The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 50 - December 15, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Short-handed bocce?
•   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 #50 - December 15, 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 the 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.


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).


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.

Anybody out there have any clout with publishers? My first book on education was a McGraw-Hill BOMC selection. My second (on computers) got the best review of any book ever brought to press by the publisher. And my softball book is still in print since 1990 with over 50,000 copies sold. Yet The Joy of Bocce is out of print and looking for a new home. 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.

Step up a notch & review International style bocce

 Short-handed bocce?
What do you do in your league or informal play when one of your four-player teams is short-handed (only three show up for the match)?

If you normally station two players at each end of the court, the short-handed team will have two players at one end, but only one at the other end. Many think that if this player rolls four balls, he gains an advantage over his two opponents who roll just two balls each.

Some solutions I have heard about...

If you have three games to a match in league play, you could rotate the solo player so that your top shooter doesn't roll four balls every game.

Some don't favor this option because they don't want their weakest player rotated into the four-ball situation.

One school of thought is that in bocce, the captain/coach makes the decisions. Let the captain decide who is to roll four balls. If he wants to rotate the honor, so be it.

Another solution is to recruit more players. If each team had five players, one absense still leaves you with a full team. When five show up, the captain has to rotate guys in. S/he can tell a player to sit one game, or split the game 6 points each – whatever is fair to all players.

Some leagues have a list of “Pool Players.” These are players who are willing to fill in sometimes but don’t want to be counted on regularly. If you know you are going to be shorthanded, you can contact a pool player ahead of time.

Another possible solution is to use a “walker.” This is when one of the three players rolls two balls with a partner on one end, then walks to the other end to roll two balls with his other partner in the next frame. The walker plays both ends of the court, but only plays two balls at each end like everybody else. You could rotate who will be the designated walker each game.

Still another solution is to “burn” a ball or two for the guy who plays singles. The solo guy can’t play four balls, only two or three.

Finally, another thing to consider is that there is a movement gaining momentum to run leagues with three-person teams. This requires using 12 bocce balls (2 balls for each player) and all six participants walking from end to end. This provides a little gentle exercise, and all get to play every frame instead of every other one.

Surprisingly, even though 12 balls are in play, most frames generally end with just one or two points scored.

What do you do in short-handed situations? Please REPLY if you have a good option that we should know about. We'll "spread the word" in this ezine.

Backyard Bocce's portable courts...

 Photos of the week
This week-end I did some public speaking (on bocce) and a book signing at Fordham University at Lincoln Center which hosted Celebrazione dei Libri. This is patterned after a national holiday in Italy (on the third Sunday in May, bookstores in most cities remain open to encourage the sale of books and promote Italian writers).

I not only took part in a well-run event (wonderful job of professional organizing by Ms. Joann Sicoli), but was able to "hook up" with some bocce guys from the Big Apple.

In last week's Joy of Bocce Weekly special edition (Coming to the Big Apple), I asked for those "in the neighborhood" to stop by and say hello. Also, I asked about bocce venues that I could photograph.

Willie Itzkowitz of the Marine Park Bocce Club (Brooklyn, New York) wrote...

"The only indoor bocce court I know of in Manhattan is in a restaurant called Il Vagabondo - 351 East 62 Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. The phone number is 212-832-9221. I have never been there, but recently my wife and I were saying we should check it out."

{Thanks Willie. I did check it out - it was "way cool" as the kids say. Il Vagabondo was hopping! Had a great meal there and took photos for next week's ezine.}

Laurie Katz of Bayside, NY advised...

"If it doesn't rain - although the snow may have ruined the court this past w/e - Stop by Cunningham Park in Queens - Union Tpk and Francis Lewis Blvd.

You might be lucky enough to run into Frank "the Fox"
92 years young and one of the best players...."

{Sounds like a must-see for my next trip to the Big Apple.}

Clayton Collier of the Carroll Park Bocce Club sent driving directions and a map to his favorite bocce venue, then did one better by meeting me at Fordham and traveling with me to the courts.

This week's photos show the venue at Carroll Park Gardens (Brooklyn). The playground/ball park includes two bocce courts (approx. 75' by 10').

One of the courts is fenced in and locked to prevent vandalism. The other is behind and perpendicular to this one. Before we could play, a little court maintenance was in order - mainly leaf removal.

With four players per team, the Carroll Park Bocce players station two teammates at each end who roll two balls each. The younger crowd is made up of young professionals (architects, not pro bocce players). Some older Italians from the neighborhood have coached them on strategy and tactics.

Clay, a smooth rolling young player, is one of the enthusiastic leaders of this group. A good pointer and hitter, Clay has a pool of pretty talented young players who could advance to the next level with just a little instruction. I recommended they subscribe to this newsletter and enter some of the tournaments they see posted here.

A bit nippy on December 13th in New York, we dressed warmly and had a great time playing and socializing. The day reinforced a long held belief of mine that bocce players are some of the nicest people on the planet.

Contact Clay at if you want to connect with these up-and-coming bocce stars.

View this week's photos...

 Bocce product of the week
Inexpensive holiday bocce gift - Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $19.95 plus $4.00 shipping and will be shipped Priority Mail at no extra charge for the holiday season.

Click the photo for more info, pictures, etc.


Also, click the link below for unique bocce items from that make great gifts. Use the coupon code SNOWFLAKES for $4.00 off an order of $40.00 or more (expires 12/19/03).

Joy of Bocce mugs, lunch boxes, etc. - great holiday gifts...

 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 Hershey's - 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.

February 7 & 8, 2004 - Cape Coral World Series of Bocce - 4-person teams, double elimination, $250 per team entry, deadline January 20th - 1st PLACE $4,000 - 2nd PLACE $2,500 - 3rd PLACE $1,500 - 4th PLACE $500 - 5th PLACE $300. Contact GEORGE FURLAN – TEL: 239- 275-9968.

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

October, 2004 - North American Bocce Championship, Montreal. Contact Mike Conti @ 847-692-6223 or


A Drag Brush or Lute/Scarifier makes a great gift for a court owner...

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