The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 12 - March 28, 2005 
•   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 4, Issue #12 - March 28, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

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Hello bocce friends,

Last week I was a guest for a local radio interview about bocce. I was on the air for a full hour and we got a number of phone calls from people who said my comments brought back old memories of bocce in the area. In every case these were fond memories.

As always, callers compare the game to shuffleboard or horseshoes. These comparisons are valid I guess, but bocce has a cerebral aspect that horseshoes does not and shuffleboard only approximates. Those other games are fine. I like them. But they can't hold a candle to our game.


Yes, we've begun the process of proposing to the zoning board a reduction in the size of our bocce venue in Salem, NH. Our four 12' by 80' courts are currently under a 208' long greenhouse structure, and we will offer to eliminate the greenhouse covering over the part that is closest to the street. This will have the effect of setting the structure back 90 feet or so from the street, making it much less conspicuous to passers-by. We'll keep you posted.

We hope to get the project approved and have a dedication/kick-off tourney followed by a posting of Photos of the Week.

Also, we are still working on fund-raising for our non-profit group's trip to Pittsburgh for the Senior Olympics in June. We hope to send a team of 12 softball players (age 55 - 59) to compete and to honor our late friend Ken Waldie (a victim of 9/11/01). Pittsburgh was his original home town and we think it appropriate that we participate (and meet his mom who still lives there).

Click to learn more about our late friend Ken Waldie, a naval academy grad and one of the finest human beings I ever had the good fortune to know. There's a place to make a contribution to our 501 C-4 organization if you so desire.


2nd edition news...

The 2nd edition is in stock and selling well!

I am accepting orders and can ship the next day. The 300-page book retails in bookstores for $19.45 and at the publisher's web site for $18.75.

Click the link below to order an autographed copy from me. Shipping will be $4.00 (US Priority Mail).

Please let me know how you want the book autographed (type the details in the "Special Inscription/Autograph" box provided).

Also, you can order the book directly from the publisher ( ). They even offer an electronic version at just $4.95 (you download it - no shipping charge).

Click on the image above to order from the publisher's web site or the link below to get an autographed copy directly from me. {If you order from the publisher's site enter Pagnoni in the box for Author = ...}


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 (see Forward link at bottom of newsletter) 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.


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) with any that you will grant permission for us to reprint.

Order an autographed copy of the Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

Readers' feedback
Readers’ Feedback

{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

I'm working hard to promote The Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition to bookstores and other retailers. You can help - getting the book to a larger audience is a great way to help our game grow. I would appreciate it if you could take the time to collect and send me the mailing address of your favorite bookstore. I'll send a specially designed postcard that tells them about the book and how they can resell it in their stores at no risk...the books are fully returnable if not sold. To the right is a scanned image of the front of the postcard.


Peter Rabito reports on Bocce Goes Broadway!

"Well, Bocce Balls - The Read went off pretty good! The two performances were done in front of around 100 people per night. Abe Vigoda, of The Godfather and Barney Miller fame was in the audience on Tuesday night. After the performance, I asked him how he liked the show and he said it was quite enjoyable. I asked him if he would be so kind to sign my script (which he did) and he then proceeded to say that I was very funny in my role of Bocce Galoop! Needless to say, that made my night!

Executive producer (Barbara Ricci) would now like to take it to a full run performance off Broadway and she asked if I would be interested in continuing the role of Bocce Galoop - and I of course said yes!

Don't know what the schedule will be but when it starts, I'll let you know..."

{Good we have a thespian bocce player in our fold.}


Ben Musolf extends an invitation to the Davidsons (last week's issue - looking for bocce venues to visit on her trip from Delaware to Alaska) and to anyone else who wants to visit Campo di Bocce...

"Everyone is always welcome to visit Campo di Bocce. We sponsor a group of Special Olympians every year from February to May. We provide 4 courts every Sunday for 35 Special Olympic players for 2 hours from 10am to noon. If Ms. Davidson would like to visit Campo di Bocce in Sunny California this summer, please forward this on to her!"

{ Visit the Campo di Bocce on-line @ }


Joy of Bocce faithful John Ross responded to my question about what this summer's "Norcal" Tournament is all about (July 9th in Martinez, CA)...

"The Norcal stands for Northern California. This tournament has been hosted by the Martinez Bocce Federation for many years and used to serve as a Northern California Championship Tournament. We now have USBF Western sector Championship Tournaments in both open and raffa, but the 'Norcal' continues as a great tournament event and tradition drawing up to 30 teams."

{Thanks John. That clears it up. For more info on the 4-player event, contact Ken Dothee @ 925-229-2157.}


Michael Fortunato of Wethersfield, CT likes the new bocce book but suggests...

