The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 15 - April 10, 2006 
•   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 5, Issue #15 - April 10, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello bocce friends,

This weekend our non-profit group ran another successful bocce tourney fund-raiser - this one for the Methuen High School baseball team.

We always make a few bucks for the charity while introducing the game to some newcomers to the sport (often people who have never played before enter a team just to support the cause). And everybody has an enjoyable afternoon.

This is a low overhead and relatively easy way for a group/charity to make $1000 or so. If you are in the neighborhood (Massachusetts/New Hampshire) and would like to give it a try, contact me at and we'll show you how to do it - see below for more details).


Please add to your "whitelist" or email address book program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.


Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

Click the link below to order an autographed copy from me. Shipping will be $4.00 (US Priority Mail). And please let me know how you want the book autographed (type the details in the "Special Inscription/Autograph" box provided).

Also, you can order an electronic version from the publisher ( ) 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.”


P.S. Did a friend send you this? Sign up to get your own here - - it's entertaining, useful, and complimentary.

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

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

Valerie writes...

"We ran an 'open bocce' tournament last year as a fund raiser for our local Meals on Wheels program. I am the Executive Director of the program. My husband was the volunteer Tournament Director for the event.

We did double elimination last year, am thinking about doing a round robin type of tourney this year. How do you do yours? We charge $100 for a team of 4, it was great fun! I think we had 20 teams, hoping for 32 this year with the round robin."

{The format depends on how many teams enter, and how many courts are available. Double elimination is one way to go. Round robins are good too because you might be able to guarantee the teams at least 3 matches. But, with 32 teams, it will take a while unless you have lots of courts.

With fund-raisers, often the players want to help the charity but don't want to spend the day there. With round robins, we put in a time clock - games go to 12 points or 30 minutes, whichever comes first. We don't use the clock in double elimination events because the teams are only guaranteed two games - we want them to feel that they are getting "their money's worth".

Another format to consider is the "Bobby Valvano format", named after the proprietor of Louisville's Gotcha Bocce - view his bocce venue here - This works best with a multiple of 4 teams with two courts available for every 4 teams - e.g. 12 teams on 6 courts, 16 teams on 8 courts, etc.

Teams are placed in pools of 4. Team 1 plays team 2 and team 3 plays team 4. Then the winners play and the losers play so that everyone gets two games. Next, all the teams are seeded based on win/loss record and point differential - and then placed in another 4-team pool. If you won by 4 and then lost by 2, you end up 1 win 1 loss and +2.

Because of the seeding, the teams in the new pools should be reasonably close in ability. They start over "fresh" and repeat the initial two-game format above. So, everybody plays 4 matches for the day and there are prizes for the champions in each pool - e.g. the top seeds can play for the overall championship. The next group can play for the Silver title - the next for the Bronze title, etc. If you have the correct number of courts, all the matches are going on at the same time and the event is over after the 4 half-hour matches}.


Closest to the Pallino Contest

When you have a bocce fund-raiser with lots of players (like the 32 teams mentioned above), we need to come up with a way to "squeeze a couple more bucks" from those 128 participants.

We've been running a "closest to the pin" (pallino) contest. Players pay five dollars per ball rolled. We place the pallino a pretty good distance away - at about the 75 foot mark on our 80-foot courts. We set it on a washer in case a rolled ball strikes it and moves it. In this case we measure from the center of the washer to where the rolled ball came to rest.

We offer two kinds of prizes - an overall "closest to the pin" award like dinner for two at a local restaurant, and a choice of less expensive prizes for anyone who comes within a meter of the target. We extend a Henselite Bowls Measure to a full meter and show it to the participants saying "Get this close and win your choice of any prize in our store." The "store" is supplied with t-shirts, caps, puzzles, bocce pins, and other items that we have amassed from the various charity events that we participate in.

If you can get another 10 bucks from each of the 100 players in attendance, that's $1000 more for the charity. You should be able to get the prizes donated. If you have to purchase them and can keep the cost to $5 or less, then each miss will be $5 for the charity. Deduct $5 for each win so you can replenish the supply of prizes.

The photo above right is from the closest to the pallino contest at the Martignetti Family Charity event last October in Derry, NH - raised $22,000 for the Jimmy Fund. Click the photo to visit .

