The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. IV, Issue 45 - December 12, 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 #45 - December 12, 2005
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2005
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce faithful,

Don't forget to catch The Isaac Mizrahi Show this Tuesday (December 13, 2005). That's the episode for which we schlepped a court to Manhattan so that Mizrahi could play bocce with Sopranos star Steve Schirippa. It airs on the Style Network (E! Entertainment) - check local listings. More detail below.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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Also, you can order an electronic version from the publisher ( ) at just $4.95 (you download it - no shipping charge).

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

Doug Wren asks a common question...

"What's the most common size of a bocce ball court?"

{There are many different court sizes. In general, the width of most courts is 10 to 12 feet, but the lengths vary quite a bit. In the east you find a lot of short courts (60'). In most other parts of the country you'll find longer courts - 70 - 90 feet. My book has a detailed discussion of this - read about it at . We usually tell people that whatever size court fits in your back yard and your pocketbook is fine.

My web site has navigational buttons for Court Top Dressing and Har-Tru Info where surfers can enter the length and width of their bocce court to get a price quote for the top dressing.

Here is some data on court sizes I've collected via this web page over the last couple years...

# of courts 90' or longer = 12
# of courts 80 - 89' long = 10
# of courts 70 - 79' long = 35
# of courts 60 - 69' long = 44
# of courts 50 - 59' long = 6
# of courts 40 - 49' long = 7
# of courts > 40' long = 1

Shorter courts seem to be in the minority.

# of courts 13' wide or more = 17
# of courts 12' wide = 57
# of courts 11' wide = 4
# of courts 10' wide = 25
# of courts > 10' wide = 12

Narrow courts seem to be in the minority.

I believe that the preponderance of 60 foot courts came about because of the influence of the now extinct International Bocce Association (IBA). They gained a foothold early on and got bocce ball manufacturers to include their rules and court dimensions (60' by 12') with each set of balls sold. Hence the "official" court was a short one.

A good compromise between the big international size courts and the short courts popular in the east might be something like 75' long by 10' to 12' wide. But again, whatever size fits your situation and makes for good family recreation is fine. Remember too, the bigger the court the more maintenance involved.}


Mike Conti of the United States Bocce Federation writes this answer to a question about the value of a USBF membership and its magazine...

"The USBF fee is only $15 and it does not cover the cost of the magazines. Look on our web site ( ) to find many tips on how to play bocce. It also gives reasons why players should be USBF members. All should come to our Nationals and play or just watch some of our best U.S. players. As you know the game of bocce will only get better if we can organize and make it a national game with the same rules...maybe have a National league. I believe the USBF is on the right track. We won't see it but maybe our grandchildren will."

{The USBF is the only bocce organization affiliated with the AAU, and also is the outfit through which you must qualify if you want to represent the USA in international competition.}



You can now purchase a gift certificate on line and then either print it and mail/hand deliver it to the recipient or email it. The end user redeems it on-line via PayPal by entering the unique code when s/he makes a Joy of Bocce product purchase.

Click here to view the button for Buy A Gift Certificate .


Simon Church writes to tell us why he thinks EPCO makes the best bocce balls...

"At , EPCO bocce sets are by far the most popular sets with our customers. They are the biggest sellers and the ones that attract the most plaudits.

Customers like the fact that these sets are made by Italians in America at very reasonable prices. Italians know how to make high quality, elegant bocce balls and American precision manufacturing processes help them do it. The partex material used in making the balls results in a highly durable and attractive looking ball. Consequently they have also been used in the World Bocce games.

There are many sets on the market that are made in Asian factories and sold in the large sports stores. While they represent cheaper alternatives, the quality and durability of the balls is significantly lower than those made by EPCO.

Customers also like the ability to custom engrave their EPCO balls and choose from a variety of ball colors. What is better than a great looking set of bocce balls with either your name or logo engraved onto them. As you can imagine, custom engraved bocce balls make excellent gifts. EPCO bocce balls come in a variety of colors, including red, green, blue, white and a selection of 4 'glo' colors. A custom set with any combination of these colors can be created.

Lastly, another reason for their popularity is that EPCO sets can come with a highly durable and attractive nylon bag, as well as a polish to help maintain the look of the balls."

