The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. II, Issue 6 - February 10, 2003 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Debating the open rules
•   Non bocce product of the week
•   Photos 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 #6 - February 10, 2003
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2003

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 Debating the open rules
Discussion continues...

The illustrious Dr. Cordano writes...

"Dear Mario,

I have no doubt that you are the one that can bring some kind of sense with the bocce rules. You know that I have been advocating the same to you since we started to communicate and while in Chicago at the international competition."


Excellent input from a reader identified only as Jeff...

"Hey, about the dream of getting all bocce bodies to agree on a uniform set of rules.... good luck. Bocce associations/federations/organizations have their own vision and set of rules, and for good reasons. Many of these several and varied organizations publish/copyright these rules to protect their rules, for many reasons. For instance, volo (high tossing) is not allowed in some groups because they don't want to exclude players that don't have the strength to volo or the group doesn't want to damage the court or the bocce gear. Same applies to the issue of hitting the boards with your bocces or pallino.

I can understand your desire to simplify the rules to make the game readily available for novices, but the game that Roman soldiers played between conquests and poofy French nobles played between serious debaucheries is bocce. I would like to see more on the history of bocce and read about the diversity in published rules."

My answer to Jeff...

{I know where you are coming from - and there is a certain charm to playing the host team's rules and adapting to the myriad variations.

Still, to "get to the next level" as they say...needs uniformity. One problem I see is the various groups are afraid that the other will gain a foothold and hesitate to cooperate for the good of the game.

I'm interested in the history of the game too - problem there is the details are "lost in the mists of antiquity." The lore is fun, though. I agree. Stay tuned - we'll see how this goes in the next couple weeks/months.}


More rulings to consider...

What to do when a player rolls the wrong color ball.

The best thing to employ here is what is referred to as "preventive officiating." Referees and competitors need to pay attention and tactfully prevent a player from making a mistake. It might go something like this:

"Excuse me. That's a red ball in your hand. Don't you mean to roll a green?"

Failing at preventive officiating there seems to be agreement to...

Simply replace the ball (when it comes to rest) with a ball of the correct color (even if it struck and displaced other balls).

Please REPLY if you have a comment.


What to do when a player rolls out of turn or throws extra balls (e.g. a team had the "in" ball and played the next ball in error, or say, in doubles, one player rolls three balls instead of each partner rolling two).

Again, use preventive officiating. Failing that there seems to be agreement that...

Rule of advantage applies...

The offended team has the option of letting the play stand or remove the ball (and all displaced balls returned to their positions at the time of this errant roll).

Please REPLY if you care to comment.


Can a player step on the foul line?

Most agree that the ball must be out of the player's hand before s/he crosses the foul line. But some rules (including International Rules) allow a player who is pointing to step on, but not completely over, the foul line.

What do you think?

Please REPLY if you'd like to weigh in on any of these points.

 Photos of the week
This week’s pictures come to us courtesy of George Farruggio of Punta Gorda, Florida. The courts are 12' by 60' and 12' by 75' with canopies over the ends.

The photos are from a recent twelve-team double elimination tournament. Farruggio's Italian-American Bocce Association took second place to St. Pete's Sons of Italy.

{Please send bocce 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."}

This week's photos

 Bocce product of the week
Premier Boule Measure

Speaking of settling disputes over whose ball is closer...I just happen to have the finest measure for bocce stocked right on my shelves.

Still our most popular measure, this Prohawk International measuring device has been a big hit in this Ezine. I've placed photos on my website that clearly illustrate the product's features.

These measures are of very high quality and sell for about 20% less than comparable products I've seen elsewhere. The Premier Boule Measure is designed for "inside measure" which is by far the most accurate.

The tape extends to 2 meters (about 6 ½ feet) and has a self-locking mechanism, calipers, and a game scoring mechanism. Makes a great gift for the bocce lover in your life. Every serious bocce player (and not-so-serious player) should have one. Please check them out ($19.95 plus shipping).

See photos of the Premier Boule Measure

 Non bocce product of the week
Softball: Fast & Slow Pitch (Masters Press, 1990) by Mario Pagnoni and Gerald Robinson

In print since 1990, I wrote this with my friend Gerry Robinson, now an athletic director in New Milford, Connecticut.

I have been trying to analyze how this title could have such amazing "staying power" (more than 45,000 copies sold). I finally figured it out…it's just plain good, and the competition is mostly just plain bad. Some sports instruction books are written by big time college coaches who get a grad student to do the bulk of the work. The publisher slaps a “Spaulding Sports Library” or some such label on it, and the buying public thinks it must be good.

Very complete, our book includes chapters on hitting, throwing, fielding, baserunning, organizing a practice, team defense, offensive strategy, and coaching a youth league team. It even has appendices on fundraising for your team, scoring a game, and softball rules in plain English.

It is ideal for the player who wants to hone his skills, the parent who wants to help a child improve, and the coach who wants to better organize practices. A bargain at $12.95 plus shipping.

 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.

February 16, 2003 – Mazzini Verdi Superball Midwest Open – Franklin Park, IL. Contact Phil Ferrari of World Bocce Association – 1-800-OKBOCCE.

February 22, 2003 - Two Men - One Woman Open, Italian Athletic Club, Stockton, CA, Open Rules, Contact Ron Jacobs (209) 957-1223 or

March 8 & 9, 2003 - The Italian/American Bocce Association of Punta Gorda, Florida.
Fourth annual Southwest Florida Open Bocce Tournament. For more Info, contact George Farruggio at Tel. # 941-575-0482, Fax. # 941-575-6231 or E-Mail

March 16, 2003 - Anthony's Pizza & N. Pagano Pluming - 1st annual bocce tournament at Hartley Park in Mount Vernon, N.Y. Limited to the 1st 16 four-person teams.
Respond to Guy at (

March 28 & 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 ($50 per man) Based on 18 teams, Register by March 15, 2003, Contact Skinny Battista (239) 540-8246 or

March 29, 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: or email

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

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

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


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.
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