The Joy of Bocce Weekly
 In This Issue: Vol. III, Issue 11 - March 15, 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 #11 - March 15, 2004
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2004


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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.


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.

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.


2nd Edition Update

Over the next three weeks or so, I thought it would be interesting to chronicle my progress in getting the second edition of The Joy of Bocce published. If nothing else, it will coerce me to get some writing done each week as I report the progress here.

Here is my status report as of 3/15/04

Number of query letters sent in 2004 = 18
Number of rejections = 6
Number of requests to view proposal = 2

Writing progress report...

Chapter 1 Done - about 10% new material
Chapter 2 Done - about 20% new material
Chapter 3 Done - about 50% new material
Chapter 4 Done - about 10% new material
Chapter 5 Done - 40% new material
Chapter 6 Done - 20% new material
Chapter 7 Done - 50% new material
Chapter 8 Done - 50% new material
Chapter 9 Done - 40% new
Chapter 10 Done - 30% new

New Chapter – "Bocce Courts We’ve known and Loved" - still sifting through photos to pick best ones

New Chapter – "Organizing a League" - Done

New Chapter – "Best of The Joy of Bocce Weekly" - Done

New Chapter - "Bocce & Special Olympics" - Done

Stay tuned.

Read what they've said about the first edition...

 Readers' feedback
{Publisher's comments in brackets}

Dr. Joe Kalil of Methuen, Massachusetts writes from Sicily...

"After a wonderful homemade Italian dinner today, we had the opportunity to play Bocce in the back yard of this picturesque farmhouse. It was in the rough, (partial stone, sand and grass playing surface) but it was fun!!

Leo and I won over Bob and Dick under the watchful eye of the old time farmer! He pointed to me with his cane - indicating the MVP!"

{It doesn't surprise me that Dr. Joe (one of the team captains in our Monday morning league) was the MVP. Leo. Bob, and Dick (also players in our league) are no slouches, but Dr. Joe has the skilled hands of a surgeon.}


George Farruggio laments...

"I really don't understand. There are so many bocce clubs in the U. S. A. Why don't the clubs participate in the tournaments in Florida during the winter months? The tournaments give you a chance to have a vacation and play the great game of BOCCE. As the saying goes COME ON DOWN."

{Makes perfect sense to me - sunshine, vacation, and bocce.}


Brian Polantz of Cleveland, OH responds to Guy DeCarlo's (Pittsburgh) request for tournament info in his area...

"You can call Mike Androsko at 724-342-5919. He sends out a list of tournaments in the Sharon, PA and Youngtown, OH areas. There are usually a dozen or so tournaments in the summer (2 and 4 man) and
several in the winter. Also, you can make contact with the Spartaco Club in Arnold, PA. They may have tournaments and are sure to have leagues."


Wendy Lindquist of BellaBocce and Lindquist Landscape Design comments...

"Just wanted to touch bases and tell you again how much I enjoy getting your bocce updates. I appreciated your fun comments about Petanque and very much appreciated you comments about when competition gets out of hand.

I have hired an assistant designer to help me with the landscape design this year so I can focus more time on the bocce courts. I was too busy last year to pursue it to the degree I would have liked. So far this spring I have two installations and most likely another. And of course each court needs a viewing terrace and some landscaping to make it a pleasant environment.

Thanks for all your hard work and good spirit."

{Glad to hear that Wendy can spend more time on the bocce court construction part of her business - we need that here on the east coast. Bocce court gurus David Brewer (CA), Tom McNutt (WA) and Mike Grasser (MI) are a tad far for house calls.}


This interesting tidbit from

"To assist in a charity event where a large number of players needed to play in a tournament fashion in a very limited time frame, Bocce Standards Association proposed a match play tournament. We are not sure whether match play in bocce is new or is being done elsewhere.

The match play in bocce proposed is similar to match play in golf where score doesn't count, the only thing that counts is who won the hole. In bocce match play the only thing that counts is who won the frame. Match play can be used where control of the time to play a match is essential. The time to play a single frame is pretty consistent and by setting the number of frames to be played, the length of the match is controlled.

Measurements are at a minimum since only the 'In' ball needs to be determined. In a standard 12 point bocce game, the time to play can vary from a minimum of 3 frames (4 points per frame) to 23 frames (12 to 11 score, 1 point per frame). Match play is a convenient way to hold a tournament where the number of players or teams is so large that the number of courts and the available time cannot accommodate them if standard games are played. Also in match play if 4 points are scored in a frame, all is not lost since still only one frame was won.

To review our proposal for match play, go to, click on 'Game Information', and then click on 'Match Play Information'. You can click there for comments or suggestions which would be greatly appreciated."

{Click below to locate the above-mentioned Match Play Information}

Match Play Information...

 Photos of the week
This week's pics are again culled from the archives of past Photos of the Week. I am sifting through more than two year's worth of Joy of Bocce Weekly photos, trying to decide which ones to include in a chapter I'll call "Bocce Courts We've Known & Loved."

Speaking of pictures for this chapter…(2nd request…please help if you can)

I’ve set up the photos in a kind of geographic zigzag across the country, starting in New England and moving south and west. There are photos from MA, NH, CT, NY, PA, MD, NC, TN, GA, FL, MI, IL, AZ, NV, CA, and WA. If you can fill in the blanks with photos of other states, please do. The book will be much the better for it.

Also, I’ve written a piece on the “Kiss the Fanny” tradition (reprinted below) and would like a photo (rated G) of a picture or plaque or whatever people might use to observe this ritual.

If you can help, please do ASAP, as I am suffering from BPSS (Bocce Photo Stress Syndrome) and would like to put this project to bed soon.

