The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 15 - April 18, 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 #15 - April 18, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Please add to your whitelist or address book in your e-mail program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.


Hello again bocce friends,

My wife and I just returned from a getaway weekend in the White Mountains of NH. I brought my camera in case I encountered any bocce games in progress, but New Hampshire is not exactly a hotbed for our sport.

I was able to introduce the game to one of the other guests at our bed and breakfast inn and he took to it readily. Virtually everyone we introduce the game to likes it - our problem is getting TV exposure.

I did have a nice encounter with the owner of an independent bookstore in Meredith, NH and she suggested a book signing and bocce play/demo in the adjacent park. We're setting that up for August and will keep you informed in case you just happen to be in the neighborhood.

I've left last week's photos up for another week - partly because I got back late and don't have the time and energy to post new ones...and partly because the cupboard is getting bare again. Please submit pictures of bocce play in your neck of the woods. I will appreciate it and our readers will too.

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 = ...}


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.


P.S. Did a friend send you this? Sign up to get your own here - - it's entertaining, useful, and complimentary.

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

Readers' Feedback
Readers’ Feedback

{Publisher’s comments in brackets}

Dr. Cordano sends the photo to the right and the following details...

"Pictured are 75' by 10.5 ' courts at Trinity (development 15 - 20 miles northwest of Tampa). Players right to left are Al Corsetti, Vicky Cordano, Brenda and Tony Mattets and Gino Perna. The courts are on a cement base covered by a smooth, fast carpet.

For a long time I've wanted to comment on the dangers of bocce courts (being hit by a ball or pallino while playing in the next court or when just observing). This can easily be prevented (95%) by building high rails (minimum 4 - 5 feet) over the top of the lateral walls or outside of the courts at both ENDS if spectators are to be in those positions...or within 25 - 35 feet.

Wherever you play, some players (unfortunately) try to KILL the bocce ball and throw with MAXIMUM POWER. Bocce is FINESSE over all, and if you "shoot - RAFFA - Spacca" - lobbing the ball more softly you will have far better control and avoid destroying the area of not having a heavy break after hitting the declared or desired objective. VOLO shooting carries the same potential.

We observe many courts with absolutely NO PROTECTION between side-by-side courts. All bocce clubs should carry good insurance."

{As usual, the good doctor makes good sense. I've seen some courts in New England and New York with chain link fencing for protection. This works fine as long as the mesh is small enough so that even a pallino cannot pass through. Some big-time European boccedromes have acrylic barriers like Plexiglas.}


Have received a number of questions about scoreboards of late - like this one from Bob Ferioli...

"Love your site. Do you have any idea where I can purchase a Bocce court scoreboard?"

{Here are the scoreboard retailers I know of and listed in my new book - check them out... (Tom McNutt, Washington), (David Brewer, California),

WWOBA - 800-BOCCE54 (Rico Daniele, Massachusetts),

Bulldog Bocce Products (Peter Rabito, NY)}


Several players weighed in on the concept of 45 degree corner case you missed that issue, the photos are up for another week.

"I have played in several tournaments with corner boards and find them as playing a game of billiards and not bocce. With corner boards you make the backboards live which I am not in favor of. Since the backboard is alive, I have also seen a player shoot and miss the ball only to see the ball come back off the backboard and strike the ball he was shooting at in the first place and make the point. That's Bocce? We are creating another game and trying to make the game easier. Bocce is really a game of concentration and finesse and hitting the corner of a bocce court is not finesse - actually I can do it blindfolded. I wish bocce players would experiment on making the backboard dead unless it touches another ball.

Keep the ball rolling and play the game that fits you."
Mike Conti (IL)


"When I built my first court I automatically included 45 degree angles because there wasn’t much info around at the time and I somehow believe they belonged there. Later when I bought your book and you started this ezine, I learned that my angles were an aberration, not the norm. I didn’t remove the angles because I had done such a good job of construction. We played several fun years on them.

The court was smallish at 50’ X 10’. Most of our play was with mixed family members, women and children above 12, neighbors new to the game, or old buddies wanting a new form of competition. They loved the angles.

