The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 46 - November 17, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce related product of the week
•   Readers’ feedback
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos of the week
•   Tournament update
 Notes from the publisher
The FREE weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 2, Issue #46 - November 17, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2003

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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).


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 Readers’ feedback
{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

Joy of Bocce 2nd edition

{I'm working hard on a second edition of The Joy of Bocce - and simultaneously trying to land a publisher. The new edition will have lots of new information and photographs.

I intend to use some of the photographs that readers have submitted for our Photos of the Week feature. Please let me know if you have sent me photos and DON'T want them included in the upcoming book.

If you send photos in the future (please do), be advised that I will consider them for inclusion in this second edition, unless you tell me otherwise. Be assured that I will give credit to the photographer whenever possible.}


Recent posting on the Yahoo! Group bocceanonymous…

“I am fairly new to bocce and have seen different dimensions for bocce courts -- the shortest I have seen recommended is about 60'. We only have about fifty feet to build a court. Will it be worth doing or will this be too small to have any fun?”

{We always recommend big courts (70, 80, 90 foot courts), but whatever size fits into your backyard and your pocketbook is fine. A fellow in our group has a court that is 9' by 45' - we call it the derringer of bocce courts. We always have a good time playing there at his bocce/cook-outs.}


Another recent post…

“I've been playing in a bocce league for about a year and I'm ready to buy a set of bocce balls. I'm looking for suggestions for the best size and brand.”

{Many top players seem to favor the Perfetta balls made in Italy and available in the USA. But almost any composition ball (not wood - similar material to a bowling ball) is OK - we recommend 107 mm (diameter) rather than the larger balls that many dealers offer.}


Received a couple emails re: bocce balls with internal lights for night play…

“I am interested in purchasing a Skizzo (night time 'lawn bowling' game, was made by Knight Sports?). Can you please tell me where or how I can get this game?

{Can anyone help with this request? I posted a statement from the manufacturer a while back indicating that he was trying to land a contract with a large distribution chain – haven’t heard anything since…please REPLY if you have any info.}


Tony Iadevaio of Ft. Myers, FL says…

“We recently completed the installation of two synthetic surface courts. We are seeking ball racks, can you provide assistance?”

{I asked Tony for details about the surface and he replied…}

“The synthetic surfaces are T-Tek from American Sports Recreational Surfaces, Kennesaw GA. The surfaces are great. Water drains through and the balls roll true. We are very pleased with them. We constructed two 12’ by 60’ courts and we are seeking ball racks, if any are available. I have seen the makeshift ones, and I don't like them.”

{Does anyone know about ball racks other than homemade ones that we have seen in previous issues? Please REPLY.}


Feedback from last week’s discussion of bocce rules…

George Farruggio of the Italian American Bocce Association of Punta Gorda, Florida says…

“You’re right on the money when you say the backboard is dead. Also when you say it takes no skill with the backboard being live. I hold a tournament here in Punta Gorda every year. We have teams coming from all over the states, and not one player asks for the backboard to be live. I hope one day we will have standard rules for all teams and clubs.”


"Bocce Bum" Ben Musolf of Campo di Bocce in Los Gatos, CA writes convincingly…

“I have been biting my tongue for quite some time in regards to the lack of interest in conforming the game to a standardized set of rules. I understand that variations are inevitable in all aspects of certain games, however, if everyone realized how important it is to standardize the game maybe people would have a different appreciation of the game as well.

Bocce can be enjoyed by virtually anyone who cares to learn the game and give it a try. That is the true beauty of the game. The overall goal is to try and get Bocce in the Olympics one day and that will be impossible if we do not unite in a standard set of rules.

There is only one organization in the United States that is recognized internationally and that is the United States Bocce Federation. If we were to go overseas and tell them we do not play this way, they would say, what do you mean, there is only way to play the game. Granted we are talking about the next level of the game being Punto, Raffa, Volo and the brass ball game Volo, but on the basic level of the game, there needs to be common rules as well.

Conformity is never easy. Out here on the west coast, we play a different set of rules as well. The back wall is always dead, you cannot shoot or loft the ball over half way and you only get one chance to throw the pallino before your opponent gets to place it for you. I would love to see the game be unified under one umbrella. This is A LOT to ask, but in the long run it will only make the game stronger and more recognized internationally. Could you imagine the strength we would have if we told the international committee that we have upwards of 50,000 to 100,000 members playing in our federation. One last side note, why not check out the USBF website at and compare the open rules that are established. Balls are still live off the back wall, you must first hit some other ball first though. The ball can still be thrown over half way. There are a lot of similarities in all aspects of the game, we all just need to take a step back and visualize the potential betterment of the game if we are all united as one.


Mike Conti, Pesident of the USBF weighs in too…

”I am glad to see some interest in that famous back wall.

IBA RULE 2--I feel you should have one throw to put the pallino in play.

IBA RULE 3--Measurement any time, It makes sense.

IBA RULE 1-- Backboard, (the biggest problem) Will it ever be resolved? I don't know.