Thanks in advance. (Second request…)

Kissing The Fanny

Pétanque, it appears, is responsible for the tradition whereby losing bocce or boules teams are obliged to “kiss the fanny.” Kissing fanny is the punishment for losing a game without scoring a single point. ALL players defeated by a shut-out have to kiss the fanny with the winning team serving as witnesses. This is why, wherever boules is played, a figure of a fake fanny is fervidly flaunted. Whether a painting, picture or ceramic sculpture, the unhappy losers are obliged to peck, in public, the usually generous cheeks of the image.

Legend has it that the tradition started in France's Savoy region. The first Fanny (a common first name in France) was a waitress at the Café de Grand-Lemps, circa World War I. A gentle and compassionate soul, she would allow customers who had lost at boules without scoring a solitary point to kiss her on the cheek.

One day it was the village mayor who had been “skunked” and came to collect his kiss. Reportedly, there was “bad blood” between the two, and intending to humiliate the mayor, Fanny stepped up onto a chair, lifted her skirt and offered him... her fanny! The mayor was up to the challenge and, two loud kisses echoed through the café…the beginning of a longstanding tradition...


Photos include...

Volume 2, Issue #16 - April 21, 2003

Three nicely maintained courts located in Brooklyn's Marine Park Bocce Club. The courts feature attractive perimeter fencing, a canopy structure at each end, and lights for night play. (Willie & Gloria Itzkowitz photo)


Volume 2, Issue #17 - April 28, 2003

Sonoma County, CA - John Robbins says he's found the vacation spot for bocce lovers.

”Billed as 'The heart of the wine country'. It is part of a vacation-rental property called HERON HILL in Healdsburg. The court is 12' x 78' and is A+ in quality - a clay/oyster-shell mix, topped off with oyster-shell flour - bella!”


Volume 2, Issue #26 June 30, 2003

Villa Tempo Italiano - Easton, PA
(Pam Richetta photo)


Volume 2, Issue #18 - May 5, 2003

The construction of two 90' x 12' courts at East Portal Park in Sacramento, CA. - John Ross photo.


Volume 2, Issue #20 - May 19, 2003

Pontelandolfo Club - Waterbury, CT. The "Ponte" Club has a bustling function hall as well as four indoor courts, two outdoor (covered), and four open outdoor courts.


Volume 2, Issue #23 - June 9, 2003

Martinez, CA – The Martinez Bocce Federation recently added a fifteenth court at the public facility in Waterfront Park. The courts belong to the City, but are maintained and controlled by the Club.

The new court has an asphalt paved base. There is a very thin layer of oyster shell topping, approximately 1/16 of an inch. (John Ross photo)


Volume 2, Issue #25 - June 23, 2003

Centennial Park - Park Ridge, IL. The two courts are 80' by 10' and are nestled neatly between Park Ridge's Community Center and Senior Center.


Volume 2, Issue #26 June 30, 2003

Alpine Country Club - Round Lake, IL. Two outdoor courts (80' by 10') featuring the Har-Tru surface from Lee Tennis.

View this week's photos...

 Bocce product of the week
The Budget Bocce Court by Bryan Mero

Bryan Mero (of fame) has created a very well crafted booklet on building a low budget bocce court. He's published it via the clever print-on-demand outfit CafePress.

It describes in detail how Mero was able to build his 60' by 10' court in California for less than $600.

Mero covers topics like...

Tools & supplies you'll need
Choosing the court's location
Should I roto-till?
How do I make it level?
Do I really need to use a lawn roller?
How do I level out the court surface?
What do I use as the mid-layer?
What is the top layer...crushed what?
Where do I mark foul lines?
What will court maintenance be like?

Interspersed with photos, drawings and personal notes from his own court construction experience this helpful little booklet is a definite "keeper."

Click to visit Ibocce's CafePress store...

 Non bocce product of the week
Softball season is coming!

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 50,000 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. Click the logo to the right to opt in if you do not already receive this ezine every Monday.

March 20, 2004 - Southwest Flordia Open, Punta Gorda, Florida, Contact George Farruggio 941-575-0482 or

March 27 & 28, 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

April 3, 2004 - Raffa Singles, Campo di Bocce, Los Gatos, CA - Contact Ben Musolf - 408-395-7650 or

April 17, 2004 - Second annual Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Open rules - Bellingham Sportsplex Indoor Soccer Field - for more info see tournament link on or contact

April 19-21, 2004 - Biltmore Hotel, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Contact Kyle Hughes 800-245-8667.

April 24, 2004 - Los Gatos Bocce Club, Los Gatos, California, Contact Bill Schlaefer @ 480-379-9409.

May 15, 2004 - Ken Waldie SSC, Inc. Tournament. Lawrence, Massachusetts. Four-player teams, 12' by 72' foot AstroTurf courts. Contact Mario Pagnoni at

May 24, 2004 - international invitational tournament - looking for teams from the US. Contact Bruce Fuller, proprietor of d'Asolo Vineyards of Oliver, B.C. Canada (Wine Capital of Canada) at

May 28 to June 5, 2004 – United States Championships, Stockton, CA. Contact Mike Conti @ 847-692-6223 or

July 9-11, 2004, Bocce Classic X, Dayton, Ohio. Contact Dick Bloom @ 937-439-7936 or email:

July 10, 2004, Northern California Bocce
Championships, Martinez Bocce Federation
(Waterfront Park facility housing 15 permanent
courts). Open rules. Contact Keith Tate 925-370-0633 or e-mail:

October 9 - 11, 2004 - North American Bocce Championship, Montreal. Contact Mike Conti @ 847-692-6223 or


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