The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 35 - September 19, 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 #35 - September 19, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello bocce friends,

Recently our senior softball group took up a collection for me to thank me for the time and effort I put in organizing the season. While I do appreciate the thought, I'm more concerned with raising funds to keep the non-profit organization going.

Nevertheless, it occurred to me that there was just enough in the envelope to pay for a round-trip airline ticket to Detroit this coming weekend (the finals of the World Championships at Palazzo di Bocce). So, I'm on my way to the Palazzo to photograph, interview, and write about the event on September 23 and 24. If you are going to be in the neighborhood, please come by and say hello.

I've started a new page titled Bocce Venues where I'll post a photo of each venue. Clicking on the photo will take you to a page of pictures and details on that venue. Just added Gotcha Bocce (Louisville, KY). Dr. Mazzei's Maine court, and the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver, BC so far, but will add more in the near future. Please invite me to your venue so that I can take photos and add them to my new Bocce Venues page.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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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...}

As noted above...I'll be at the World Bocce Championship September 23 & 24 at the Palazzo di Bocce in Orion, Michigan. Please come up and say hello to me if you are going to be there.


Two BOCCE FUND-RAISERS coming up..

On October 9th we are running a bocce fund-raiser for the Jimmy Fund in Derry, NH at the SportsZone. I think it is the first charity fund-raiser of its kind in New England. {Eventually bocce fund-raisers will overtake golf tourney fund-raisers as anyone who can roll a ball can help the charity.}

The Martignetti family operates a building supply business with outlets in Amesbury and Woburn, Mass. The controller of their family business has a grandchild recently diagnosed with Leukemia. In the Martignetti family's own words...


"A very special four-year-old in our lives, Drew Pelletrino, was recently diagnosed with leukemia, a malignant cancer of the bone marrow and blood. Drew's grandfather, Dick Drew, is the controller of our family's business. We were all deeply affected by the heartbreaking news that Drew had leukemia, and we all felt that we wanted to do something. Combining our love of getting our family and friends together and a desire to help, we decided to host the first annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament.

Proceeds from this year's tournament will benefit the Jimmy Fund in Drew's name."


Click here for a pdf file with more details, tourney entry information, and a pretty cool picture of Drew.

{Monica Burke of a2zmagnets has already donated a supply of her nifty bocce magnets for us to put into the gift bags for our players. Please follow her generous lead and send a donation that might help make our event a success. Click on the image of the magnets above right for a2zmagnets on e-Bay.}


Peter Rabito, President of The American Bocce Club (NY)will be hosting a Hurricane Relief Fund Bocce Tournament on Saturday, October 1st, 2005. All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Red Cross.

There will be food, refreshments and trophies awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers. It is a 4 person team event and the entry fee is $80 per team. If you would like more information, please email Peter Rabito at:


Dr. Cordano sends news from Florida...

"Recently I took a couple of pictures of a new court (75’ by 12’) with a very well leveled cement base, covered with a nice green indoor-outdoor smooth carpet in Punta Gorda at The ELK'S, a beautiful place with several acres of land bordering on ‘salty’ water. The ends are covered with a 12 foot structure that protects from the
'implacable' Florida summer sun.

As you remember, George Farruggio was the motivator at the Punta Gorda Italian American Club destroyed by the hurricane last year. At the ELK'S, he continues to show his passion for bocce and has achieved the construction of a second court of adequate international dimensions. They still have a court with a nice mixture of Har-Tru surface (60’ by 12’) and regular league activities take place on both courts twice a week."

{Great news - please send the photos along so that our readers can see the venue.}


Ken Driscoll is a relative newcomer to the sport but has a lot to say and an interesting perspective...

“I have only been playing for about five or six months. I have purchased, a 100mm set (of bocce balls), a 110mm set, a 113mm set, a 115mm set as well as a 90mm metal set. It seemed odd and expensive to my wife until the other day when we were invited to a family picnic - the guy’s back yard was very uneven. So we ended up playing on his side yard - not much better - and only about 15 to 20 feet - at any rate we ended up getting three sets out of my van, 100mm thru 113 and a set of wooden balls. Some balls were too heavy, others too big, so we ended up using the set of wooden balls. It was then that my wife realized the different sizes and weights work better on different playing surfaces. I imagine that after we get a little better we'll be able to use one size on any playing surface, I do know for my style of Volo playing the heavier balls work best... but again I figure I have a lot to learn.”


