The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 29 - July 21, 2003 
•   Note from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Ad swaps to build readership
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos of the week
•   Tournament Update
 Note from the publisher
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 2, Issue #29 - July 21, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2003

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.


I hope you will like this electronic newsletter. To be deleted from my list, you can Unsubscribe at the end of this issue. We will quickly and permanently remove your email address from our list (we'll be sorry to see you go). But, be aware that 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. Our goal = 10,000 subscribers by 12/31/03.


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).

Har-Tru court top dressing now available via Joy of Bocce

 Ad swaps to build readership
Ezine publishers like me sometimes swap ads with other publishers as a way to build readership. My goal is to build a big enough list of bocce aficionados that my ezine can be a tool for growth and unification of the sport.

So, I am carefully selecting ad swaps. Here is the current offering, Primo Magazine, which is an excellent, full color publication that is “A Celebration of Italian American Life.” Check out Primo Magazine at by clicking on the magazine cover to the right - look for Joy of Bocce's ad in Primo's next edition).


"Primo Magazine is an up-scale, sophisticated publication dedicated to promoting and preserving the Italian American lifestyle. Through positive portrayals of Italian Americans and their contributions, Primo celebrates everything about this unique culture. Each issue of Primo is filled with stories, recipes, travel articles, wine advice, biographies, and other information sure to inspire pride in the Italian American way of life. Primo is a must-have for Italophiles everywhere!"


View Primo Magazine's web site

 Photos of the week
This week’s pics come from this past week-end's World Series of Bocce in Rome, NY. Yes, yours truly competed along with a couple of sharpshooters from the Long Island Bocce Club and an excellent player from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

No, we did not win the tournament.

No, we did not make it to the money round.

No, we did not win a game, but Yes, we did play pretty well after a slow start. And Yes, we enjoyed it immensely. {I always like being around bocce people.}

Rome’s premier sports reporter Dave Hoffman had this to say about the event in his column in the Daily Sentinel…


“The opening round of the 2003 World Series of Bocce saw some familiar faces as well as some new ones making an appearance at the Toccolana Club Friday evening.

Making their first-ever appearance at the 31st annual World Series of Bocce was a four-man open team sponsored by the Long Island Bocce Club. John Walsh and John Samaritano both hail from the Island, while Mario Pagnoni made the trek from Massachusetts and Gino Frattaroli came all the way from Windsor Ontario, in Canada.

All four were excited to be a part of the World Series atmosphere.

"This is our first time here and we're loving it, we're absolutely loving it," Samaritano said. "We're part of bocce history being in the World Series and we love it. Our motto is: 'Bocce is back, baby!'"

He mentioned that while bocce is popular in New York City, it faces a bit of an uphill battle in Long Island.

"We're bringing it back to Long Island," he said of the sport. "It's in New York City, but not Long Island. We're hitting the suburbs and now we're upstate...we're doing a little tour. We're the ambassadors.

"We have about 35 players in the Long Island Bocce Club," he added. "We're all young fellas - 80 and under."

According to Walsh, most of the Long Island bocce is played at night.

"We play at night, from 7-11 p.m. under the lights," he said. "It's all after work. None of these retired guys that play during the day. It's all us hard working guys. After work, we go down after dinner, after we put the kids to sleep, we play some bocce!"

As for the Canadian connection on the team, Frattaroli was just recently pressed into service by the team.

"My wife came here with a team and I was just going to escort her, then I got a call from Mario (Pagnoni)," he said. "They needed a player, so I said I was available for the team. It is my first time here."

"Bocce is the best-kept secret in sports," Pagnoni, who also publishes a bocce newsletter, The Joy of Bocce" said. "It has a little bit of an image problem: people think of old Italians, but you see a lot of young guys playing, a lot of women's broken free of its ethnic origins, it's becoming very yuppie… the wineries in California have bocce courts."


In its 30th year, the double elimination event drew 78 men’s teams and 31 women’s teams from the USA and Canada. These were four-player teams with each player rolling one ball and all eight players walking back and forth to play both ends of the court.