QUESTION: Does it take more skill to point or shoot when the pallino is on the DEAD backboard Versus a live backboard? I believe it is much harder to point then to shoot a ball against the backboard, How can a person call it great skill to work the backboard when all balls remain alive?

QUESTION -- You take a shot at a ball ten feet away from the backboard. You miss the ball and your ball comes back and makes the point or better yet it comes back and hits the ball you missed. Is that great skill too?

QUESTION -- The ball leaves the court, hits someone and comes back in the court and makes the point. I hope that's not skill.

Our organization looked at all the rules in our country and the international rules and came up with a rule that very few people were using. See our Open rules on BOCCE.COM

I have played in all parts of the country - Rome, Cleveland, Canton, Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, New Orleans and the West Coast and all of them have at least one different rule. Will it change? Should it change? It would help.

Our organization (United States Bocce Federation) is a national organization founded 28 years ago. We have a National Tournament every year to determine who will represent the United States in International Competition. Our teams just came back from two World championships, one in Chiasso, Switzerland in which our Punto, Raffa, Volo team came in eighth out of twenty-four countries. Our Volo team came in fifth in the singles in Niece, France. There were over thirty countries in this World championship.

We have an NBA, NFL, PGA and so on and we also have a USBF that is recognized by two international organizations. Check us out. We are looking for some good players to play in international tournaments. We are a non-profit organization and can help make bocce get better in the United States.”


Tom McNutt of www.boccemon fame has done it again. He’s added yet another fine scoring device to his growing list of bocce products. Check it out at

Check out Boccemon's new scoreboard

 Photos of the week
These photos showcase a newly refurbished state-run hockey arena in the North End of Boston that now includes two indoor bocce courts. This rink is right next to the three outdoor courts that we featured last year (Vol I, Issue 11, March 17, 2002).

Dedicated to Stephen J. Steriti, a Vietnam war hero and favored son of the area, the arena is a showpiece of style and functionality.

Local youth hockey runs the concession stand and it will also serve the bocce venue. The two 76' by 10' indoor courts are complete with heating and air conditioning. From the rink you pass through glass doors to enter the bocce area. Once inside, you are flanked by the rink on one side and a fabulous view of Charles River and Old Ironsides and Bunker Hill Monument on the other. Near the doors leading to the three outdoor courts there are tables for dining and card playing.

Sounds great, right? But there were complaints from Boston’s North End bocce players spearheaded by their leader Angelo DiGirolamo. A fabulous place to play bocce, heated and air conditioned, within walking distance of their homes – what’s to complain about?

These courts are unplayable because of the court surface. These feisty, Italian bocce lovers were not happy. Metropolitan District Superintendent Alan Morris came to the rescue, listening to all parties (including me) and handling the situation diplomatically. The current, unsuitable surface is gray like stone dust, but soft like talcum powder. The locals put down traffic cones to keep everyone off until the problem gets resolved – heck it was like walking on quicksand.

After much discussion (some even in English), Morris showed the group samples of various grades of stone dust, other court dressings, and Har-Tru (of tennis court fame). They finally agreed to install two inches of Har-Tru over the existing surface. This seemed to satisfy everyone and my bocce crew has an open invitation to play here (photos of that week to follow) and the North End group has promised to enter our May tournament in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Check out the photos and note the large heating and air conditioning ductwork and the lighting. I thought the lights were a tad too low for volo shooting, but Angelo DiGirolamo assured me that there would be no volo play here. He even outlaws volo play outdoors since the impact mars the court surface. This will be a great place to run a tourney - two indoor (state owned) and three outdoor (city owned) courts, a built-in concession stand, and the legendary culinary delights of the North End nearby.

View this week's photos...

 Bocce related product of the week
Outdoor Games Book & Video Series

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...


These make for great, inexpensive holiday gifts. I recommend them highly (each under $10.00).

Also available and great for holiday gifts are videos ($22.95 each) titled...

Let's Play Bocce!
Let's Play Horseshoes!
Let's Play Croquet!
Let's Play Badminton!

Consider these for the games players on your holiday gift list.

Click to order or just to view photos of books and videos...

 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}

Time to start thinking about holiday shopping. Please browse my business web site (click link below then click on Go Shopping at top of home page) which has affiliates from just about every product line you might think of.

Besides health and nutrition there is automotive, cosmetics, personal care, pet care, house wares, apparel...even nationally known brand names (like Road Runner Sports - click link to the right).

Check it out and do some online shopping while supporting the Joy of Bocce Weekly. Thanks in advance.

Shop now, plenty of time for delivery...

 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.

Nov 21-23 - Concord Bocciofila (Concord International Bocce Club, 3231 Langstaff Rd. Concord, Ontario L4K 4L2. Men's division = 3-person teams - Women's division 2-person teams. For info call: Italo Mastroianni (905)738-6914 fax: (905) 738-5719.

March 20 & 21, 2004 - 5th annual Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament. Contact George Farruggio of the Italian American Bocce Association of Punta Gorda, Florida @ 941-575-0482 E-Mail


Premier Boules, Henselite, and Clubhawk Gold measures...

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