Any other ideas for boosting the charity's cash flow during bocce events? Reader input is the life blood of this ezine. Please REPLY.}


Mike Grasser regrets to announce that there were not enough females interested in participating in the women's Pallino d'Oro tourney coming up on May 5 - 7. So, the men will begin play at 8:00 AM Friday morning and finish the round robin event either Saturday or Sunday. He would like to limit the event to 20 players (might possibly squeeze in 24), so register ASAP to secure a spot. Contact Mike Grasser @ 248-505-4744 or

Bocce Ball Sets

Willie Itzkowitz of the Marine Park Bocce Club (Brooklyn, New York) sends more info on Dyker Park...

"Dyker Park is located in Brooklyn, not too far from the Verrazano Bridge. Teams from this park have won the city wide tournament held each year almost every time. In an article that appeared in a local newspaper covering the event one year, a player on the championship team from Dyker named Santo was referred to as 'the Michael Jordan of bocce.'

{Wow! The Michael Jordan of bocce - that's saying something. I wonder if he shoots with his tongue sticking out of his mouth. I think I might be "the Dom DeLuise" of bocce. Visit his site here }

Click for other outdoor games...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Richard (Zio Riccardo) and Barbara Heisler of Eureka, California.

Says Zio Riccardo...

"Just east of Hwy. 99 six miles from Stockton, CA on Hwy. 88 is the Waterloo Gun & Bocci Club. Surrounded by farms and orchards, this facility features skeet shooting on the outside and four synthetic bocce courts indoors.

Adding to the facilities are a bar and restaurant. Dinners, dances and special events are catered there. The club has been around since the '50s, originally playing only Volo with brass balls (the ceilings are high to accommodate the arcing throws). The club hosts 'dinner & bocce for 8 bucks' every Friday night and has an active youth program, with some of the young players now holding their own in the adult tournaments.

Barbara and I went down the for a March 18th tournament. Dave Canclini, the tournament director, graciously hooked us up with Vern and Sharon Cooper from Sacramento's East Portal club. We live six hours north of Stockton, on the coast in Eureka and bocce teammates are thin on the ground. In fact, this winter, bocce has not been happening much at all since we have had approximately 50 inches of rain this season (since July) on our unprotected courts. Lacking practice, we went down early and did 'dinner and bocce for 8 bucks' at the Italian Athletic Club in Stockton on Wednesday (indoors) and practiced daily at Waterloo until the Saturday tournament. I think we overtrained and didn't win any of our tournament games. Nevertheless, it was great to play, hang out with old friends and meet new ones. It was a great cure for cabin fever.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of the Canclinis in organizing the tournament and the courage of the Coopers to take us on, sight unseen. The food and drink was great, even an Italian read on corned beef and cabbage, in honor of St. Paddy's day.

The first prize was taken by the Little Rascals - Romano Lotti, DLee Cerri, Norm & Mary Freschet over Quatto Lune - Manny & Lydia Romo, John Dine & Carlo Pappalardo."

{Thanks to the Heislers for the photos and details - please follow their lead and send info on bocce in your neighborhood.}

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 $149.95 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 $54.95 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 to go to merchandise order...then scroll to bottom of page

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}

Health & Nutrition - Antioxidants - Oxygen Plus

From the company web site...

"Oxygen Plus is a combination of vitamins, minerals and special herbs in capsule form that help protect our body from a multitude of free radicals that can damage your cells. It also supports a healthy immune system."

{I discovered this company's excellent products ten years ago and have been one of the faithful ever since.

Many of the supplements (Isotonix) are in an "isotonic state." By adding a specified amount of water to these powdered vitamins they approximate the composition of 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.}

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

Click for more info on Market America Oxygen Plus and other health products

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.


April 15, 2006 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Ron Jacobs @209- 957-1223 or


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


April 22, 2006 - South Carolina - Charleston - 6th Annual Slate Bocce Bash benefits Special Olympics of the Lowcountry. Contact Paula Byers at 843-795-5316 or or visit .


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.


April 29, 2006 - California - Concord - 10:00 AM. American Bocce Association is conducting a FREE Learn how to Play Punta, Raffa, Volo class at Concord Bocce Federation. To register, call Alfredo Herrera 510-787-2317.


