The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 12 - March 24, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Bocce & pre-schoolers
•   Photos of the week
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Tournament update
 Notes from the publisher
The Joy of Bocce Weekly
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 2, Issue #12 - March 24, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2003 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 $13.95 by clicking on the book image 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).

Order America's best-selling bocce book

 Bocce & pre-schoolers
I hope some readers who have experience working with young children can help me out ASAP.

You may recall that I ran a one-day bocce program during February school vacation at our local library (see Vol. II, Issue 8, Bocce at the Public Library - available at the Back Issues link at joyofbocce.com). We set down two-by-fours on an open, carpeted area creating two temporary courts.

The library advertised a free bocce demonstration and parent-child tournament, attracting fourteen teams of middle school aged players and their mom/dads. I gave a short talk about the origins of bocce, a brief demonstration on how to play, then ran a single elimination tournament. The entire program took about 3 hours and it was well received by parents, the children, and the library staff. Two local newspapers showed up to cover the event, each running photos and positive stories.

This good publicity resulted in a request to do a similar event for pre-schoolers this Friday, March 28th. Do any readers have ideas on how to run a bocce event for children this age (most will be three-, four-, and five-year-olds)?

Should we just have them try rolling balls at a target ball? Should we lay down some sort of plastic “bull’s eye” and try to get the children to roll balls close to the center?

Should I be concerned with safety issues? I mean, will they drop the balls on each other’s toes or try to throw them like a baseball?

I have a set of small water-filled balls that might be appropriate. We could also use small metal petanque balls which might fit tiny hands better.

There will be other adults there for “crowd control,” so I will be free to coordinate the event. I’m just not sure what to do. Any ideas from phys. ed. instructors, pre-school teachers, or parents who play bocce with their toddlers? Please REPLY ASAP.

 Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Drag Brush

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made (like someone “Mickey Moused” the contraption using the wrong tools for the wrong job) and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

Recently I met with a couple of very nice young men, representatives from Lee Tennis (makers of that Har-Tru surface). The reps showed me some court maintenance tools that were created for tennis courts but work fine for bocce courts as well.

I’ve been experimenting with their 7-foot drag brush which I absolutely love. It is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without players standing around waiting very long. Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $137.95 plus shipping.

Click here to read more about the drag brush and other court maintenance tools.

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

The new Joy of Bocce logo continues to get rave reviews. I’ve uploaded it to my virtual storefront at CafePress.com, placing it on t-shirts, caps, mugs and other items.

I keep getting inquiries about how the CafePress program works and decided that it was worth explaining again.

CafePress is probably the best kept secret in the country. Their operation is very smart, simple to manage, and appropriate for anybody who might want to sell promotional items for their business, hobby, club, or sports team. A long-time fundraiser for school and community groups myself, I am trying to spread the word about this program throughout my area.

A print-on-demand company, CafePress lets you set up a “virtual storefront” at CafePress.com (easy to do, and no charge). Next, you pick the items from their “virtual supply house” that you might want to sell (no charge to you). Now upload your artwork (still no charge). The image will appear on a graphic of the item telling you the cost of the item, and you are prompted to input the sale price you would like to charge (mark it up whatever percentage you choose).

That’s it. No set-up charge, no minimum quantities to order, no inventory, no risk. You just need to send traffic to that storefront (e.g. “Hey guys, you just gotta check out CafePress.com/joyofbocce”), and encourage people to purchase the items.

When CafePress gets an order (even a single mug, for example), they collect the funds through THEIR merchant account, print the item, ship it to the customer and, at the end of the month, send you the difference between the item cost and your marked-up price.

It’s a no-brainer. There is absolutely no risk. If sales are generated, you and CafePress make money. If not, no harm – no foul. Anyone who is raising money for any organization, club, sports team, etc. should be doing this.

I recommend getting a professional look though. If you are running Little League baseball, for example, commission a graphic artist to create personalized artwork for you (anybody can get a piece of clip art with crossed bats – step up and get a customized image that people can identify with your organization).

Click below to set up your own virtual storefront at CafePress.com. If you list joyofbocce (all one word) as the referral store ID, I’ll even get a little bonus…thank you very much.

Create your own storefront

 Photos of the week
Mike Grasser keeps supplying us with great pictures from his bocce travels. He is rapidly becoming one of the Joy of Bocce’s biggest supporters.

These photos show two courts at the St. Francis Assisi Church/High School complex in Tucson, Arizona.

The courts are 16' by 70' with a compacted fine gravel playing surface.

{Please send photos from different areas of the USA. The Joy of Bocce Weekly tries to feature photos from all over the country and from other countries too. I'd love to post your pictures here as "This Week's Photos."}

Check out the Arizona pictures

 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. Click the link below or the logo to the right to opt in if you do not already receive this ezine every Monday.

March 29, 2003 - Cape Coral Bocce Association, Money Tournament, Open Rules, Veterans Park Bocce Courts, 4100 Coronado Parkway, Cape Coral, Florida, Four Player Team, Prizes 1st = $3000, 2nd = $1000, 3rd = $500. Entrance Fee = $200 per Team (Based on 16 teams). Contact Skinny Battista (239) 540-8246 or skinny@prodigy.net.

April, 2003 – Biltmore Invitational – Lake Tahoe, NV. Contact Kyle Hughes 1 (800) 245-8667.

April 5, 2003 - Four Person Team, Italian Athletic Club, Stockton, CA, Open Rules, Contact Ron Jacobs (209) 957-1223 or ronjo9445@aol.com.

April 26, 2003 - Three Person Volo, Waterloo Gun and Bocci Club, Stockton, CA, Volo Rules, Contact David Canclini (209) 957-3314 or canclini@gotnet.net.

April 26, 2003 - 1st Annual Long Island Bocce Club Spring Fling - 4 player Team - Single Elimination - Milldam Park, Huntington New York - Cost: $100.00 Team - Honorarium Awards for both Teams in the finals and Best Team. Contact: www.libocceclub.com or email James@libocceclub.com.

April 26, 2003 – Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament, Bellingham, WA. Contact Tom McNutt at boccemon.com (view more tourney info at that site).

May, 2003 – Herrin Festa Italiano Superball Championships, Herrin, IL.

May 18, 2003 – Sunshine Village Universal Bocce Bowl, Szot Park, Chicopee, Mass. Four player teams - $200 entry fee – includes t-shirt, lunch & dinner. Limited # of teams – 1st place = $600, 2nd place = $300, 3rd place = $200. Contact Rico Daniele @ 1-800-BOCCE54.

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.

August 9 2003 - Mich. State Bocce Championship, Sylvan Lake, Michigan - 3 players per team 2 bocce balls each. Round robin format. $200.00 per team. 1 alternate recommended. Open rules. $2000.00 in prize money, trophies and medals.

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."

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