Jerry Russo comments on last week's photos...

"Looked at the web site for the Vancouver Italian Cultural Center. The place is fabulous. It almost makes me want to move to Vancouver just to be a member. Thanks for the information."


Ever think about a canopy to protect your court from the elements?

Canopy Center

Learn how to publish your own ezine...

Photos of the week
This week's pictures were submitted by George Danner of Griffin, Georgia. They show off the action in this summer's "Doc Holliday Classic."

The event uses a four-player format with two stationed at each end.

According to Danner, the four players “roll two frames then all four come together to roll the third frame, then back to two @ each end. So, the format was 2-2-4-2-2-4 and so on to 12 points.

After the four come together and roll, your captain selects which two players will walk. We had one team that did not win a single game, so their award was a picture on the rock of losers, better know as the sh-- rock.

We played a round robin format and then seeded the teams - four teams with four players - all matches to 12 points. We had time with the small number of rollers.”

{This excellent bocce venue features a fire pit - click below to view more fire pits.}

Fire Pits

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
This week’s product of the week is a book I read this weekend and just had to tell someone about.

In The Underdog, Joshua Davis recounts his adventures and misadventures during a far-reaching quest for his competitive niche in the world.

At 129 pounds, this data entry clerk had the guts to risk his appendages in the U.S. arm-wrestling championships, the quickness to dodge bulls in Spain, and the wherewithal to avoid being squashed by 500 lb. Sumo wrestlers. Along the way he competed in backwards running (yes, they call it retrorunning) and extreme sauna (hey, if you can’t stand the heat…). By the time I figured out whether he was putting me on or not, I couldn’t care less. I was having too much vicarious fun on the arm wrestling, Sumo and bullfighting circuits. Joshua Davis must have been an owl in another life, cause he’s a hoot!

Do you know what happens when you finish fourth in arm wrestling in the U.S. (out of four competitors) and two of them can’t make the trip to the World Championship? You get to go to Poland and get pinned by “The Russian Ripper” in two-tenths of a second.

Do you know how to train for bull fighting? You spar with cows. Where to go to find your retrorunning guru? India.

There are many more interesting questions and answers in this easy, entertaining read. And there is just enough common sense (about relationships and parenting) interspersed with the lunacy. Davis is even clever enough to say sweet things about his wife – something I often forget to do in my own writing. How did he get so courageous AND smart at such a young age?

Joshua Davis wanted to be world class in something. He succeeded – he’s a world class story teller with world class heart. As I read The Underdog, I kept hearing the voice of the late, charismatic college basketball coach, Jimmy Valvano.

“Never give up, Joshua. Don’t ever give up!”

{Check out for more info or to order the book from The site also features links to sites on events like Extreme Ironing, Wife Carrying, Ice Swimming, Cellphone Chucking, Bocce Ball and others that might be right up your alley.}


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.


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


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


September 24 & 25, 2005 - Maryland - Towson, Baltimore County - 4 person teams - proceeds benefit Baltimore Columbus Parade - contact Dino Bosso @ 410-536-0886.


September 25, 2005 - Connecticut - Derby Sons of Italy - 2-player double elimination event. Contact MARCO CIGNARALE @ 860-946-9245.


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


October 1, 2005 - New York - 4-player teams - proceeds donated to American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Contact Peter Rabito at


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.


October 9, 2005 - New Hampshire - Derry - The SportsZone - Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament raising funds for the Jimmy Fund in honor of 4-year-old Drew Pelletrino. 4-player teams, but individuals may enter and be placed on a team. Contact Mario Pagnoni at .


October 22, 2005 - Sutter Creek Open - 2 Men, 2 Women Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151.


October 29, 2005 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - Big Ben Raffa Tourney – 2 Person. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-395-7650.

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