I never cared for the one ball style of bocce play. You don’t have a chance to adjust, or “go to school” on your initial shot. Your first shot is your last shot of the frame. But this had an undeniable charm. You are involved in every “inning” and it promotes good camaraderie as you encourage your teammates on each of their rolls.

I was surprised that with such a large field they played games to 16 instead of say, 12.

The courts are 60’ by 10’, short by most standards, but still popular in parts of the east. It makes hitting a tad easier as the target is never too far away (I didn’t see many misses all week-end – a tribute to the quality of the players as much as to the shortness of the courts).

Also, as we’ve seen with so many of these shorter courts, they play one line for pointing (4 feet from the end) and another for hitting (10 feet).

The venue features 9 outdoor covered courts and 6 indoor courts. All have a stone dust surface that is noticeably higher along both sides to coerce rolled balls to move toward the center of the court. The indoor courts were decidedly faster than the outdoor ones.

They play the backboard live hereabouts. I don’t think there are many places left that do. Most feel that it takes a lot more skill and a lot less luck to play the back wall dead {a ball is normally ruled “dead” and removed from play unless it first strikes another ball}. The World Series of Bocce rules go even farther…a ball that gets knocked out of the court and hits above the backboard or strikes the perimeter fencing but bounces back onto the court is “live”.

Finally, it was obvious that no one cared if you stepped over the foul lines while hitting or pointing. I saw numerous violations and no one complained. Organizers reason that this is a large event – lots of games going on at once – keep it simple and just keep everything moving.

This is a very well run event. The organizers appear to have the program on “automatic pilot” after having such a long run of continued success.

Put this one on your calendar for next July. There is good competition, good food, camaraderie with bocce aficionados, and even a casino within a few miles driving distance.

View photos of the World Series of Bocce

 Bocce product of the week
Let’s Play Bocce!

The fourth entry in American Production’s Backyard Sports Series (others include Let’s Play Badminton! Let’s Play Croquet! and Let’s Play Horseshoes!), this video runs 45 minutes.

Billed as “the essential beginner’s videoguide” Let’s Play Bocce! is just that. It includes sections on the history of bocce, the court and equipment, playing the game, ball deliveries and more.

The section on the History of Bocce is excellent, acknowledging the murky details of bocce’s birth and referencing the common ancestry of boules and lawn bowls. The production makes wonderful use of art work depicting notables such as Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I and others associated with the games’ evolution. It brings together the information a newcomer to the sport needs to get started. This professionally produced tape definitely deserves a look-see.

$22.95 plus shipping - click the Let's Play Bocce! image to order.

Click here to order a t-shirt to go with that bocce product.

 Non bocce product of the week
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}

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My sites include a Contact Manager so you can collect and manage your customers' email addresses and other info, automatic search engine submission technology, statistical tracking, and a toll-free number for tech support 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Coast Time.

Check out my favorite site that I built with this technology - It’s named after my friend Ken Waldie who was a passenger on the ill-fated American Airlines Flight 11 that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. You can read about my friend Ken and the Senior Sports Circuit that we established in his honor (we offer softball, basketball, and bocce for anyone age 50 and over - we let people slide on the age restriction for bocce, where physical prowess is not a prerequisite for success).

Click the link below to check out my favorite web site. Then email me at or call 978-686-8679 to chat with me “live” about your web site.

Portable courts are still HOT!

 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 and "opt in" for my FREE Ezine on bocce. Click the logo to the right to opt in if you do not already receive this ezine every Monday.

July 25-27, 2003 - Italian Home - Farrell, PA - 4 person - 724-346-6931.

July 25-27, 2003 – ABA Raffa Championships – contact Manny Romo @ 925-754-4890.

July 26, 2003 - 1st annual Backyard Bocce/ Italian Community Center Bocce Tournament - McKinley Park, Milwaukee. Entrance fee = $80 per team (or $20 per team member). 64 teams. All proceeds go to Special Olympics Wisconsin. Contact Chris Pfeiffer at fife13@aol -262-797-0320.

