.

June 8-15, 2003 - United States National Bocce Tournament - Highwood Bocce Courts, Highwood, IL
winners will compete in the WORLD COMPETITION in SWITZERLAND. Contact Mike Conti @ 847-692-6223

July 11-13, 2003 Bocce Classic IX Tournament, John Pirelli Lodge, 2625 County Line Road, Dayton Ohio, contact rbloomky@aol.com.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR SMALL, NO MATTER WHAT PART OF THE COUNTRY, SEND US YOUR TOURNAMENT INFO SO WE CAN GET THE WORD OUT IN THIS COLUMN. PEOPLE MAY WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN YOUR EVENT OR JUST VISIT TO CHECK IT OUT TO "BROADEN THEIR HORIZONS."

Merchandise still available at joyofbocce.com

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