The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. III, Issue 20 - May 17, 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 weekly Ezine for bocce aficionados everywhere
Volume 3, Issue #20 - May 17, 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

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.

Check out volo style bocce...

Readers' feedback
Readers’ Feedback

{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

From Jim Cahoon, owner of the Cal-Italia Restaurant in Sonoma, California…

“Late last fall we completed a top quality 12x60 cement curb court surrounded by a brick surface and ringed with tables on the patio area of our restaurant with sodium night lights that are as bright as day. We're launching the court with a grand opening on June 19th and hope to get enough interested names to start organized play soon thereafter. We'll have the cameras rolling and hope to get some good pictures to share. As a regular Sunday night reader I thought you may have some experience with launching a new court and some ideas on attracting folks to the opening.

So far we plan on having demonstrations and instruction and were thinking we might get some celebrity player here for an hour or two. I seem to remember a couple of guys from Palo Alto or somewhere south of San Francisco that placed highly in recent international competition. You wouldn't have names and/or contact info for them would you?

We'd really appreciate any ideas for promoting our court and making our opening successful.”

{Here’s hoping that reprinting this stimulates some interest. As far as finding bocce “celebrity players” goes…contact Mike Grasser at - Mike’s a veritable Who’s Who of bocce notables.}


Mike Grasser reports that there are new specs for the international pallino. Its weight is being increased from 60g to about 90g in an attempt to make it more difficult to become airborne after being struck. This is a safety measure as the pallino can become a dangerous projectile when hit by fast rolling raffas or high flying volo attempts.


Gene Semenza of San Bruno, CA tells of 6 courts in a city park (photos to follow in a week or two). The Italian American Citizens Club hosts what is informally termed a “coffee & doughnut league.” One morning a spectator noted that there was a lot of yelling and screaming going on at the bocce courts.
“What’s all the commotion with the bocce?” He asked.
“Oh, they play for money there – it gets a little heated at times.”
“Wow! How much do they play for to get that intense?”
“Oh, a buck a game.”


Boccemon Tom McNutt reports that interest in his “Oyster Kits” (see Bocce Product of the Week) is up. “People interested in the kits should contact me directly by e-mail ( or phone (360-224-2909).”

His webmaster has just completed building a kit page. McNutt adds “I enjoy my work, and hope that my future clients are as satisfied as my last! This is my goal!”

Boccemon's new oyster kit web page...

Photos of the week
This week’s pictures are of our 3rd annual Ken Waldie Senior Sports Circuit, Inc. bocce tournament. They show one way to run an event when you have a small number of teams entered.

There are not many people playing in this area (northeastern Mass.). The pockets of play in the surrounding areas and southern New Hampshire seem to be populated by players who prefer to compete locally in their nearby venues. I think this will change as our group connects with more and more bocce aficionados.

In addition, backyard players tend not to enter tournaments, fearing they'll be overmatched. There are lots of candlepin bowling lanes around here. People will say “Oh, so-and-so plays in a league – she must be good.” But heck, anybody can play in a league – you sign up and pay your $5 or $10 a week, and you’re a league player rolling three strings every Thursday night. Whether you knock down a 400 pins or toss 400 gutter balls – you’re in a league. The same holds true for bocce – just because you play in a league or a tourney doesn’t mean you’re a superstar. Sure, if the tourney offers big cash prizes, you can bet that top players will find there way there, but we’re talking here about low key events – those that promote the game while offering people some fun while making a few bucks for a good cause.

Although our events commemorate Ken Waldie, our friend and victim of 9/11, this year’s tourney honored our league MVP, Armando Iannalfo, who succumbed to cancer in 2004.

No one in our group enjoyed the bocce competition more than Armando. He even went so far as to schedule his chemotherapy sessions around our Monday morning bocce league.

Famous for his bank shots off the sideboards, friends have suggested that we “take comfort as thunderstorms roll in, for it is not just bad weather - the thunderclaps you will hear is just Armando banking a few more balls in heaven!”