April 29, 2006 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Rick Wagstaff @209-296-6151 or


May 5 - 7, 2006 - Illinois - Highwood. Pallino d'Oro - Men's International Rules Rafa Singles Championship. Men's Competition (Highwood Bocce Club) begins Friday morning at 8:00 AM. Participants must reside in USA. Contact Mike Grasser @ 248-505-4744 or


May 6, 2006 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. Women’s Open, 4 person teams. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 6, 2006 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. Men’s Punto, Raffa, Volo, 3 person teams. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


May 6, 2006 - Florida - Saint Augustine Beach. Charity event to benefit USO of Northeast Florida. OPEN - 2 person team - USBF OPEN RULES. Surface:Clay and Mixed Sand. Barbeque included with fee of $20.00 Paid in Advance or $25.00 day of Tournament. Contact Guy Tomasello @ 904-82-7043 or


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.


May 13, 2006 – California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce. Punto, Raffa, Volo, Singles, Men’s Ranking Tournament. Contact Ben Musolf @408-857-0074 or


May 20, 2006 - California - South San Francisco - Open -2 men/2 women - IACC - Orange Ave. Mem. Park. Contact Rudy Bertolozzi @ 650-583-9936.


May 20, 2006 – California - Carmel Valley (Carmel Valley Athletic Club). Open, 4 person teams (2 Men, 2 Women). Contact Janelle Ansberry @ 831-915-0727.


May 27, 2006 – California - Carmel Valley (Carmel Valley Athletic Club) Open, 4 person teams (2 Men, 2 Women). Contact Janelle Ansberry @ 831-915-0727.


June 3, 2006 - California - Fairfield - Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person teams - Fairfield Bocce Federation, 1200 Civic Center Dr. Contact Richard Meccette @ 707-434-0190.


June 3 - 4, 2006 – California - Sutter Creek (Italian Benevolent Society) - Open, 4 person teams (No more than two men per team). Oldest continuous Italian Festa in the United States. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209-296-6151 or


June 10, 2006 – California - Martinez - Volo, 2 person. Western Sector Championships. Contact Jarrod Garner @ 925-783-6796.


June 17, 2006 - California - Crockett - AAU National Raffa Championships - 3-person teams - Crockett Bocce Federation. Crockett Community Center, 850 Pomona St. MUST HAVE ABA or AAU CARD - contact Dick Gomez @ 707-554-9916.


June 19 – 24, 2006 – Missouri - St. Louis. Italia-America Club. United States National Championships: Open and Club Punto, Raffa, Volo. Contact Robert Della Croce @ 314-773-5574 (after 7:00 PM CST) or email


July 4, 2006 – California - Martinez - Open (Two person teams, four balls each. Each team’s players are stationed at opposite ends of the court). Contact Russ Calhoun @ 925-295-2003.


July 8, 2006 – California - Livermore - Campo di Bocce of Livermore. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Mario Veltri @ 925-437-5868.


July 8, 2006 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Massachusetts Senior Games (must be age 50 and above). Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or


July 14 - 16, 2006 - Ohio - Dayton. Bocce Classic XII at the John Pirelli Lodge will feature over 70 teams competing for over $7500 in prize money. This annual charity tournament will raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton and the Dayton House of Bread. For entry information go to


July 15, 2006 - California - Fairfield - John Magnetti Memorial Tournament. Open Rules – 4 person teams - Fairfield Bocce Federation, 1200 Civic Center Dr. - Contact Richard Meccette @ 707-434-0190.


July 15, 2006 – California - San Jose. St. Frances Cabrini. Frank Guidace Memorial, ICF #191. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Betty Antuzzi @ 408-559-4268.


July 22, 2006 – California - Livermore. Campo di Bocce of Livermore. Punto, Raffa, Volo. Western Sector Championships, 3 person teams. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074 or


July 29, 2006 – California - San Rafael. Marin Bocce Federation. Women’s Open, 2 person teams. Contact: Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583 or


July 29 - 30, 2006 - West Virginia - Wheeling. Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Bocce Tournament. Visit for more info.

August 5, 2006 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club - Open - Western Sector Championships, 4 person teams. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223 or


August 12, 2006 - California - Fairfield - AAU Senior National Championships, Open – 4 person teams. Must be age 55 and over - MUST HAVE ABA or AAU CARD. Contact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


August 19, 2006 - California - South San Francisco - Women’s Tournament - Open – 4 person team - SO SF IACC Orange Ave. Mem. Park. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-871-7732.


September 10, 2006 - Colorado - Fort Collins - "Bocce for Meals" Tournament to raise funds for Meals on Wheels for Fort Collins. Open Rules. Contact Valerie DiBenedetto @ 970-232-3028


September 23 & 24, 2006 - Maryland - Baltimore. The Baltimore Italian Festival 2006. Contact Elio at

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