The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE, weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume #1  Issue #2   January 14, 2002
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni   Copyright 2002   Joy of Bocce

To be deleted from this publication, see the Unsubscribe directions at the end this newsletter. Conversely, if you know others who would enjoy and benefit from this Ezine, have them sign up at Subscribe.  I promise that I will never be in the business of selling or trading your email address or other personal information. 

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 softball, soccer, and other sports.  This Ezine is a forum for bocce lovers.  I'll spout off on what I know about various bocce related issues and ask for readers' feedback and disseminate those views in future issues.  If the readership gets large enough, maybe The Joy of Bocce Weekly along with My Website can have a unifying influence on the game.  This issue is the second in a kind of a trial run.  If The Joy of Bocce Weekly is well received, the plan is to publish weekly as of March, 2002.

A word about ads.  Like any entrepreneur, I'd like to turn a profit from my involvement with something I really enjoy.  But, for now I've decided not to accept paid ads.  If I pitch a product here, it is something I have personally investigated and deem beneficial to our readers.

In this issue

* Reader Feedback From Issue #1
* Bocce Measures 
* Tournament Update
* The Games People Play
* Quirks of the Game 

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Reader Feedback from Issue #1

Wow!  Thanks for all the positive feedback and for being patient with the first test run done by mistake. I knew there would likely be formatting problems so I attempted a test run to myself, but mailed to the entire list by mistake.  Anyway, here are some of the things people had to say:

I list these, not to pat myself on the back, but to give you an idea of who's playing bocce and where they are.  Getting some bocce dialog going is great, but we need to get to a larger audience to really have an impact. Please help this publication grow by telling your bocce playing friends to sign on.  Forward this issue to them and encourage them to opt in at Subscribe.  

"I think your weekly e-mag is a wonderful idea and will go a long way to further popularize this excellent sport that combines social as well as athletic skills. I look forward to the next edition."  Sal Fauci, Endicott, NY

"I wish you well on this new endeavor.  Anything anyone can do to help
promote the sport helps fulfill the goals of the United States Bocce
Federation."   Donna Allen, USBF

"Thanks for keeping the game alive.  You will always have support from here."
Rich Mazzulla Elmwood Park, IL

"I welcome your Joy of Bocce Weekly. I'm the Texas Special Olympics Director of Bocce Competition." Texas SO Ed Crozier

"Hey Mario--- Great newsletter!  Keep em coming." Jeff Jernstedt Portland, Oregon

"I thought "bocce" and "unsubscribe" were mutually exclusive!  You shouldn't use them in the same sentence!"  Peter Ferris  Coweta, OK

"Your Ezine was a welcome surprise for the New Year, and I think a good idea." 
Stan Stanton Las Vegas, NV

"I received your Ezine and enjoyed the comments.   I have noticed the differences in terms and methods of play while visiting various clubs here in the midwest.  As a matter of fact, about the only standards that I have noticed are the balls are round and it takes people to play.   Looking forward to future issues.   Thanks,"   Don Scrignoli  Des Moines, Iowa

"A weekly or at least periodically having a publication about bocce is a good idea.  I found a website you should check out and support in your E-zine to help establish some standards for bocce. The address is Standards. {publisher's note: this site represents a legitimate attempt at bringing standards to the game.  It appears that the people involved have appointed themselves the "standard bearers," but their effort is sincere, intelligent, and well meaning.  Give them a look-see.}

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Bocce Measures

The Prohawk International measuring devices made a hit in our first issue.  I've selected the two measures that are the best quality and value and have placed four photos of each on my website.  They are very high quality and sell for about 20% to 25% less than comparable products I've seen elsewhere.  The Premier Boule Measure is a tape measure (extends to 2 meters - about 6  feet) with self-locking mechanism, calipers, and a game scoring mechanism.  The Clubhawk Gold uses string instead of a steel tape (extends to 9 feet), and includes calipers and a belt clip.  Either of these would make a great gift for the bocce lover in your life. Every serious bocce player (and not-so-serious player) should have one.  Please check them out at Measures.

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Tournament Update

More than a few readers asked about tournaments, suggesting that we should get the word out about what events are taking place so that subscribers can either participate or attend to meet other bocce fans, and to find out how bocce is being played in different areas.  So, here are the events I know of in chronological order (soonest due up to farthest in the future)

If you know of other events no matter how big and professional or small and recreational let me know and I'll post the info here.

Event:		Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament
Dates: 		March 9 & 10, 2002
Location:	Italian American Club, 25250 Airport Rd. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Info:		The Italian American Bocce Association of Punta Gorda, Florida will host their third Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament (double elimination) March 9 & 10, 2002.  Entrance fee is $200 per team (4 player teams) with $7500 in prize money.  1st place = $4000, 2nd = $2000, 3rd = $1000, 4th = $500 {based on 50 teams participating - with more or fewer teams prize money adjusted accordingly}.  Food and beverages will be sold. Game times 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days. For more info contact George Farruggio @ 941-575-0482, Fax 941-575-6231, E-MAIL WAM@ISNI.NET Deadline for registration = February 28, 2002.