July 25-27, 2003 - Italian Home – Farrell (close to Sharon), PA - 4 person - $100 entry - Contact Mike Androsko 724-342-5919/ Carmen Schuville 724-342-3935/or Italian Home 724-346-6931. Over 30 teams will compete for ~$2000 first place, ~$1000 second place, etc.

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. Contact Mike Grasser at 248-505-4744 or

Aug 15-17, 2003 - American Legion - Farrell, PA - 2 person - 724-342-7112

August 17, 2003 – Martinez Waterfront - Tourney To benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - $25 per person; tax deductible; includes 1 raffle ticket; lunch; 1 beer or soft drink; t-shirt & hat – deadline for entry = August 8th Tom Sarnicola ( Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 1939 Harrison Street, Suite 207, Oakland, CA 94612 - Phone: 510-267-9699

August 22-24, 2003 – 19th annual Wickliffe Italian American Club (Wickliffe, OH (east of Cleveland) Tournament. Contact Tony Continenza at 440-585-4600 or email

August 23, 2003 - USBF Western Sector Raffa Championships, Los Gatos, CA, Campo di Bocce - Raffa Rules. Contact John Ross (408) 354-0625 or

August 24, 2003 - 6th Annual Tempo Italiano Celebration Bocce Tournament – Villa Tempo Italiano, 440 Northampton St., Easton, PA, 18042 - Contact Tempo Italiano at 610-559-5570. $500.00 to First Place Team, $300.00 for Second Place and $200.00 for Third Place.

Sept 5-7, 2003 - St. Anthony's - Struthers, OH – 4 person - 330-755-0077

Sept 12-14, 2003 - Farrell Lion's Club - Farrell, PA - 4 person - 724-342-5919

Sept 15-21, 2003 - World Bocce Championship, Chiasso, Switzerland, CBI International Bocce Tournament, Raffa. For more information see or contact Mike Conti (847) 692-6223 /

Sept 20, 2003 – Collinsville, Illinois Italianfest Tournament - Glidden Park, Lebanon and Branch Street, Collinsville (located approx. 1 mile from the fest grounds) – contact

Sept 20, 2003 - Le Phare Des Alps bocce tournament – Valdese, North Carolina - $40 per four-person team. Contact T.R. Robinson at

Sept 21, 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.

Sept 21, 2003 - Bruno Freschet Memorial Tournament, Peninsula Social Club, San Mateo, California, Open, 4 Players, contact Adriano Undorte at (650) 591-3318.

October 3-5 Farrell VFW - Farrell, PA - 4 person - 724-981-1020

October 4, 2003 - USBF Western Sector Open Championships, Los Gatos, CA Campo di Bocce, Open (Four Person). Contact John Ross (408) 354-0625 or

October 7-12, 2003 - Volo World Championship, Nice, France, Federation International De Boules, International Volo Tournament. Contact Mike Conti 847-692-6223 or

October 11, 2003 - Fall Open Tournament, Marin Bocce Federation, San Rafael, California, Open, 4 Players, contact Diana Pellegrini at (415) 454-4483.

October 25, 2003 - Raffa Tournament, Campo di Bocce, Los Gatos Bocce Club, Raffa, 3 Players, contact Bill Schlaefer at (408) 379-9409.

October 26, 2003 - 3rd Annual Tempo Italiano Fall Classic Bocce Tournament - Villa Tempo Italiano, 440 Northampton St., Easton, PA, 18042 - Contact Tempo Italiano at 610-559-5570. $500.00 to First Place Team, $300.00 for Second Place and $200.00 for Third Place.

November 1, 2003 - Third Annual Big Ben Invitational - 2 person Punto, Raffa, Volo - International rules, two person teams - three balls each. Price not yet determined, big money potential. Contact Ben Musolf - Campo di Bocce 408.395.7650.

Nov 14-16 - Bessemer Croatian Club - Bessemer, PA - 4 person - 724-667-8997.


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