The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 19 - May 15, 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 #19 - May 15, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce buddies,

My apologies - no issue last week due to several factors. I just couldn't find the time. Our non-profit senior sports group ( ) was running a fund-raising event, and we were also organizing our upcoming softball season. In addition, I attended the wake of a softball player's twenty-year-old son who was killed trying to stop a thief from stealing his vehicle (Massachusetts might be the car-theft capital of the world). A tragic event - when I got home from the Sunday service, I was in no mood to generate a newsletter. Again, my apologies.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Stacy Davis writes...

"We will be traveling to Santa Rosa during the first or second weekend of August. Are the bocce ball courts in Hopland available for public use during that weekend? How would we make reservations? Are there any special events going on that weekend? Could you recommend some place to stay in the area?"

{I hear nothing but good things about Brutocao Cellars (wine AND bocce courts in Hopland, CA), but I have never been there. Below are a couple web sites that might help you find the info you seek...if you get there, please send photos.}



Rosa Magnus, the Competition Manager for Special Olympics Minnesota, needs to track down some of Chris Pfeiffer's Backyard Bocce Courts - the vinyl mesh ones that used to sell for about $350.

Pfeiffer recently discontinued the product since it didn't sell nearly as well as his one- and two-inch vinyl boundary courts.

Tom "Boccemon" McNutt has one court which he used only once and he is willing to part with it at a discounted rate. I am hoping that other readers might know where to locate others.

Rosa would like four courts for "our Special Olympics state competition in August."

Please REPLY if you know where we could locate new or used Backyard Bocce vinyl mesh courts. We are looking for the ones pictured at the bottom of the page at .


Bocce Ball Sets


Stephanie Foerster (Director, StepFilms) is “...making a film called ‘Watch the Pallino’ about bocce ball, and why it is so dang popular in Central Illinois.”

She is looking for black and white photos of bocce play. She also says "...we are open to donations, including in-kind ones. This has been a labor of love, and the more support we have, the faster we will complete it. We are aiming to complete the film and screen it starting Labor Day, 2006."

For more information on the documentary "Watch the Pallino", go to . You can contact Stephanie there if you can help with photos or donations.


Bocce playoff woes…

We completed our recent bocce playoffs in one day, running an eight-team double elimination tournament followed by awards presentation and a luncheon. (In double elimination events you must lose twice before you are eliminated.) We copied the tourney brackets from an Amateur Softball Association bracket book.

We matched the teams in their first game according to how they finished in the regular season. First place finisher plays eighth, 2 plays 7, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5. This gives a little advantage in the first round to teams who finished high in the standings.

Here’s the email I sent to the group the following day recapping the playoffs…

“Things started out rather innocently with # 5 seed Pallino Poppers beating # 4 seed Goodfellas. Then #6 seed Leb 4 knocked off #3 seed Musica di Bocce.

Continuing the trend, #7 seed Explorers upset #2 seed Buccaneers and, you guessed it...#8 seed Mangia Pane shocked #1 seed Royal Flush Stables.

After a couple hours of play only seeds 5, 7, and 8 were left standing. Then 7 (Explorers) eliminated the Poppers and went to the finals where the fine all around play of Mangia Pane stars Matt D'Agostino and veteran Tom DeOrio carried the day. Congratulations to the ‘Bread Eaters’ on their championship play.”

I had figured on about 30 minutes per game, but these took longer as teams took more time to “caucus” between shots when they were facing elimination.

Some other things happened that I hadn’t anticipated.

We play four players per team with two teammates stationed at each end of the court. For league play we have three matches against the same opponent and play a different opponent each week. When one player doesn’t show, we let the shorthanded team use a “walker” – one who plays both ends of the court. Each of the three players acts as walker in one game.

But in our playoffs you play one game against an opponent and then one of the two teams will go to the losers’ bracket.

The captain playing against the shorthanded team argued that a walker would be an advantage to the shorthanded team if their best player walked and a disadvantage if their weakest player strolled.

We decided to rotate the walker. Players A and B start at one end with C at the other. After the first frame, player A walks to the other end to play with C. Then C walks to play with B. Rotating in this manner gives no one an advantage or disadvantage.

The other thing I hadn’t anticipated was that one team would be short TWO players. Now this isn’t like youth sports where the coach tries to coerce a lousy player to stay home. One of my sons was excellent in baseball but mediocre in basketball. He wouldn’t find out until he got to his middle school on Monday that his team had a hoop game on Saturday. But that’s not the case here. People just couldn’t attend for one reason or another.

