The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. III, Issue 1 - January 5, 2004 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce 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 3, Issue #1 - January 5, 2004
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2004 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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 (author@joyofbocce.com) or snail mail (Mario Pagnoni, P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844).

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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 volo style bocce

 Readers' feedback
Thanks for all the positive feedback to last week’s Year in Review issue.

Most reported that they would prefer the Joy of Bocce to stay weekly, but would understand if we went bi-weekly.

Dr. Cordano writes…

”I eagerly wait to sit down on Sunday evenings to read it, but understand your thinking about biweekly, because I have experienced a lot of deadlines in my multiple scientific research publications in the field of pediatric nutrition. Whatever you decide will be o.k.

By the way, I want to be the first buyer of your 2nd edition in 2004.”

Dr. C also offered to teach my bocce gang a little about raffa and volo. He calls international style punto, raffa, volo “…the REAL game (in which luck is a third rate citizen).”

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Brian Polantz of Cleveland, Ohio makes good sense…

“I like the once a week bocce newsletter. Above all, what I would most like to see for the game of bocce is television exposure in the form of tournaments. If we could get bocce tournaments televised, I believe this would be the most influential factor in improving everything about the sport, especially organizing it.

I am an avid watcher of billiards on ESPN and ESPN2. I think a lot can be taken from their organization. Tournaments are always held at casinos that provide excellent facilities and opportunity for advertisements. The tournaments often have varying rules for the 9 ball matches (varying rules? sounds familiar, but not a problem). I am sure there are Italian businesses and the like that would advertise on a television production (Sportscraft, Primo magazine, etc.). Of course, you would have to have good announcers, (perhaps that’s where avid bocce player John Madden could come in (even more incentive for people to watch).

The pro billiards association was smart because they changed their format so that more people wanted to watch. Eight ball and Straight pool used to be the dominant (tournament) versions of pool until they wanted a better, more exciting way to televise the sport.

They made the necessary changes to the game and players accepted the change. Why? They adapted to the type of game that would win them popularity on television as well as the most prize money. Prize money equals more average players wanting to play great, plus beginners taking a bigger interest.

I was thinking what kind of bocce would be best for television. International rules? Open rules? Televised bocce might only be possible with singles events. Four player teams might be too difficult with all the time wasted arguing plays, etc...Or maybe that is what people would enjoy watching more. With four player teams some kind of shot clock would have to be introduced (just as there is one in televised billiards). I think that televised bocce is definitely a possibility.

I remember when curling was on television for the Olympics. I know many people who watched as well as myself (reminded me of bocce). I am tired of turning on ESPN and seeing cheerleading contests and hunting dog retrieval contests. All it takes is a little organization. Perhaps the USBF could have a major role. Bocce is a great sport for many people, but its growth is being hampered by its lack of exposure. Let’s get this game televised!”

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Peter Rabito of Long Island (who always signs “Your Bocce Brother”) is on the same page…

“First, I would like to say that the ezine should continue to be issued every week. I thoroughly enjoy it and look forward to reading it every Monday with my morning coffee. Don't Change A Thing! It is the only way to get any type of Bocce information.

Which leads me to my main point. Through your ezine, I get to read about National and International Bocce events. I also get local stories that bring a smile to my face. These grassroots articles will eventually propel Bocce to the next level - the Olympics. Obviously, having the sport accepted into the Olympic games will do wonders exposure wise, but we need to get the game out there locally. We need advanced media coverage.

Being in the television industry, I am looking for ways to get that exposure. What is needed is proper venues and unfortunately - financial backing. Perhaps the manufacturers of Bocce products need to get more involved. Maybe as an idea they can contribute funds to help build courts in communities that don't have them or possibly match funds raised by local clubs. Or, buy ad time on television networks. Advertising sells as everyone knows. These companies have the capital to do it and in turn will benefit financial by selling their products.

I can't help but wonder in amazement the "sports" that major television Networks such as ESPN and ABC aired this past year. In no particular order they are:

National Cheerleading competition
2003 Billiard Trick Shot Magic
ESPN World Championships of Poker
2003 Pro Rodeo Championships
Truck and Tractor Pull Championships
Westminster Dog Show
Great Outdoor Games (includes Fishing, Sporting Dogs, Target Shooting and Wood Cutting events)

But this past weekend took the prize for me. Going through the channels, I landed on ESPN and found myself watching, are you ready for this:
The 2003 Jump Rope Championships!

Jump Roping. You mean to tell me that people in America and the World alike would rather watch jump roping then Bocce? I've had it! Something needs to be done! We need to petition ESPN and other Networks that air sporting events to show some form of Bocce. I guess that is the problem. What should they air? Here are some venues that may interest the Bocce community worldwide:

United States Bocce Championships (Illinois, USA)
World Bocce Championships (Switzerland)
World Series of Bocce (Rome, NY)
Volo World Championship (Nice, France)

Sorry if this turned into a rant! I just want to start dialogue on how we can get this ancient and competitive sport the proper television coverage it deserves!”

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Two readers ask about bocce venues in their areas…

One writes…

“I live in Ashland, Oregon and we have two nice courts here. I am interested in finding out about places where I might play in the Sacramento and Napa/Sonoma areas of California, since I have relatives in that area that I visit. Do you know of public places to play in those areas or can you suggest a way that I might find out.”

and another asks…

“Could you give me locations and phone numbers of Bocce Ball Courts in the San Francisco Bay Area?

{Any reader who can supply the answers to these requests, please REPLY and I will get the word out here.}

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Dave Barry talks Petanque...

Did you see humor columnist Dave Barry's syndicated column this week? He wrote about, and poked a little fun at petanque after witnessing the U.S. Open Petanque Tournament on Miami Beach. At one point he writes "It's sort of like bocce, except it's played with steel balls called boules."

