The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 28 - August 1, 2005 
•   Notes from the publisher
•   Bocce product of the week
•   Bocce news & 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 #28 - August 1, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

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Hello again bocce buddies,

We've had some good bocce news hereabouts. A brief synopsis follows with details in the "bocce news & readers' feedback" section below.

A correspondent with The Boston Globe is doing a piece on bocce. She interviewed me by phone and visited our indoor bocce session to chat with our bocce posse. Look for the article August 4th if you can get the Globe and, if possible, I'll add a link to it in next week's ezine.

A writer from Schenectady, NY called to chat about handicap access bocce courts. This is an important issue for us to consider...if you have experience with this, please add to the discussion.

I've received a book review from the historian for the Federazione Italiana Bocce in Rome, Italy. It's written in Italian and appears to be positive. With words like bellissimo and bravissimo, I figure it can’t be bad. Complete text below...can anyone translate?

I've been contacted by ESPN radio broadcaster Bob Valvano (brother of the late NC State coach Jimmy V.) who has a bocce facility in Lousiville, Kentucky with 6 indoor courts and an Italian restaurant. I'm scheduling a visit, appearance on Bob V's local radio show, and book signing at the facility.

Be sure to let us know about bocce happenings in your area - we're always looking for photos, announcements, updates, etc. that can help us keep the bocce community connected.


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 = ...}


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Bocce news & readers' feedback
{Publisher's comments in brackets...}

ESPN radio broadcaster Bob Valvano writes...

"First of all, we are enjoying your book very much...just great!

You might know my brother, the late Jim Valvano who coached at NC State and then went into broadcasting. ( )

{Yes, everybody in sports knows of the beloved and charismatic hoop coach Jimmy V. The footage of him running around looking for someone to hug after winning the brass ring during March Madness 1983 is classic.}

In any case, I too have developed a passion for this beautiful's just terrific and we are excited about our new facility.

{Click the photo - above right - of the courts for a recent article about the Louisville, KY bocce facility - Gotcha Bocce }

We have 6 courts that are two different sizes. The courts are all 8' wide and three are 70' long. The other three a little less than 60'. The courts were custom built for us by Kentucky-Indiana lumber company, whose owner just LOVES he really did them up nicely. Special wood he brought in from the state of Washington, nicely crafted. They are carpeted...we examined lots of different surfaces, but this was the most practical and has worked out well...courts are fast with some 'breaks' to them, but eminently fair and playable.

We also opened 'Angelina's Cafe', an informal eatery with true family recipes from my late mother, Angelina Valvano. Good eats!

The reason we chose this location is it is the entire upper floor (about 10,000 square feet) of a two-rink skating facility where my two boys play hockey.

Mario, at some point we would love to host you for a book signing and a visit to GOTCHA BOCCE...please let us know if you would be interested in that...

{Yes, yes, yes! Hook me up! Looking forward to meeting you and seeing the facility and rolling a game or two.}

Oh by the way, this whole thing started because of a charity event we started here for the V Foundation two years more link..."



Jim Vaughan of the Bargetto Winery sent a copy of my new bocce book to Signor Daniele Di Chiara (historian for the Federazione Italiana Bocce in Rome, Italy). Signor Di Chiara wrote back in Italian what appears to be a positive review…can anyone translate? I see the words bellissimo and bravissimo, so I figure it can’t be bad.

“ho ricevuto il libro di Pagnoni : è bellissimo! Sono contento di vedere citata la mia opera e ti ringrazio per il tuo interessamento.Fai i miei complimenti all’ autore del libro che è una vera miniera di notizie ed informazioni, penso proprio un’opera unica al mondo. E’ stato bravissimo.

Ciao. Daniele.”


Dick Gomez was kind enough to answer Robin Gurland's question from last week...

"I was just answering your request for info on courts to play and picnic at. If you can give the person who asked the question my e-mail address, Ill be more that happy to give her all the options here. As you may well know, what we call the Bay Area streaches north and south at least 100 miles, and goes east to west at least 40 miles, so I'd like to be able to give some options.

I've told you before and I'll tell you again: Thanks for all the good work you do for the game."


Boston Globe Correspondent Joyce Pellino Crane (how’s that for a bocce middle name?) interviewed me by phone and attended our bocce group's last practice session. She’s doing a piece on bocce for the Globe that is scheduled to run in the Northwest Weekly section this week.

Look for the article August 4th if you can get the Globe and, if possible, I'll add a link to it in next week's ezine.


Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) reporter Matt Volke is writing a piece on handicap accessible bocce. Evidently, recently constructed courts in his area are being billed as the first handicap accessible courts in the state.

Matt interviewed me by phone and I referred him to some knowledgeable bocce people including some who are active in Special Olympics bocce.

As I think back on my experience as a volunteer bocce referee in the SO World Games in CT in 1995 and NC in 1999, I don't recall wheelchair issues. Most of the athletes were dealing with Down Syndrome and mental retardation rather than physical handicaps.

I think there are two issues with handicap access bocce - the wheelchair athlete getting in and out of the court and, once there, keeping the wheels from digging ruts in the surface.

Some courts are constructed with a removable section for getting a heavy roller in and out - this could double as a wheelchair entrance/exit. I have heard of courts that have a side section near the end that is hinged that serves the same purpose.

Once in the court, if the surface is hard enough, the wheels shouldn't be much of a problem. If the court surface looks like it is going to be dug up by the wheelchair, perhaps the wheelchair players could stay at each end, rather than moving from one end to the other after each frame (often a common practice for players without wheelchair issues anyway).

Do readers have any experience with wheelchair bocce players? Please REPLY.