But unlike the team that complained about the opponents having 3 players, no one protested this team having just 2 competitors. By the time I realized what had happened, the shorthanded #8 seed had sent the top seed to the losers’ bracket. Since we, in effect, had set the precedent that the two players could play both ends of the court (and had already sent one team to the losers’ bracket), it seemed prudent to continue.

The two players played very well, coming from behind in several matches, and they deserved the championship. Still, they did gain an advantage by their shorthanded good fortune.

I asked some veteran bocce players from around the country what we should do if this happens again in the future.

They suggested...1) burn a ball, so that the team with two players only gets to roll 3 balls per frame, or...

2) station one player at each end who rolls only 2 balls.

Can any reader weigh in on this and offer a suggestion so that the shorthanded team doesn't gain an advantage, is penalized somehow, but still has a reasonable chance of winning?

A long time referee/umpire in several sports, I know that we want three things in officiating...

1) a quick game
2) a game that is free of controversy
3) a game where both teams have an equal chance of winning

Please REPLY...


Robert Scott sends a testimonial...

"Read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very informative for one who has never played bocce. We are moving this fall to an age restricted area. Among other things, they will have bocce courts. I am most eager to learn and play the game."

{Many senior housing developments are buidling bocce courts. That's a good thing. But we need to promote the game to the young folks too.}

Click for more info on Backyard Bocce portable courts...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Guy Tomasello of Elkton, FL. They show off action in the recent St. Augustine Beach Bocce Tournament.

According to Tomasello's Press Release...

"The Annual Bocce At The Beach Tournament, sponsored by The Sons of Italy, St. Augustine Lodge #2780, concluded on Saturday, May 6th at the Bocce Courts at the Pier at St. Augustine Beach.

A total of 36 teams entered from as far south as Orlando and as far north as Jacksonville. Bocce is a game of Italian origin, similar to bowling. It is played with wooden balls, four for each opponent, and tossed at a smaller target ball, a pallino, on a long, narrow court normally covered with fine gravel.

Saturday's matches began at 10 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. in this single elimination tournament. The final match of the day featured the team of DiMare & Manno from Deltona versus Preysz & Bloodgood from St. Augustine. The first team to reach 12 points in a match wins the game. The final game went back and forth until the very end. DiMare & Manno won a controversial match over Preysz & Bloodgood 12-11.

Medals were awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers. The team of Amato & Davidson came in third place. Guy Tomasello, Chairperson and Board Member of The Sons of Italy, St. Augustine Lodge #2780 organized the event. All proceeds benefited the USO of Northeast Florida."

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Glo Boules by Playaboule

We tried this new product recently during a Bocce Birthday Bash for a 14-year-old girl and her 31 guests. The light up balls were the hit of the party.

They are solid plastic and more durable than other light up balls that I have evaluated. The rambunctious teenagers were bouncing these balls off the floor and off the court side and end boards with reckless abandon - and the LEDs kept on flashing properly.

This product is very reliable and vastly superior to similar light up balls I have tried. Comes in a handy and attractive nylon carry case. Balls are 73 mm - two red, two blue, two green, two yellow and a small white object ball. {I'd prefer four balls of one color and four of another. And I'd also favor a larger size - 90 to 107 mm} - Despite these minor objections, this is by far the best product of its kind that I have seen.

Click to view more info on Playaboule's Glo Boules...

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 - Children's Health - Isotonix Might-A-Mins

From the company web site...

"You can’t always control what your children eat, which makes all-natural Isotonix Might-A-Mins essential to any child’s diet. The fast-delivery isotonic system will ensure your children get the vitamins and minerals they need in a great-tasting formula. They’ll be begging for more!"

{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 Isotonix Might-A-Mins 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.


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 12, 2006 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. Northern California Championships, Open, 4 person teams. Contact: Ray Marttellaci 925-228-5065 or Donna Allen 925-229-2157 ( ).


August 19, 2006 – California - Los Gatos. Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. Punto, Raffa Volo, Singles Women’s Ranking Tournament. Contact Ben Musolf @408-857-0074 ( ).


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.


August 26, 2006 - California - Pittsburg Bocce Federation - Judge Belleci Memorial - Open – 4 person teams. Contact Peggy Rossini @ 925-432-7794.


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


October 8, 2006 - Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament will raise funds for the Joey Fund. The Sportszone, 7 "A" Street - Derry, NH. Visit the event's web site at .

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