The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 41 - November 14, 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 #41 - November 14, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce friends,

We had another good week of bocce hereabouts. We ran a twelve-team charity bocce tourney which was great fun, and we are beginning to explore ways to extend our bocce reach to some "new blood".

Located in North Andover, Mass., this winter we hope our venue will be the location for events like "North Andover High School Bocce Night" and "Merrimack College Bocce Night." Stay tuned...and please feel free to copy/improve the model of any of our programs for duplication in your area. Most of all - please send photos to share with the bocce community.


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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 = ...}


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

Yes, that's me in the photo to the right...the rather distinguished looking, balding gentleman with the nailed boule in one hand and the Joy of Bocce mug in the other. I'm enjoying a coffee by the fireplace while admiring a new set of nailed boules that an antique dealer friend of mine found for me.

Go to back issue and scroll down to "bocce collectibles" for the first piece I wrote asking for info on nailed boules and for the excellent and helpful response a reader provided.

Click the photo for info on the mug - an excellent and inexpensive holiday gift for the bocce aficionado in your life.


Carmine D'Agostino of Franklin, MA writes about a common concern...

"I think I'm going to finally build a bocce court in my back yard. I'm going nuts trying to decide on dimensions. I have the room to build just about any size court. I've read your book and wanted to go with a size that you would do for home use. I remember you wanted to build a 76 x 12 court but had to settle with a 76 x 10."

{I always tell people to build whatever size court fits their yard and their pocketbook. I have played and enjoyed bocce on courts as small as 45' by 9'. Having said that I must admit that I favor big courts.

The international court is around 90' by 13'. Of course, most people are not going to build a court that big on their property. Still, I like courts longer than 60'. Seventy-five or thereabouts seems a good compromise for a back yard.

The bigger the court the more the expense and the more surface area to maintain. But if you want to advance as a player and compete in tournaments you should consider a long court. The width is not as big a factor as length, but I recommend 10 to 12 feet.

One year I played in the popular World Series of Bocce in Rome, NY - great name for a tourney! They have more than a dozen courts on the venue - all 60 footers. The foul line is, I think, set at 10 feet and when the pallino is near mid court it's only 20 feet away. Good hitters rarely miss on those short courts. But put them on a longer court and their accuracy is likely to drop off - "too much green" as they say in pool. Sometimes bigger IS better.}


Update from the Boccemon on the bocce court for the troops in Iraq...

"The troops started receiving the first week's shipment of oyster blend. They report that 108 boxes of shell have arrived so far. 110 more boxes are in the mail and I will send 25 boxes each day until they are gone. We don't want to overwhelm the post office and I feel an hour a day is enough time to stand in line watching the customs forms get stamped... and stamped... and stamped some more.

They should have the court ready by Thanksgiving if all continues to go well. I sent them two copies of the Joy of Bocce last Tuesday so we should be hearing back from them about that very soon. Who would have guessed when you printed the second edition that there would be several copies being read in Iraq?

They are huge Steelers fans and watch every game while overlooking the bocce court.

We have updated the web page with photos of the first boxes arriving in Iraq. It makes us proud to be doing this for the men and women who are laying their lives on the line in the name of Freedom and hope that you will enjoy watching their story as the court is completed. Looks like this will be a court we will all envy.

Let me pass on this great anecdote from the boys...

'I'll leave you with this fantastic bocce-moment... during a game today, a pickup truck FULL of either Philippino contractors, or actual Iraqi workers drove past the court. They have these little pickups called Jundi vehicles that they stuff 10 or 15 people in... anyway, they go driving by during the game and we hear someone screaming I have a pallina! .. so there it is, we're well on our way to making this an international venue. Hang in there Tom, tell all the guys and gals thanks a ton for the effort.' "

Check out the newspaper coverage...

And check out the Boccemon web site for an update on the project's progress:

Rocking Horses

Photos of the week
This week's pictures show how we ran another charity bocce tourney - this one for Lawrence (Mass.) Exchange Club and their favorite charity - child abuse prevention. With twelve teams registered, we set up our two double courts leaving a 3-foot walking space in between. Two of the four courts are 80’ by 12’, the other two are 80’ by 11’.