{Click on Simon's site above or for photos and more info on EPCO products.}

Click to view new Joy of Bocce web site page BOCCE VENUES

Photos of the week
Bocce on The Isaac Mizrahi Show airs this week!

There's no telling who you can connect with if you have a web site that comes up readily on a Google search. The Joy of Bocce is pretty well positioned, and the folks at E! Entertainment found us with little trouble.

This week's pictures chronicle how we created and carted to Manhattan a made-to-order bocce court to fit on the set of the Isaac Mizrahi Show.

Fashion designer Mizrahi has a new show just launched on the Style Network (E! Entertainment), and it looks to be a good one. Mizrahi is funny and talented and, if the episode we viewed was any indication, he books terrific guests.

My friends, the Martignetti brothers (Sandro, Anthony, and Paul) custom built a 24' by 8' court and loaded it on one of their company trucks ( ) for the trip to The Big Apple.

We used white vinyl fence posts (hollow, but heavy duty) and inserted 2 foot timbers one foot into each end. That way one could slide into the next. (You'll have to see the photos to better grasp what I mean). These sections are light but durable and extremely easy to set up and break down. The only tool we used was an electric drill (a couple screws in each section - pre-drilled holes).

Mizrahi planned to play a little bocce with guest Steve Schirippa of Sopranos fame (he plays the part of Bobby Bacala). We got into town the night before and arrived at the studio early to set up and teach the producers and assistants how to play.

When Mizrahi arrived, the producers and I showed him how to play as well. The bocce segment went well. They actually only played one frame - such is the nature of TV. There wasn't much instruction on the game, but we got some much needed TV exposure for bocce. E! Entertainment is pretty big - so, there's no telling what might come next.

Without giving away too much, I can tell you that guests Steve Schirippa and Gail O'Grady were terrific, and you even get a recipe for Pasta Fagioli from no less than the chef at New York's famous Patsy's Restaurant.

The audience of 50 or so was made up of young women and the four of us guys. We were seated in the top row, left and right of center. But, just before taping, one of the stage managers may have said something like "Are you kidding? Move those four guys into the corners." So, if the cameras pan wide to the left and right, you might catch a glimpse of us. I'll be the portly guy with the bocce shirt.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Inexpensive Holiday Gifts

Outdoor Games Book & Video Series

I've located a gem of a series of Outdoor Games books by talented author Steven Boga. He's written short, well crafted, clearly illustrated books on...


These make for great, inexpensive gifts. I recommend them highly (each under $10.00).

Also available and great for gifts are videos ($22.95 each) titled...

Let's Play Bocce!
Let's Play Horseshoes!
Let's Play Croquet!
Let's Play Badminton!

Consider these for the games players on your holiday gift list. Will ship same day order is received (or next day if received after 3:00 PM Eastern Time).

Click to view more on Outdoor Games

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}

Here's one of the hottest holiday items on the Internet these days...

Shop at

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.


December 17, 2005 - Massachusetts - Lawrence Sons of Italy, 155 Marston St. - Double elimination - 4-player teams. $100 entry fee includes coffee and donut breakfast, and sausage sandwich lunch. Contact Steve Zanni @ 978-687-6853.


February 11 & 12, 2006 - Michigan - Orion - Palazzo di Bocce - Mid-Winter Bocce Blast - Doubles (2-person teams), round-robin format, limited to 40 teams - $150 per team, paying top 10 places. 1st & 2nd places guaranteed $2,500 & $1,500 respectively. Registration deadline is Wednesday, February 8th. More info... Bryan Sanborn at 248-371-9987 x13 or email


March 31 - April 1, 2006 - Arizona American Italian Club
$200 team entry / 4 person teams and $4000.00 first prize. Second place = $2,000, 3rd = $1,000, 4th = $500. Contact Pasquale D'Alisio @ 602-569-9149 or


April 22, 2006 - California - San Francisco - Orange Ave. Mem. Park - Triples (3-person teams) - Open rules - contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


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.


May 13, 2006 - California - Martinez - Debbie Gerow Memorial Bocce Tournament/The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser - Open – 4 person team. Contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169.

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