"It was very useful to see the variety of different court layouts; a potential positive improvement in my opinion would be to increase the size of the photos at least 2 times larger & to publish in color if not too cost prohibitive."

{That is the only criticism I myself have with the book. The problem is this. Most of the pictures were submitted to me from around the country as digital photos at 72 dpi (dots per inch). These are fine for the internet, but not high enough resolution for good print reproductions. The larger we tried to make them, the more grainy they became. The end result is a trade-off between size and resolution.

To print in color would put the purchase price for the book out of sight. However, readers can get the ebook version from the publisher. This is only $4.95 (no shipping) and the pictures are in full color.

Finally, cost for a hardcover version is out of reach for the time being.}


Marie Van Beveren asks...

"I am interested in the 7 foot drag brush, but I have a concern about storage. My question is .. Are the handles removable for storage...i.e. are they attached with screws or wing nuts so that I can remove then and thus put the unit in our outdoor storage shed?"

{Yes, you can disassemble the drag brush, but I think that would become a nuisance. I hang mine up in the storage shed. It is placed against a wall and doesn't take up much space.}

Get a little more info on the drag brush...

Photos of the week
This week’s photos were submitted by Capt. Mike Patterson and Ellen Patterson of Arlington Virginia/Blue Ridge Mountains at Mini-Tara.

They showcase " economical 27 meter by 4 meter grass court with 8' landscape timbers and rebar rods to hold timbers in place with Bocce ball rest made from plastic sun resistant electrical conduit (2 inch). Bocce on a budget estimated $125.00, score board made from Chris-Craft plywood and Italian wine corks and bungee/parachute cord. All friends and family love Bocce and your site will be where we buy gifts for awards. Thanks for sharing Bocce."

The Pattersons add...

"Enjoying the awesome newsletter! Pix of Mont Bleu, AKA Monte, a 6 month Yorkshire Terrier (above photo) who loves to play Bocce. He weighs 7 LBS and rolls full size Bocce balls at 2.5 lbs for hours on end...and at Mini-Tara we all use Italian Vespas scooters to get around the Bocce neighborhood...Thank you for your Bocce Newsletter."

{Many thanks to the Pattersons and to ALL who send photos. Please follow their lead and submit info on bocce in your neck of the woods. This cooperation from bocce aficionados is the lifeblood of The Joy of Bocce Weekly}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Rain Country Blend by

Here is a description of the oyster shell bocce surface distributed by Boccemon Tom McNutt in his own words...

"Our Rain Country Blend was created from sheer desire to have an outdoor oyster surface that drained while providing as much speed and as little bounce as possible. We had high expectations for the surface as it rains here almost as often as we like to play.

People who want an instant court surface probably shouldn't look to us. We build lasting quality in court surfaces that can take time to harden sufficiently. If you don't play on the court, it won't pack. If it doesn't pack you will never get the desired speed out of the surface. For best results, play on the surface often and keep it moist.

Occasionally, as the balls cause depressions in the court, you will need to sweep some of the fines around. This process is easier on oyster courts than any surface we know.

Boccemon's Rain Country Blend has the endorsement of the US Bocce Federation. We are the only folks in the country with a nationally marketed non-clay bocce surface. We have sold from Washington to California and from Delaware to New Jersey.

Part of owning a court is learning to maintain it. This is a joy for most players so long as the process is speedy and fairly effortless. Properly blended shells create as ideal a playing surface as any naturally occurring product when considering high speed / low bounce and reduced maintenance. Tony, at the Italian Cultural Center in Vancouver B.C. spends about 27 hours a week to keep their 4 indoor clay courts in top shape. I spend about 15 minutes each week during most of the year and play an average of 40 games/week. My court isn't as nearly perfect as those at the Italian Cultural Center, but I spend more time playing bocce than grooming the surface."

Click to order or to learn more about Boccemon's Rain Country Blend...

Non bocce product of the week
Softball season is fast approaching!

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.


April 9, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - 4 Person Open USBF - contact Bill Schlaefer @ (408) 379-9409.


April 9, 2005 - Illinois - West Frankfort - J & S Professional Pharmacy/Old King Coal Indoor Bocce Tournament - contact Bob Whitlow at or 937-1668. Open to 16 teams.


April 10, 2005 - California - Waterloo, Stockton - Open - 4 Players Youth (8th grade or 12 years old or younger) - contact Annette De Pauli @ (209) 931-4594.


April 18-19, 2005 - California - North Shore Lake Tahoe - Open – 4 Person Teams - Tahoe Biltmore - Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314.