Event:		2002 United States Championships
Dates:		May 4th thru 12th, 2002
Location:	Los Gatos, CA
Info:		Donna Allen of the USBF tells us that "the
facility is fabulous.  Check it out...  Campodibocce
Both International style of rules will be played as well as Open." 

Event:		The Chattanooga Southeastern Bocce Tournament
Dates:		August, 2002
Location:	Bluff View Arts District, Chattanooga, TN
Info:		A field of sixteen four-person teams with cash prizes of $7000. Participants enjoy great competition, gourmet dining, and partake of the cultural amenities that abound. For more info call 423-265-5033 ext. 224.  Also check out "the most scenic court in the South" at Chattanooga.

Event:		Chicopee, Massachusetts Open
Dates:		Not set yet
Location:	Szot Park, Chicopee Mass.
Info:		 Contact Rico Daniele, President
Wonderful World of Bocce Association
WWBA
1-800-BOCCE54

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The Games People Play

I found that our readers dabble in other outdoor games but favor bocce.  Although quite a few subscribers are avid petanque players.

"If you think bocce has it all over bowling, I agree, but you should look at 
PETANQUE, it is a lot better than BOCCE. Most people in the US when they see a game of PETANQUE believe it is bocce. The reason, much more Italians migrated to this country than French. Visit our website at USAPETANQUE"
Michel Dechape

Jan and Louis Toulon of Toulon Imports and the Petanque Mariniere Club
of San Rafael, California also enjoy petanque or boules, as it is sometimes called.  The game is similar to bocce, played with small metal balls.  I learned to play it in Holland and found it quite enjoyable.  The only complaint I had was that it was often difficult to tell which ball belonged to which team because the variation in color is not striking.  You really had to pay attention to which ball was thrown by which player.

Tom Grow from The TX Hill Country,says "We rotate Croquet, Horseshoes, Bocce & Badminton - Bocce always dominates (goes better with wine)."

Tom's soon-to-be son-in-law says "Whenever I am there, one of us starts talking smack until the gauntlet is thrown and we head out on to the court to settle any dispute.  On Christmas Eve Grow snapped my 7 game win streak to claim the title.  Unfortunately, I had to refer to him as "Bocce King" all the way through Midnight Mass.  And the worst part of it all (if you are Catholic you'll understand), during the exchange of the sign of peace, I had to say, "Peace be with you bocce king." Bittersweet Christmas Eve for sure."

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

I recommend them highly (each under $10.00) and you can find them at Outdoor Games

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Quirks of the Game

Random Notes

Besides the names for the object ball mentioned last week, Mark Harris of Idaho tells me his fellow Idahoans called it the "mark" which makes sense.

George Farruggio of Punta Gorda, FL says that Sparta is the term they use to hit an opponent's ball. "SPARTA which means in Italian to bang the ball hard. Another term used quite often is CORTA which in Italian means SHORT."

Rich Mazzulla from Elmwood Park, IL learned to play bocce from his grandfather. "Gramps was from Italy and was an excellent player.  We played to 21 points, however 3 balls closest to the polin counted as 6 points and 4 balls closest counted as 8 points. {publisher's note: if you scored 3 or 4 points you got a "bonus."  You doubled up your score.  Three points got you six and four points got you eight.}  {Publisher's second note: if you want to play this way, it's a good idea to play to 21}

"Gramps had a trick shot where he placed the polin atop a bocce ball {Publisher's note: used dirt to form a perch for the object ball}, and from about 30 feet, he would hit the bocce ball just right and the polin would drop straight down to the ground."   

Lines, Lines, Everywhere Lines

I wish we could get this foul line business straightened out.  I like playing with just one foul line - the same line for pointing as hitting (move it up far enough so that you can make your running delivery).  Now I hear about people with three lines.  There is a four-foot line for rolling the pallino, a six-foot line for pointing, and a ten-foot line for hitting or "shooting."  For simplicity's sake, it seems the least they could do is eliminate the four-foot line.  Roll the object ball from the same line that you roll for point.  My guess is that all of this got started in the East.  I think 60-foot courts (pretty short for my tastes) became popular for whatever reason (space limitations maybe) and if you rolled for point from 10 feet you were pretty close to the object ball to begin with.  But players wanted 10 feet so that they could make their four- or five-step delivery when hitting - hence the dilemma.  The result was one line for pointing and one further up for hitting.

Forty-five degree angle boards?

More than a couple of "old timers" have told me about playing bocce with angle boards at 45 degrees on each end.  You could carom your shot off these boards to direct your ball into scoring position.  This sounds more like billiards than bocce to me.  Does anyone know anything about this?  REPLY and shed some light on the situation please.

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Still available at Joy of Bocce
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.  

I love your book "Joy of Bocce".  I have used parts of it to instruct my teams hear in Las Vegas, particularly during the annual "Las Vegas Corporate Challenge".  It is most helpful with new players, and I thank you for taking the time to write and publish it.  I can tell immediately that you love Bocce, and so do I.  
Stan Stanton  Las Vegas, NV

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...

"Finally a book that takes drill and instruction to the same level as that of basketball, baseball, and other sports.  Destined to become the bocce player's bible."

Rico Daniele, President
Wonderful World of Bocce Association

$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 here 
Joy of Bocce
 
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Another issue of The Joy of Bocce Weekly coming soon - please tell your bocce playing friends about us.