Barry lampoons the game with quips like...""As far as I can tell, it is never played far from a bar" and "When a team scores 13 points it's time to go to the bar." He adds that the tournament was "...watched by by an appreciative crowd that ranged, at times, up to five spectators."

Still, the game and some of its top names (Louis Toulon, Marco Foyot) got national exposure - Barry is a "heavy hitter" and he accurately listed web sites for readers to follow up on (www.petanqueamerica.com, www.marcofoyot-officiel.com.). This was VERY good for the game of petanque!

Check out the petanqueamerica site and click on Fun Stuff, then view the MPEG files under More Fun Stuff. The first one is a hoot! It is billed as...

"The funniest commercial for Japp candy bars, where a pétanque boule plays a very important role. It won several awards."

P.S. I sent Barry a letter describing bocce and a complimentary copy of the Joy of Bocce. I hope he makes fun of bocce in a future column.

Visit petanqueamerica.com...

 Photos of the week
This week’s photos come courtesy of George Danner of Griffin, Georgia, a self professed “bocce nut” of 15 years. They chronicle construction of his two home bocce courts. Please follow George’s lead and send us photos of your bocce venue.

I think we are beginning to see a positive trend…people building two backyard courts because their bocce crew is growing, and one court is no longer enough.

The “rock dust” courts are 76’ by 12’ with sideboards of 4 by 6 treated lumber. Danner says “I added two horseshoe pits for bowlers waiting to roll.”

According to Danner, “We have a core group of guys that roll in 6 tournaments per year. This group has been together for 11 years. The tournaments are local, just a bunch of soccer coaches and dads and former players. We got started at one location (Peach Tree City) in Fayetteville, GA at a friend’s house. He converted his very fine back yard into two 60x12 grass courts. Set up tournaments and gave out trophies and champagne. Then my nephew got hooked and built two 70x12 grass courts. This summer 3 of us built courts with rock dust as the playing surface. Two 70x12 courts, one 70x12, and my courts at 76x12.

We owners plan to get together and set up a tournament circuit soon. We represent 4 counties and all courts are within 1 hour. With the rock dust, we can bowl year round. We even keep a "Bocce Digest" from games rolled at PTC. Every two years we have the "Bocce Cup" between Griffin bowlers and Peach Tree City bowlers. The PTC boys are 3-1 in victories (12 man teams). Next BC at my courts, 2005.

We have the Fall Festival at my nephew’s house with 60 plus bowlers. Not much serious bowling, but great food and drink. We have one tournament in honor of a fellow bowler who passed away from cancer. The ages run from middle 50's to 20's in our bocce crowd. We have a lot of fun rolling and once a rookie rolls, he/she is hooked."

{Two courts, fire pit, horseshoe pits, beautiful, rustic area, electricity to run a television or other appliance…what could be better? Thanks George, this pictorial is a treat for me any my Joy of Bocce Weekly subscribers. Please ask your bocce group’s court owners if they will send photos of their set-ups.}

View this week's photos...

 Bocce product of the week
Chris Pfeiffer of Backyard Bocce, Inc. has brought to market a line of portable bocce courts that are both practical and reasonably priced. Pfeiffer’s concept grew out of his experience with Special Olympics, and a portion of the proceeds from sales benefit SO.

For large groups competing in an open field, Pfeiffer designed an ingenious series of bocce court templates that are easy to set up and take down. There are three different courts to choose from (all are 12’ by 60’). The courts are portable, lightweight, and extremely easy to assemble and disassemble.

Set-up is not unlike pitching a tent. You stretch out the template, pull it tight with bungee cords, then drive a couple of stakes into the ground. Next, plant some flags indicating end lines and half court (visual landmarks), and you are set to go within five minutes. Foul lines are demarcated by green and red vinyl sewn into the material ten feet from each end. The courts are ideal for casual, recreation players who want to “step up” a notch without spending big bucks for their own traditional court. Template courts are available in 1-inch vinyl width at $39.99 and 2-inch width at $59.99. Each carries a $10 shipping charge.

With the third court, which has sideboards,set-up is a little more involved, but not daunting. The written directions are clear and well illustrated, and you need only a cordless drill and a mallet. Cost is $349.99 plus $40.00 shipping.

The idea is to drill into the ground so that you can drive in some plastic ground anchors every ten feet in a straight line.

Then you insert metal support posts (which you attach to the mesh sideboards) into the ground anchors, taking care to keep that straight line. The process takes 30-45 minutes the first time, but once the ground anchors are in, the set-up time can be cut in half.

{Note: the ground anchors can be eliminated if you think you might want to set the court up in different locations on different occasions. Just drive the support posts directly into the holes that you drill in the ground. Use the ground anchors only if you want a permanent home for your court.}

To learn more, or to order click the link below...

More about Portable Courts...

 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}

Need a first-rate web site that doesn’t cost thousands?

I can offer you a package that puts you in control of your own website with no need for programming skills. These websites are perfect for small to mid-size businesses or hobbyists. I built joyofbocce.com with this package.

I can set up your site very quickly and then show you how to maintain it with simple "point and click" technology. So, whenever you have to make a change, run a special, offer a holiday sale, etc., you can handle it yourself without having to wait for a programmer to fit you into his schedule, (and without having to pay his $50 to $100 per hour fee).

We even include a toll-free number for tech support 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Coast Time.

Check out another site that I built with this technology - www.kenwaldiessc.org. 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.

Click the link below or the photo of our "board of directors" above to check out the site. Then email me at author@joyofbocce.com or call 978-686-8679 to chat with me “live” about your web site.

Visit one of my favorite web sites...

 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 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 wam@strato.net.

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

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."

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

Merchandise still available at joyofbocce.com

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