April 23, 2005 - Washington - Bellingham Bay Tournament - hoping for 48 teams - using open rules. Will set up as many as 12 courts (Field Turf surface with Backyard Bocce’s perimeter courts). Contact


April 23, 2005 - California - South San Francisco. Open - 3 person teams - So. SF IACC, Orange Ave. Mem. Park. MUST HAVE ABA CARD. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


April 23, 2005 - California - East Portal, Sacramento - Open – 4 Players. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ (209) 296-6151.


April 30, 2005 - California - Vallejo - April in Vallejo Open – 4 person Teams - Vallejo Bocce Federation, 333 Amador St. Contact Dick Gomez @ 707-554-9916.


April 30, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - Raffa - Singles Ranking - Men - contact Ben Musolf @ (408) 395-7650.


May 7, 2005 - California - San Mateo - Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person teams - P.I.A.S.C. - Beresford Recreation Center, 28th Ave. & Alameda de la Pulgas. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 7, 2005 - California - San Mateo - Raffa – 3 person team - P.I.A.S.C. 100 “B” Street. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


May 14, 2005 - California - Martinez - Debbie Gerow Memorial Bocce Tournament - The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser - Open – 4 person teams - Martinez Bocce Federation, Waterfront Park - contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169


May 14, 2005 - Florida - St. Augustine - Bocce at the Beach - Sponsored by the Sons of Italy, St. Augustine Lodge # 2780 to benefit Northeast Florida Community Hospice. Limited to 30 two-person teams. US Bocce Federation open rules. Contact Guy Tomasello @ 824-7043 or


May 21, 2005 - California - South San Francisco - Open -2 men/2 women - So. SF IACC - Orange Ave. Mem. Park - MUST HAVE ABA CARD. Contact Rudy Bertolozzi @ 650-583-9936.


May 28, 2005 - California - Stockton - I.A.C. - Volo – Doubles (Men) contact Ron Jacobs @ (209) 957-1223. Raffa – Singles Ranking, (Women) contact JoAnn Jacobs @ (209) 957-1223.


June 5, 2005 - California - Sutter Creek - Open – 4 Players. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ (209) 296-6151.


June 18 - 25, 2005 - Michigan - Orion - U.S. National Bocce Championships – Palazzo di Bocce, 4291 S. Lapeer Rd, Orion, MI 48359. Contact Bryan Sanborn at 248-371-9987 x13 or


June 25, 2005 - California - Fairfield - Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person team - Fairfield Bocce Federation, 1200 Civic Center Dr. Contact Richard Meccette @ 707-434-0190.


July 4, 2005 - California - Martinez - Fourth of July Tournament - Open – 2 person team. Martinez Bocce Federation - Waterfront Park. Contact Bill Kantana @ (925) 228-3635.


July 9, 2005 - California - Martinez - Open - "Norca"l (Northern California), 4 Players. Contact Ken Dothee @ 925-229-2157.


July 8-10, 2005 - Ohio - Dayton. The Bocce Classic XI tournament will field about 70 teams competing for over $7,000 in prize money and raising over $10,000 for local charities. For information check


July 14 – 16, 2005 – California - Indio - World’s Largest indoor guaranteed purse in the history of bocce ($16,000) - Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino - Phone: 800-827-2946. Contact Phil Ferrari @ 800-652-6223 - Open Division and (Fun) Challenge Division.


July 15 - 17, 2005 - New York - Rome - World Series of Bocce. 4 person teams - open rules - contact Toccolana Club @ 315-339-3609.


July 16, 2005 - California - Fairfield - John Magnetti Mem. Tourn. Open – 4 person team - Fairfield Bocce Federation, 1200 Civic Center Dr. Contact Richard Meccette @ 707-434-0190.


July, 30, 2005 - Michigan - Sylvan Lake - Michigan State Bocce Championships. Open to Michigan residents only. Contact Mike Grasser @ 248-505-4744.


August 6, 2005 - ABA Senior Championships - Open – 4 person teams - Must be age 55 or over - TBA - MUST HAVE ABA CARD. Contact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


August 20, 2005 - Michigan - Palazzo di Bocce Open Tournament. Contact Bryan Sanborn at 248-371-9987 x13 or email


September 16 - 18 - Canada - Ontario - Windsor - Ciociaro Club - 3 person teams - $6,000.00 guaranteed first place.


September 18 - 25, 2005 - Michigan – Orion - World Bocce Championships – Palazzo di Bocce, 4291 S. Lapeer Rd, Orion, MI 48359. Contact Bryan Sanborn at 248-371-9987 x13 or

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