We followed the Bobby V celebrity bocce format (Bob Valvano, Gotcha Bocce, Louisville, KY – see photos of the facility at ). You get a multiple of 4 teams to enter (8, 12, 16, 20, etc.) and place each team in a bracket with three other teams. You can spread out the good teams if you know which ones are strong and which are weak.

Our brackets went this way…

Group 1
Martignetti 1
Team Gianacusso
Lana’s Team

Group 2
Camp Iolas
No Names
Salem Exchange
Wild Cards

Group 3
Martignetti 2
Granite State
Bruce’s Bombers

We knew that the Explorers and Camp Iolas were pretty good as they play regularly in our league, so we put them in separate groups. We split up the two Martignetti teams so that they wouldn’t face each other unless they met after the “seeding” round.

Match up two of the teams in each bracket and play a game. Then have the two winners in each bracket play each other, and the two losers play each other. When this “seeding” is done, each team will be either 2 - 0, 1 - 1, or 0 – 2. By considering first record, then “point differential” you can seed the teams. If a team won their first game by a score of 12 – 8 that would be “plus 4”. Then if they lost their second game 12 – 11, that would be “minus 1” for an overall “plus 3”.

We had twelve teams and, seeding the teams from 1 – 12 produced these results:

1 Camp Iola                 2 – 0        +17
2 Explorers                 2 – 0        +14
3 Martignetti Two        2 – 0        +3
4 Retreads                  1 – 1       +10
5 Salem Exchange      1 – 1        +5
6 Bruce’s Bombers     1 – 1         +1
7 Martignetti One         1 – 1         +1
8 Wild Cards                1 – 1        -4
9 Team Gianacusso    1 – 1         -5
10 Lana’s Team           0 – 2        -10
11 Granite State          0 – 2        -14
12 No Names               0 – 2       -18

We had to use a tie-breaker to determine 6th and 7th places, getting each team to select a player to roll one ball toward the pallino. The better of the two rolls would get the 6 seed, the other would be seeded 7th.

The top four seeds become a new group, as do the middle four and the last four. The groups “start fresh” – previous wins and losses have no bearing – and play another match. Then the two winners play for the championship of their bracket. If you like, the losers can play a consolation game. But, in a charity event, often people come to help out the cause and then want to exit as early as possible. So, we didn’t play the “consolation” games. But, a factor may be that we had only 4 courts. Ideally there should be one court for every two teams (12 teams = 6 courts). This way all the teams are playing at once – no “down time.” The winners bracket games and the consolation games take place at the same time.

When promoting the game, I am very much against money awards. Beginners won’t play in cash tourneys because they fear the opponents will be “professionals”. In our event, the top seeds played for jackets, the second and third group for fleece vests. So, after the seeding round, each group gets to play for a prize while competing against teams more nearly on their ability level.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Inexpensive holiday bocce gift - Precision Bocce Measures

Choose the Clubhawk Gold, Henselite Bowls, or Premier Boule Measure. You can't go wrong with any of the three choices. Once a bocce aficionado has a set of bocce balls and my book, the next logical acquisition is a first-rate measure.

Each retails for $21.95 plus $4.00 shipping and will be shipped Priority Mail at no extra charge for the holiday season.

Click the photo to the right for more info, pictures, etc.

Bocce Ball Sets

Click to view merchandise at

Non bocce product of the week
{Hey, bocce's great, but I'm always on the look-out for all kinds of good products for my readers}

Vitamins in Isotonic form

Here is a vitamin line in an "isotonic state." By adding a specified amount of water to these powdered vitamins they approximate the composition as your body fluids. There is no need for digestion, the product passing directly into the small intestine and the blood stream. It becomes what nutritionists call bio-available, not like pills and tablets which are poorly assimilated by the body.

Vitamin C
Vitamin B-12
Trace Minerals
Co-Enzyme Q10

Click the link below to get more info...improve your health and maybe even your bocce game too!

Learn more about isotonic vitamins and your health...

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.


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.


March 31 - April 1, 2006 - Arizona American Italian Club
$200 team entry / 4 person teams and $4000.00 first prize. Contact Pasquale D'Alisio @ 602-569-9149 or


April 29, 2006 - Washington - Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - 4th annual charity fundraiser ( this year for Hospice ). Four person teams $20/person, 32 teams. Details at or contact Tom at 360-224-2909.

Joy of bocce t-shirts, 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