We originally had 8 teams entered, a small turnout that lends itself nicely to a round robin or double elimination format. The problem with double elimination (2 losses and you are out) is that some teams will be out pretty quickly – the so-called “two and barbecue” scenario. For round robin play you can break the 8 into two groups of 4 for “pool play” – each plays the other three teams in their pool (teams get a minimum of 3 games). After pool play, the teams are seeded 1 through 4. If tie-breakers are needed because of identical records, you can track things like record against each other, fewest points allowed, etc.

Next you can let the top two seeds in each pool continue to play for the title. This could be via a four-team single-, or double-elimination bracket or you could have the top seed on one side play the #2 seed on the other side and vice versa. In this way two of the four remaining teams would get a fourth game, and the two winners of those matches would get a fifth game. The idea is to maximize the number of games for the participants. Of course, you have to balance this with the number of courts and the number of hours available for play.

Two teams of our original 8 cancelled and we were left with just six entries. We decided to set up 3 courts and offer a round robin (each team plays the other 5 teams, guaranteeing 5 matches). The top two seeds would play a single match for the title. To keep things moving, we played the round robin games to just 8 points, and scheduled matches one half-hour apart. We started at 9:00 AM after a little coffee and pastry and a few words about our programs and our friend Armando Iannalfo. We finished at noon with pizza and the finals.

The games moved right along with almost no “down time” between matches. The only time a team had a short wait was when they finished a match quickly and their next opponents were still playing.

At one point I said to Dick Corrente, one of our Monday morning regulars… “Wow! These are the 10:30 games going on now and it’s only 10:15. When did you ever see a tournament that was ahead of schedule?”

“Well,” offered the cagey veteran, “You’re dealing with skilled professionals here.”

The event was a big success. Players got coffee and pastry, a t-shirt with our Ken Waldie logo and Armando’s name on it, at least 5 matches, pizza, and the winners took home hooded sweatshirts as champions.

{If you have other suggestions for running tourneys with a small number of teams, pleae REPLY.}

View this week's photos...

Bocce product of the week
Boccemon Tom McNutt is at it again. This time he has created a bocce court kit that includes the basic materials (sideboards and top dressing) that can be shipped to your door so that you, or the contractor of your choice, can build an oyster shell court in your own backyard.

Boccemon Court Kits

Here is the concept in McNutt’s own words…

“People from around the country, and as far away as Malta, have inquired about how to overhaul their bocce court surfaces. Folks have heard about oyster shell being used in court construction and want to know the benefits. Next, they want to know how to ship it to places like Oyster Bay, New York or Merritt Island, Florida. It is not cost effective for our clients to fly us about the country to build or renovate bocce courts.

Boccemon’s solution is simple. We reproduced our court surface formula in “kit” form. This allows local contractors or “do-it -yourselfers” to install quality oyster courts, with predominately local materials, for the cost of a “common” clay or stone dust court. Boccemon’s “Rain Country” Blend is specially formulated to drain quickly and play fast. While initial maintenance is frequent (every 5 to 10 games), our courts harden over time, reducing grooming to every 40 to 50 games, depending on style and level of play. Whether you play Bocce or Pétanque – you’ll love this surface.

Consider having a bocce court installed at your home this week - delivered to your door.

Our kits are made for people who want the best without having to pay top dollar. By providing our customers with a kit, we allow them to control expenses. Every court is different due to the personal touches various builders add, and which accessories owners are looking for.

A basic court arrives on three skids. One is the partially assembled wooden perimeters. The other two are ready to install Boccemon “Rain Country” Blend court surface material.

Pallet #1 - The Side Rails
Boccemon has developed a great system for quick installation with maximum performance. Customers can choose from 10’ or 12’ widths, and 60’ or 76’ lengths. Anything else is “custom”, which we are happy to provide! Our courts are capped with 2”x 5” non treated lumber ready for application of stain or paint to client’s desired color scheme.

Pallets #2, #3, or more - Boccemon “Rain Country” Blend
We use sturdy bulk bags for packing a ton of
Boccemon’s secret formula for transport. Two tons will supply enough topping for approximately 1” of coverage on a 10’ x 60’ court.

