The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1, Issue #9    March 4, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni   Copyright 2002

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Disclaimer: Hey, I don't claim to be a bocce pro.  Heck, I'm not even a very good player - but no one loves the sport more than I do. My contribution to the game is in having interviewed many of the top players and then assembling the information into a concise, easy-to-read book. What I've created is comparable to what others have done for basketball, soccer, and other sports.


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In This Issue

* Bocce quote of the week
* Photos of the week
* Tournament update
* Question of the week
* The language of the game - bocce warfare terms
* Bocce product of the week - Clubhawk Gold Measure
* Non bocce product of the week - auto engine treatment


Bocce quote of the week

A friend of mine, an old-timer I'll call Ed, is not the "brightest bulb on the tree." Exhibit A: Once, he rode with me and a few others as we car-pooled to Seabrook, New Hampshire for a day of gambling at the dog track.  As we took the exit off the highway leading to the venue, the road forked. There was a sign with a picture of a greyhound whose nose pointed the way to the race track.  "Where are you going?" Ed asked the driver as we veered to the left, as the puppy's muzzle suggested.  "Why aren't you following the dog's tail?"

Exhibit B: Playing bocce at my home court, one team made a close point, actually touching the pallino.  Now it was Ed's turn to try to beat that point. He rolled his ball deftly, and made a terrific shot - it also rested against the pallino.  We told Ed to roll again, because, although he had tied the other team's point, he hadn't beaten it. The rules require that you play until you beat the other guy's point, or you run out of balls in the process. We were examining the situation and trying to wedge a credit card or dollar bill between the balls. There was no doubt about it. It was a "dead heat." Finally, Ed ambled down the court to take a look for himself. He looked from one angle, then took another vantage point. He squinted a bit, scratched his head, and announced..."Sure, they're both touching...but mine is definitely closer!"


Photos of the week

This week I've posted some photos of our indoor bocce set-up at Home Run Park in Lawrence, Massachusetts. This is a baseball/softball venue where players go to rent time in the batting/pitching cages to hone their skills for the coming season. We've worked a deal with the owner so that we can play bocce there during the cold, New England winter. We've built a temporary court out of two by sixes (twelve feet long). A batting cage is 72 feet long, so we've placed six of these twelve-footers end to end and fashioned a 12- by 72-foot court. We've inserted dowels in the ends so that each board fastens to the next without the use of tools. Storing the boards at Home Run Park (an old mill building from Lawrence's glory days) makes it easy for us - we take 10 minutes or so to set up on the Astroturf carpet before beginning to play. We are toying with the idea of running a small tourney there in May. More info to follow in future issues.

Check out the court(s) at 


Tournament Update

The United State Bocce Federation - 2002 United States Championships are coming up in May (May 4th thru 12th) at 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.

Chattanooga Southeastern Tournament. "The most scenic court in the South." For more information on the August tournament (and photos), click If you come to play this August, you'll get an added bonus - you get to meet me!  I serve as referee for the games.

Sunshine Village Universal Bocce Bowl - September 8, 2002 - Szot Park, Chicopee, Massachusetts.  Four player teams - Entrance fee = $200 (fee includes competition, T-shirt, lunch and dinner for all players) - For more information call 413-592-6142.



Question of the week

When does your bocce season begin? It seems that a lot of people start thinking about bocce in March. Are you in an area where you can play outdoors year round?  Or, do you have an indoor facility that allows for play in cold or inclement weather?  Also, how often do you play?  Once a week...every day?  I hope people will REPLY to the Question(s) of the Week so that I can report back in future issues.  I want to get a feel for what the "action" is out there in bocce land. Please REPLY. Be sure to let us know where you are located.


The language of the game - bocce warfare terms

Russell Dean Newman, writing for the Chattanooga Times, leaned about bocce a few years ago at the Chattanooga Southeastern Tournament (Bluff View Arts District - see link above in Tournament Update). His view of the "arsenal" of bocce "weapons" is clever and proves him a quick study - I get the feeling he may have been an army brat.

Here are his definitions:

"The volo - a flying bocce smart bomb with a reverse spin. Goes over, not through, a cluttered field of play. Surprise attack from above removes enemy bocce and establishes allied outpost near pallina. Stops at point of impact. It takes practice, troops, lots of practice."

"The raffa - a smashing shot executed at low altitudes. Targets and removes single opponent. Requires little precision. Acceptable as overhand or underhand release. Knocks out opposing formation around pallina. Often unpredictable results."

"The puntata - a slow-motion rolling offense. Ground-based. Best used early in play. Requires gentle touch and finesse. Travels straight path on flat terrain. Puts opponents on defensive.


Bocce product of the week - The Clubhawk Gold Measure

The Premier Boules Measures have been flying off the shelf lately. But people are overlooking an equally fine measure in the Clubhawk Gold.  Using a string rather than a steel tape, this is an extremely accurate measuring device. It extends a couple feet farther than the Premier, has the same calipers for close measurements, and even has a belt clip. Click below to see more photos showing its features in more detail.  Retails for $19.95 plus $4.00 shipping anywhere in the USA.


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

I don't know a whole lot about automobiles.  I turn the key in the morning - if the car starts I go - if not, I call AAA. But I do know that this product is worth checking out. It is an engine oil additive lubricant made of soft ductile metals. Not a Teflon-based product, tiny particles of lead and copper fill in your engine's "nooks and crannies" and basically replate your engine. "These soft metals have shown to provide superior engine lubrication, improve engine power, increase fuel economy, reduce emissions and reduce engine surface wear." I added a bottle after an oil change and my gas mileage went up by four miles per gallon.  And when I went in for my auto sticker the computerized emissions read-out showed zero hydrocarbons.  Retails for $17.95 plus shipping. More info at

Merchandise 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) - Click to check them out.