The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. I, Issue 49 - December 23, 2002 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Readers’ feedback
•   Photos of the week
•   A Dating Story
•   Non bocce product of the week
 Notes from the publisher
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The Joy of Bocce Weekly

The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1, Issue #49 December 23, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2002

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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 ( or snail mail (Mario Pagnoni, P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844).

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 Readers’ feedback
{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

Mike Conti of the USBF comments on last week's discussion of the bocce ladder…

{for more on the USBF click their logo to the right.}

“Jim's {Schiffmacher of the Long Island Bocce Club} article on the bocce ladder is a good way to form teams for league play. It is important to balance the teams as much as possible. In the Chicago area we have a committee that classifies the players as A, B, or C.

Each team has at least one of each. Our teams usually consist of three or four players. We also have handicap players, giving them points, such as +1 +2 +3 and so on. A team of +1 and +3 =4, vs. a team +1 +2 = 3, the score would start out as 4 to 3.

You would be surprised at how well the people on the committee pick the people for A or B or C categories.”

{I am VERY interested in this handicapping system. In the example mentioned why wouldn’t the score start out at 1-0 instead of 4-3? Does anyone have input on handicapping for bocce? Please REPLY.}


Jim Smith of Methuen, Mass. and Punta Gorda, Florida updates us on the grass roots method used to start a recreational bocce program at their condominium complex (highlighted in Joy of Bocce Weekly, Issue 44)

“The idea for bocce came from Tom and Kathy Distel four years ago when they returned from Michigan for the winter. Kathy left flyers on everyone’s condo door to come down by the pool and just have fun playing bocce. It was a way to get everyone out at the same time and socialize. It was so successful the next year Tom built the court, arranged for the clay, and had it all spread out and rolled by the time we all got down there after Christmas. Needless to say, with a nice court on the side of Lake Rio the whole idea caught on, and our numbers grew to the present twenties plus. I told several people down there about the book Joy of Bocce which I have down there in the condo, and about the web site.”

{Flyers on doors and a couple good people with the drive to get a recreational program off the ground was all it took.}


From president of The Bocce Standards Association…

“Several items in this issue caught my eye.

“It is great to see someone using the Bocce Ladder innovation we introduced to Bocce on our website at

Some sports like golf and bowling have straight forward ways to establish handicap systems to equalize the different skill levels of the players. Other sports like tennis and Bocce do not. Organizing teams from a group of individuals with varying skill levels without some form of skill rating can make for some very frustrating league play where some teams are very strong and others very weak. Skill ladders have been used for many years in tennis and should work very well for Bocce also. The Bocce Ladder also provides some interesting one on one play during challenges.

The second item was finding out Lee Tennis has a set of specifications for Bocce courts. I have emailed them and asked for this information and permission to use it to add more detail to our court standard on our website. If there are similar good specifications available for Astroturf type courts used for many indoor courts, we would like to know about them also.

The Bocce Standards are available FREE on the Internet. If anyone is setting up leagues or want a complete set of rules, take a look at the website.

Keep up the good work with your Joy of Bocce Weekly!!”

Check out the Bocce Standards Association

 A Dating Story
In case you missed last week’s A Dating Story (Banyan Productions – The Learning Channel) first mentioned here in Issue 13, here is a recap…

Caroline from Hoboken, New Jersey and Carmine from Staten Island met at Washington Square Park for a “bocce date.”

Carmine, a 28 year-old letter carrier and Caroline, a 31 year-old real estate agent studying nursing in the evenings, seemed to hit it off pretty well on this their first date. Carmine lamented the fact that his last relationship with a co-worker ended their friendship.

Before the date, Carmine’s friends teased him with the following banter…

“She’s gonna whip your butt in bocce.”
“Maybe her school’s got a bocce team.”
“Yea, maybe she’s a pro.”
“Maybe she’s putting herself through school with bocce.”
“I think I read about her in Sports Illustrated.”

Carmine's dad asked him “Did you ever play bocce ball?”
{Don’t you just hate it when they call the game bocceball?}

When he learned that Caroline is Italian he offered “Make a good pair.”

Caroline just ended a relationship and is “holding out for the right person.” She aptly described their dating scenario as “an interactive game of bocce.”

One of Caroline’s friends wisely counseled her that “Bocce will show if you are compatible or not.”

At the park the bocce went well. The courts looked sandy and rough, and appeared to play pretty slow. They played with what looked like a set of red and blue Sportcraft balls. I hear that they are good quality, but I just can’t get used to that metal basket carrying case. Give me a nylon carry bag any day.

Although they seemed a little confused about how to play and how to keep score, it was obvious that Caroline and Carmine enjoyed the game and each other’s company.

When they parted company Caroline wrote her phone number on a Post-it note and handed it to her date. True to his word, Carmine called her. The TV episode closed with Caroline’s statement that “I can’t wait for our second date.”

 Bocce product of the week
Bocce carry bag

Heavy duty nylon material, green with tan handles - 9" X9"X9" - holds 8 balls and 1 pallino - zipper and velcro closure - $24.95 plus $4.00 shipping.

 Photos of the week
This week's photos come to us courtesy of John Ross of the United States Bocce Federation. He says...

"These are pictures of our backyard, also known as Shady Oak Cellars Winery and Bocce Club, located in Monte Sereno, CA. This is where we hold the fundraisers I spoke about in an earlier email to you and you were kind enough to mention in the zine."

The photos are fabulous - enough to make us east coast players very envious! Eighty feet by eleven feet of superior court construction surfaced with oyster shell flour and sand.

Check out the photos - try not to be envious...

 Non bocce product of the week
Holiday season help - weight management product

{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers}

My company's #1 weight management product, ThermoChrome Select, is a synergistic blend of herbs and elemental chromium, chromium picolinate, and the amino acid l-carnitine. These ingredients work to increase thermogenesis (they seek out fat in the body and burn it to produce energy...hey, you get an energy boost while getting rid of fat...this is a good thing).

The product also helps reduce sugar cravings while improving your energy level. It is an excellent support tool to any safe and effective weight management and fitness program.

As with any medication or health product, consult your physician. Read all labels carefully and take as directed. Single bottle of 120 count sells for $39.95 plus shipping.

Get more info on ThermoChrome Select

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.
 Check out the merchandise