The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 1 - January 6, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Photos of the week
•   Readers’ feedback
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Joy of Bocce Weekly year-end evaluation
•   Non bocce product of the week
 Notes from the publisher
The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume II, Issue #1 January 6, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2002

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

Order Now @ just $13.95 by clicking on the book image to the right or the link below.

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

Order America's best-selling instructional book on bocce

 Readers’ feedback
{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

Dr. Cordano writes… {that's the Dr. to the right showing off his great form and follow through}

“Just a comment about the PALLINO because that's what it is called in Italy and in most parts of America.

In South America it is called BALIN, like in the area of Genova in Italy. Bocce was introduced by the Genovese people that went to Argentina, Chile and Peru. As you know, while the North American Italian immigration came mainly from the south of Italy, the immigrants who went to South America came predominantly from North Italy and many of them were from the region of LIGURIA (whose people spoke the Genovese dialect).

Well, keep up the good job with the Joy of Bocce and I will keep sending comments and of course help you in any way I can.

Are you interested on S. American bocce activities? We will be going in March to play in Peru (mixed doubles or 2 men-one woman teams). As you know the ONLY place in the world where 4 players stay stationary at each end is in the US and that's one of the reasons, besides playing in many places on 60-foot courts, that we are still far from becoming a world power in our favorite sport.

In South America ALL courts are 24 meters by 4 which translates into almost 79 feet by 13, so wherever you go, you play with the same court size, same rules and same balls (115 mm and a weight of about 1k150).

Don't you think that will be wonderful if in N. America we play with the same rules and bocce sizes in the Northeast, Florida, California or Chicago? What a dream for 2050.”

{Thanks for the history lesson, Doc. I don’t think there is anyone more knowledgeable about bocce than the esteemed Dr. Cordano. His comments always make this ezine better. And Yes, we want to know about South American Bocce…if possible, please send photos.}


Perry Michienzi of Downey, California asks an interesting question…

“How would you train a totally blind person how to play bocce? I have 34 special needs high school kids that I teach every Wednesday from 10:00 AM to noon. One girl is completely blind and I have taught her by the numbers. Is there any other way?”

{I’m not exactly sure what “by the numbers” means. Is it a sequence of steps that breaks down the process? We use such a method in teaching youngsters how to pitch with proper baseball mechanics. 1 = step back with non pivot foot and bring hands and glove over head, 2 = pivot on the pitcher’s plate, 3 = come to balance position, 4 = separate hands and begin stride, 5 = deliver pitch and follow through.

Does anyone have ideas or any experience that would help Perry coach this young player? Please REPLY.

An aside…in 1995 at the Special Olympics World Games in West Haven, CT, at least one legally blind player competed extremely well in bocce. He used binoculars to sight on the target, then let them hang from the neck strap as he rolled each shot. Quickly after releasing a ball, he again used the field glasses to track its path. It was impressive seeing the degree of skill this determined athlete was able to develop with this technique.}


Florida's Mr. Bocce, George Farruggio, sends this…

“The Italian/American Bocce Assoc. of Punta Gorda Florida is hosting their 4th Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament March 8 & 9, 2003 - $200.00 entrance fee - double elimination. For more info, please contact George @ Tele# 941-575-0482, Fax # 941-575-6231, or E-Mail “

 Joy of Bocce Weekly year-end evaluation
Thanks to all who responded to my request for feedback on the first year of The Joy of Bocce Weekly.

We had many responses (which indicates that we not only have subscribers – we have readers).

Although the poll was by no means scientific, the results seem to say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I asked if the ezine was too long (I’ve often heard that the more frequent you publish, the shorter your content should be).

Typical response: “No. You have a varied readership. Cover all that you can.”

I asked if the ezine was too frequent.

Typical response: “I need my bocce fix every Monday.”

But others offered that bi-weekly would work too (and be easier for the publisher).

“Some weeks I just don't have the time to read any 'extra' material so I end up deleting your newsletter. This of course makes me feel very guilty. If it were to come out every other week I’d probably save till later knowing that I had two weeks to get caught up.”

I asked if readers were OK with my hawking bocce and non-bocce products.

Typical response: “Go for it. If I’m not interested, I just skim it and move on.”

I asked about my accepting paid ads.

Typical response: “Go for it – just don’t sell our email addresses, and please, No Pop-ups!”