Although exciting with loud ball collisions and unexpected caroms and rebounds, etc., I found that the player skills were not developing and the game was different than the bocce that I remembered watching as a kid that was loaded with tension. I found that in many frames the lesser skilled players would toss the pallino deep and use the angles to play and hope for good luck. It got to the point where more than half the frames were played deep.

When I moved and built my new court, I decided to leave them out. Most disliked this idea, having become dependent on the 'long ricochet' game for point scoring. However, I insisted since the court was now 65’ X10’ and I felt that the longer the court, the less skill involved in ricochet. We’ve played two family tournaments on it and the players are starting to like it. The players’ skills have vastly improved and there is a marked difference in the better players and those with little touch or feel.

Bottom line is for shorter courts (50 feet or less) and less skilled players, who play infrequently, go ahead, add the angles and make them removable. For long courts or for courts where the players play more than once a month and want real competition and skills growth, I recommend against it."

Tom Coyle (NJ)


John Robbins of San Carlos, CA sends info on a vacation spot with bocce amenity...

"An excellent court in Sonoma County, CA (60 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge). Court is 12' x 78' with crushed oyster shell and oyster flour topping. Visit website See photos of the west end of the court with picnic table on the court 'end zone'. Beautiful sunset with a view of the lake in one photo. Website shows the house, rental information, and other activities as well as the beautiful
Bocce court."


MOTHER'S DAY SALE - $3 off women's tee, totebag and apron using coupon code MUM05 - offer good until April 26.

View BBQ apron, totebag, tees with Joy of Bocce logo...

Photos of the week
This week’s photos (held over for second week) document our bocce group's experiment with 45 degree angle boards. We heard about the 45 degree boards being used in some areas and Mike Graser sent us a couple photos showing such play in Arizona. {Photos are of two 70' by 16' courts at the St. Francis Assisi Church/High School complex in Tucson, Arizona - compacted fine gravel playing surface.}

They not only use the angle boards, but a lot of bocce balls too! When the photos were taken, they were experimenting with 16 players and 32 balls in play.

The 45 degree angle boards are usually built right into the courts. But we just wanted to try it out for fun... so we got some make-shift angle boards that we could insert, then remove later.

We played at our friend Bill Hadley's home in Methuen, MA, a 12' by 64' stone dust court with swing boards at each end. We picked up a bunch of these 45 degree angles that the local high school used and was discarding. You’ll see that they are not cut exactly as we would want them - the facing piece doesn't go all the way across. It leaves a little flat spot that could stop the ball from caroming in the direction you intended.

We placed one in each of the court's four corners and played the backboards live just for this experiment. (To be in line with the way the game (open rules) is evolving today, we usually play the backboard dead – any ball which strikes the backboard without first touching a ball or the pallino is dead and removed from play). We tucked the angle boards in snugly, but the swing boards on this court are not easily removable, so we left them in place.

After a couple games we removed the angle boards, deciding that they made the game more like billiards than bocce. The swing boards slowed the path of the balls that hit the angle boards, preventing them from reaching their intended target. The experiment might have been better received if we could remove the swing boards - might try again at another court. Our initial findings = finesse and touch are more skillful than blasting and ricocheting. Playing the backboard dead requires more skill than keeping it live.

{Please REPLY with comments if you have experience with angle boards.}

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
Complete Greens (I'm always on the look-out for new, helpful products for our readers)

Complete GreensTM offers over 50 quality ingredients that comprise a unique food supplement. Rich in a wide variety of exotic natural components that cannot be found on a supermarket shelf, Complete GreensTM helps nutritionally support diets that have been compromised by today's hurried lifestyles. Available in tablet form or great-tasting powder.

Click to learn more...

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 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. 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 - 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.


Jun 11, 2005 - California - Martinez - Raffa – Singles Ranking, Men & Women. Contact Keith Tate @ 925-370-0633.


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 - "Norcal" (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 16, 2005 - St. Frances Cabrini - Open – 4 Players, ICF #191. Contact Vince Cusella @ 408-640-3543.


July 23, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - Raffa –3 Players, Sector Championship. Contact John Ross @ 408-354-0625.


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 13, 2005 - ABA Open Championships – 4 person Team - 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

Joy of bocce mugs, steins, caps, even BBQ aprons...

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