The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 30 - August 15, 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 #30 - August 15, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

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Hello again bocce friends,

This week I'll be visiting Gotcha Bocce in Lousiville, KY. If you are in the neighborhood (Monday thru Thursday 8/15 - 8/18), please come in and say hello. We'll be playing some bocce, autographing some Joy of Bocce books, and meeting some more bocce lovers (my kind of people).


Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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.”


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

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

Recently I played in a tournament during an Italian festival in the North End of Boston. They selected teammates out of a hat. I drew Boston Mayor Tom Menino as a partner (that's a snapshot of us to the right). Mr. Mayor played pretty well. I didn't. We got spanked pretty good but had a great time. It's hard not to have a good time when you follow the recipe...start with bocce...add fun-loving people...mix in good food and music...stir well...Enjoy!


I'm headed to Gotcha Bocce (Louisville, KY) from August 15 - 18. If you are going to be in the area, please stop by and say hello.

I'll be visiting with Gotcha Bocce owner Bob Valvano and hope to help promote the game and the facility while I am in town.


Volo enthusiast Benji Tosi sends word of his new web site - check it out. Still under construction, the site is off to a great start with some excellent photos and links to good press that he and the sport have received.


Bill Wenzel writes...

"We are still investigating putting in some courts here at Meramec Bluffs retirement community. One of the companies has suggested gluing synthetic turf to a concrete base as opposed to putting it over compacted limestone. Do you have an opinion regards that type base?"

{I hear many good things about this type of construction - very low maintenance.}


Neil Krane of Melrose Sport writes..

"We built a Bocce court in Melrose (Massachusetts) a few months ago and haven't used it yet. The court is located in a really nice place, on Ell Pond in the center of Town.

Would you be interested in coming down anytime soon and putting on an exhibition?"

{Yes, yes, yes. Anyone around the country who would like to invite me, please do so. I am on a mission to promote this game. I do a lot of public speaking and am also a frequent roast-master hereabouts. I can speak on the sport, history, future, skills and strategy,, tv, book signings are right up my alley - pun intended.

When I do demonstrations I always start with the disclaimer that "I am not a great player. My contribution is that I interviewed the great players and assembled the information in an easy to read book."

No, I don't want to get paid, but if there is travel and lodging involved, I'd like to avoid out-of-pocket expenses... I don't eat much and I don't take up much room.}


Jerry Russo says...

"Saw an article in the portable bocce court section where you substituted other items for the pallino. I have a lawn set and I use a cue ball from my pool table. It is larger to see in the grass and has the same texture as the pallino, unlike a baseball that cab get wet and not as smooth to roll."

{Great idea...another thing you can do is lower the wheels on your lawn mower so that the object ball is not so easily obscured by the grass.}

Bryan Sanborn, Special Projects Manager at the Palazzo di Bocce writes...

"Spots Still Available for FALL BOCCE LEAGUES!

Fall Bocce Leagues will start the week of September 12th and run for 8 weeks! The cost is only $576 per team or $144 per person. We have leagues on Monday thru
Thursday nights from 6-8:30pm or 8:30-11pm.

Call or email me today to find out more information and to sign up your team! If you are short a player or two, or want to sign up individually we can put you with other people to form a team!

Please review our league flyer below and CALL me now to sign up!" (248-371-9987 x13)

Photos of the week
This week’s pictures come from Bowie, Maryland and were submitted by Frank Romanelli – “a senior who enjoys bocce.”

He says…

“Attached are three brief write-ups, with photos, about bocce items that you and your many readers may find interesting.

They are about a novel approach to a backyard bocce court, and two aids for seniors who play bocce.

We enjoy your work, and appreciate your efforts to make bocce playable and fun for all.”

More details from Frank...

"Here are three brief write-ups, with photographs, about bocce items you may find of interest. They are about a novel approach to a backyard bocce court, and two aids for seniors who engage in this marvelous pastime.

1. A Backyard Court with Painted Boundaries

My friend Bob H. of Annapolis has a large, reasonably flat backyard. He measured out a 76’ by 12’ bocce court, and sunk short pieces of metal pipe (at ground level, to make mowing easy) in each corner of the court, as well as at each side of the center line and each side of foul lines 10’ from each end. He then inserted a 4’ piece of PVC pipe in each of the 10 sunken pipe sections. He temporarily runs heavy string around the four corner pipes to mark the outside boundaries of the court, and similarly across the court to mark the center and foul lines. He then uses the string as a guide to paint the boundary and other lines on the grass using a can of white spray paint. He then removes the string (to avoid a tripping hazard), but keeps the PVC pipes in place.

We play standard open bocce rules, with one modification. On the initial toss of il pallino, it must land over the center line and at least two feet from the nearest sideline and the backline (otherwise, it’s too tough to keep the balls in bounds).

2. A Ball Holder for Seniors

To minimize the need for us seniors to bend over to pick up the ball when it’s our turn to throw, Bob H.’s wife Kathy came up with the idea of keeping the balls in a shallow planter-saucer/bowl, placed over a recycled plastic pail. One is placed at each end of the court. A towel is included to wipe the balls and hands. Works great.

3. A No-Stoop Measuring Device

To reduce the frequent need for us seniors to bend over to measure which ball is closest to il pallino, Bob H. devised a no-stoop measuring device. He recycled two handles from driveway-coating brushes. (The kind that have plastic pieces on the end with a slot for hanging them up.) He used electricians’ tape to attach a spare casting/spinning reel about one foot from the “screw” end of one of the handles. He put several feet of cord on the reel, ran the cord through the “hanger-slot”, and then attached the cord about one inch from the bottom of the other handle. The cord between the handles ends up at grass level, and the reel is at waist level. The reel has a locking device that enables you to lock onto the measured distance before you move to take other measurements. It provides accurate inside measurements. (Broom handles and an eye-screw could be substituted for the handles that were used, of course.)

In closing, I’m also attaching a photo of our usual bocce group. The flags represent the national origins of the players, as well as a flag of another favorite pastime.

We enjoy your book and newsletter. Keep up the good work."

{Wow! How easy it is to produce a weekly ezine when bocce-savvy, literate folks submit such excellent material and photos. Many thanks. Here's hoping others will follow suit and share info on bocce in their area.}

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!

Poker Chips

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 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, 2005 - Massachusetts - Boston - North End FIERI Bocce Night (Commercial St.) beginning at 5:00 PM. Visit .

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.


October 8, 2005 - California - San Francisco - Volo – 3 person team. Contact Alessandro Bettucchi @ 650-583-9936.


October 8, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - Raffa – 3 Players - contact Bill Schlaefer @ 408- 379-9409.

Joy of bocce mugs, buttons, magnets, etc.

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