Andrea Stamm (SOMA - Special Olympics Massachusetts) is looking to recruit volunteer bocce officials for August 13 and 14, 2005. If you are in this part of the bocce world and can help, call her at 978-750-0167 or email

Visit the SOMA web site...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are a result of my revisiting Boston's North End and the three wonderful outdoor bocce courts on Commercial St. The regulars show up to play at about 1:00 PM and often play into the evening.

Here’s what I wrote in this ezine on March 18, 2002 when the Joy of Bocce Weekly was still in text-only format…

“Here's just one more reason to visit Boston. You can go to the North End and have great Italian food - pick any restaurant - you can't miss at any of the family-run dining establishments. Walk around the Hanover Street district and soak in the ambiance. Locating Italian pastry for dessert is as easy as following your nose. Top the night off by strolling over to Commercial Street where there are three nifty bocce courts overlooking the Charles River. There are bocce ball sets there for regulars and passers-by to use and return when finished. You can enjoy a relaxing game and soak in the historic aura of the area (you can even view the Bunker Hill Monument and ‘Old Ironsides’ from the courts.”

I made a point to visit the courts again because I had heard that they had a new court surface of Har-Tru.

The city paid for the new surface material and the courts now play faster and truer than ever before.

This time around I tried my luck against crafty North End bocce star Angelo who also does most of the court maintenance and organizing of events at the venue. Yes, he's a very good player and no, I don't want to tell you the score of our match.

I met a very nice family and rolled a game with the guys while mom took some pictures.

The boys were good athletes who had a real feel for the game. Dad also had a deft touch. Turns out he's a lawn bowls player schooled in England.

This place is just ideal for passers-by to stop and watch and learn about the game. The stone embankments just invite you to sit down and watch a while.

It was great to see so many players of different ages getting acquainted with the game at this lovely venue. If I lived nearby I'd get a vendor's license and set up a table where I'd promote the game by teaching it to novices and hawking my book. {Lots of foot traffic here - lots of tourists - Boston is a great city.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Maintenance Tools

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

7' Drag Brush

Manufactured by Lee Tennis (makers of the Har-Tru surface), this court maintenance tool created for tennis courts works exceptionally well for bocce courts.

The 7-foot drag brush is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without players standing around waiting very long. Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $139.95 plus shipping.


This strangely named 30” wide device is actually two implements in one. It is an all-aluminum combination tool for scarifying, leveling, and removing loose court material.

Strong and sturdy, the tool is light enough to handle with ease and is excellent for spreading new material during top-dressing. The concave shape of the 30” wide blade allows the tool to “float” along the surface without digging in. Use the serrated edge to scrape material from high spots, then flip the tool over to rake and smooth that spot and drag the loose material to fill in a lower point.

Retails for $50.95 plus shipping.

Besides a heavy roller, the lute/scarifier and 7-foot drag brush should be all the maintenance tools a bocce court owner needs.

Click for more on lute/scarifier and 7' drag brush...

Non bocce product of the week
Are you into the Texas Hold 'Em Craze? If so, check out Nevada Poker Chips and accessories.

Our non-profit group ( ) purchased chips in 2004 and ran three poker tourney fund-raisers which grossed a total of nearly $60,000. In Massachusetts you must be a non-profit group in existence for at least two years. If you meet these criteria you may run three events per year.

Check out the regulations in your area...consider this fund-raising idea while it is still hot!

Click to view Nevada Poker Chips etc.

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.


Lots of tournament action listed - please consider designating someone as "official event photographer" and directing that person to send snapshots for us to reproduce as photos of the week. Our readers love seeing bocce action from around the continent.


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 7, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce Raffa – Singles, Women’s Ranking. Contact Ben Musolf @(408) 395-7650.


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


August 20, 2005 - California - South San Francisco - Orange Ave. Mem. Park. Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person team - MUST HAVE ABA CARD. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-871-7732.


August 21, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - Juanito Cuneo Memorial Tourney - Volo – 2 Players. Contact Marco Cuneo @ 415-713-5939.


August 21, 2005 - California - ABA Volo Championships (MUST HAVE ABA CARD) contact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


August 22, 2005 - California - San Martin - 5-star Auberge Resort, The Lodge at CordeValle. Fund-raiser to benefit the El Camino Hospital Foundation. Contact Gigi Lugonja @ 650-988-7691.


August 26 - 28, 2005 - Ohio - Wickliffe - Wickliffe Italian & American Club. 4 person team entry fee $120 - contact Wayne Farinacci at 440-461-6471 or Gino Latessa at 216-789-6393.


August 27, 2005 - California - Crockett - ABA Singles Raffa Championship. Contact @ Dick Gomez 707-554-9916 or


August 27, 2005 - California - Sacramento - East Portal Open – 4 Players - Sector Championship. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


September 10-11, 2005 - California - Monterey - Santa Rosalia Tournament - Open – 4 person teams - Monterey Bocce Club Charter House - does any reader know the contact person for this event? Please REPLY.


September 16 - 18 - Canada - Ontario - Windsor - Ciociaro Club - 3 person teams - $6,000.00 guaranteed first place. Contact Remo Incitti @ 519-965-7799 or 519-969-4825.


September 17, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - raffa men singles (ranking) - contact Ben Musolf @ 408-395-7650.


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


September 18, 2005 - California - San Mateo - Open – 4 person team - 1 must be a woman - Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


September 24, 2005 - California - San Francisco - XXX Italian/American Games - Raffa – 3 person team - contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


September 24, 2005 - Californai - Martinez - Open - Battle Of The Sexes, 2 person (Men’s winner vs. Women’s winner). Contact Tracy Benetti or Jessica Benetti @ 925-372-5327.

October 1, 2005 - California - San Rafael - Open – 4 person team - Marin Bocce Federation, 550 B Street. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-454-4483.

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