Customers experience significant savings by using local, trusted contractors to do the installations. However, we believe that, with guidance, most people with basic trade skills can assemble their own.

Can be installed anywhere trucks deliver bulk freight.

Shipped with video instructions so that local contractors can do the installations.

Makes bocce courts more affordable to more people.

Takes three people less than three days to build a court once the site has been leveled.

Check out my GIF slide show of the last one we installed. It is on my Court Installation page and shows the entire process.”

Contact Boccemon Tom McNutt at 360-224-2909 or for more details or to order.

Click to view boccemon's site - you have to promise to come back!...

Non bocce product of the week
Motives customized cosmetics – everything from lipsticks to eye shadow to mascara to just about anything you might desire to enhance your natural good looks.

Discover choice, innovation and a customized look in the world of Motives cosmetics. Motives hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic cosmetics offer you cutting-edge style, vivid color and a wide variety of attractive makeup choices.

Learn more about Motives Customized Cosmetics...

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.

May 22, 2004 - Pittsburg Bocce Federation - Buchanan Park, Pittsburg, CA - Open – 4 person team - contact Manny and Lydia Romo 925-754-4890.

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 Ron Jacobs (209) 957-1223, or David Canclini (209) 957-3314,

June 5, 2004 - Antioch Bocce Federation - Chichibu Park Antioch, CA - Open – 4 person team - contact Karen King @ 925-778-1946.

June 9, 2004 - Detroit Lions Coach “Mariucci’s Celebrity Bocce Ball Tournament” at Palazzo di Bocce - see

June 12-13, 2004 - Northeast States / Canada Classic ($100 entry fee) Mens Doubles - Toccolana Club - contact Walt Semeniak 315-793-3070.

June 19, 2004 - Fairfield Bocce Federation, 1200 Civic Center Dr., Fairfield, CA - Women’s Open Tournament – 4 person team - contact Frank Rossi @ 707-425-2621.

June 25-27, 2004 - American Legion - Farrell, PA
four players - Bob Churko Memorial - contact 724-342-7112.

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:

July 10-11 World Series Warm-up - Men 4 player & Woman 4 player - Toccolana Club - contact Walt Semeniak 315-793-3070.

July 17, 2004 - John Magnetti Mem. Open Tournament - 4 person team - Fairfield Bocce Federation - 1200 Civic Center Dr., Fairfield, CA - contact Frank Rossi @ 707-425-2621.

July 23-25, 2004 - Italian Home - Farrell, PA - four players - contact 724-346-6931.

July 24, 2004 - 2nd Annual Lakefront Bocce Tournament - Benefits Special Olympics Wisconsin - McKinley Park - Milwaukee, WI - 64 four-person teams - $100 entry fee - Contact Chis Pfeiffer @ 262-797-0320 or

July 31 - Aug 1, 2004 - MVR Club - Youngstown, OH
four players - contact 330-746-7067.

August 7, 2004 - ABA Senior Championships - Open – 4 person team - Must be over 55 - City of Danville - Sycamore Valley Park - MUST HAVE ABA CARD – Contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169.

August 13-15, 2004 - American Legion - Farrell, PA
two players - contact 724-342-7112.

August 14, 2004 - ABA Open Championships Open – 4 person teams - Martinez Bocce Federation - Waterfront Park, Martinez, CA - MUST HAVE ABA CARD - contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169.

Aug 14-15, 2004 - Paul Vitagliano Memorial Men's 4 player & Women's 4 player - Toccolana Club - contact Walt Semeniak 315-793-3070.

August 21, 2004 - Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person team - So. SF IACC Orange Ave. Mem. Park South San Francisco, CA - contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-871-7732.

August 22, 2004 - ABA Volo Championships – 3 person team - So. SF IACC Orange Ave. - Mem. Park, South San Francisco, CA - MUST HAVE ABA CARD - contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169.

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

Clubhawk Gold Measure - string instead of steel tape - precise - fits in your pocket

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