I asked what people wanted to see in future issues and got varied responses. Quite a few said they wanted “More of the same.” Many offered “Keep up the good work.”

Some pledged to help with my goal of getting to 10,000 subscribers this year.

I enjoyed one positive response so much that I had to reproduce part of it...thanks to bocce fan Laurie Katz.

“I think your ezine publication is FANTASTIC.

For several reasons.

It has information available for ALL levels of players and interests.

It gives actual REAL USEFUL information.

It gives not so useful but extremely INTERESTING information.

It is GEOGRAPHICALLY INCLUSIVE. There has been information and resources from all over.

The PICTURES are great!!! Real live people playing real live bocce."

{Well, for this coming year expect more of the same. We will continue to be a weekly. Somehow, The Joy of Bocce Bi-Weekly just doesn't sound right to me. It has been a labor of love so far - if it becomes a chore, I'll think about cutting back. Please send feedback and photos to make my job easier. Thanks for all the support and kind words.}

 Photos of the week
This week’s photos document how we customized scoreboards for our Monday morning bocce group. There have been many requests from readers about low-cost bocce scoreboards, so I think this will interest many.

As you may recall, I had a friend who was on one of the flights that hit the WTC on 9/11/01, and I formed a non-profit organization in his name. We play softball, basketball, and bocce in what we have dubbed the Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. To learn more about Ken Waldie and/or our organization, click the logo to the right.

Our group is for seniors (age 50 and over), but we don’t enforce the age requirement for bocce (where physical prowess is not a prerequisite for success).

First we purchased two excellent scoreboards from Long Island Bocce Club’s Peter Rabito (President of Bulldog Bocce Products). The devices use the traditional bocce red and green colors, and feature a clock-face with black numerals. There is one red scoring “hand” and one green.

Since our Ken Waldie SSC logo was blue and black, we first opened the file (.jpg) in Adobe Photoshop and replaced the blue KW with black (saving it with another name so as not to lose our original blue lettering). Next we purchased some 8 ½” by 11” peel and stick stock at our local Kinko’s and printed the logo on that special stock (large enough so that it covered the face of the clock without obscuring the numbers).

We removed the red and green scoreboard hands and ground stake using a screw driver and adjustable wrench. Carefully centering the peel and stick logo on the scoreboard, we smoothed it out and made sure it adhered by applying pressure with our fingers from the center of the logo outward to the edges. Finally, we replaced the scoring mechanism hands and stake again using just screw driver and adjustable wrench.

Although we expect to use the scoreboards for our indoor league, we will spray the face of the scoreboard with a clear polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

Check out the photos and contact Pete Rabito directly at Bulldog Bocce Products (, phone: 631-807-4030) if you are interested in purchasing one of his well-constructed scoreboards.

{Please send bocce photos from different areas of the USA. The Joy of Bocce Weekly features too many photos from the East - need pics from the "left coast" and the South & Mid-America too. I'd love to post them here on "This Week's Photos."}

Check out this week's photos

 Bocce product of the week
The Henselite Bowls Measure is a small metal telescopic device not much bigger than a ball point pen. Approximately 6 inches when closed, it extends to a meter.

People send me many photos of bocce players measuring for points with various tape measures. Usually they are holding one end of the tape at the pallino, then extending the tape over the top center of the ball being measured (or vice-versa). This is okay to get a general idea of which ball is closer, but for accuracy you need inside measure.

The Henselite is designed for inside measure and for close ones at that (a meter or less). The player or referee first estimates the distance between the pallino and the two bocce balls to be compared. Then, he extends the appropriate telescopic sections to a length slightly less than that estimate. Next, he places the device between the pallino and one of the balls in question and extends it until it almost touches both balls.

The head of the tool is equipped with a screw-top mechanism. Turning the top in one direction lengthens the tool, while winding in the opposite direction shortens it. This fine tuning makes for very precise measuring. Finally, the measurer places the device between the pallino and the other ball in contention and compares. Care must be taken with this device, because you might disturb the positions of balls being measured.

The device fits in and clips onto your shirt pocket. It even has calipers for checking those really close points. It is the perfect gift for the bocce aficionado in your life. Like our other measures, it retails for 19.95 plus shipping.

See more photos on the Henselite

 Non bocce product of the week
Weight management product

{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers – and the post-holiday timing is right for this one}

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. This product 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.

Check out the post-holiday weight management product

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