The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 20 - May 22, 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 #20 - May 22, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello bocce brethren,

Just got out from under the flooding here in Methuen, Massachusetts - the most water I have ever seen in one place that wasn't the Pacific Ocean. The Merrimack and Spicket Rivers overflowed their banks and made ponds and lakes of our backyards, basements, businesses, and ball fields. Luckily, our bocce venue stayed dry as did my cellar. If your home hereabouts didn't have a water problem with this storm, you're never gonna have one.

We're cleaning up and getting back to normal, including our weekly Monday morning bocce. Cheers!


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

Bocce Bob Whitlow sends a press release...

"John Holland of Hurst won his second consecutive doubles championship at Bocce USA. Holland drew Bob Whitlow for a partner in the monthly doubles event sponsored by McDonalds.

The duo won their qualifying games, 9-6, 9-2 and 9-5 sending them to the championship game. In the lower brackets, The Mayor of Orient, Mario Allois, teamed up with Yvonne Holland. They eliminated their opponents 9-4, 9-6, and 9-8 pitting them against Holland and Whitlow in the championship finale.

John Battioli of Herrin, Bruce Burress of Marion, and Mary Lynn Whitlow were the ‘Big Mackers’ of the evening. Each rolled a ‘peepa’ and was awarded a certificate good for a free Big Mac. A ‘peepa’ is when a player’s ball comes to rest touching the pollina without hitting any other ball.

The next McDonald's doubles event at Bocce USA is set for June 20. The draw for partners will take place at 5:45 PM. All players must be pre-registered to compete."

{Peepa - pollina - Bocce Bob, you are a pip!}


Several people weighed in on last week's Playoff Woes where we had shorthanded issues during our league playoffs.

Dr. Cordano writes...

"A team with less players can't be rewarded by allowing to play all 4 bocce balls. Imagine if the two top players are the ones remaining, or if on purpose somebody called in 'sick.'

From my standpoint: 1) teams with 2 players will play ONLY THREE BALLS from each end.

2) If 3 players are on a team, the captain of the other team will CHOOSE the WALKER.

Hope to see you in St Louis and remember that the winners are to go to the World Clubs Tournament to be played in Porto Alegre in Brasil in September according to my sources."

{Dr. C also inquired about any events we might be running that he could attend... I answered "We are hosting the Massachusetts Senior Games in North Andover, MA on Saturday, July 8. This is a doubles event - teams may be male, female or co-ed, but players must be over the age of 50. No cash prize, but Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. As more states add bocce to their annual Senior Games schedule, there will be a national senior games for bocce as there is for softball, basketball, and other sports. Right now, not enough states offer bocce at their annual Senior Games.

We play on 4 courts (80' by 12' on Astroturf). One of the courts has quite a bit of uneven terrain, but the other 3 roll pretty true (not 100% level). But at least we have 4 courts of reasonable size. We would love to have you give a demonstration of International Play during this Open Rules event.}

Steve Kahn of Sun Lakes Country Club (Banning, CA) gives us an idea of his playoff format...

"We run four round robin tournaments a year, with different teams playing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In a simplified manner, this means that with two courts we can conveniently handle 64 teams, with 3 courts 96 teams, and covering 4 hours an evening (afternoons in winter).

The playoffs are basic single elimination which ideally would pit the Monday winner against the Tuesday winner, and Wednesday vs. Thursday for the semi-finals and those winners against each other for the finals, finishing the tournament in one two-hour session. In reality, we usually have two or more teams tied for a given day at the end of the round robin and these have to play off first.

The playoffs have been known to take up to four days because we only allow teams to play two games a day.
(Remember, we're a retirement community with some players in their 80s, some with canes, some with wheeled walkers, some with oxygen, etc.).

I've run double eliminations and find that they're more work than I feel they're worth--single elimination is fine. At best double merely gives a chance for a team that has lost once to beat a team that hasn't lost. At worst, you have people sore because they lost two games under pressure.

As far as the number of players on the teams: All our teams sign-up with four people. It is up to each captain to obtain subs from an authorized substitute list when one or more of the regulars can't make it. During the tournament teams are allowed a maximum of two subs for any game; there must be at least three players two of whom are regulars or the game is a forfeit. If a team has only three players, it is allowed to play with 3 balls only, a decided disadvantage but we have had threesomes beat foursomes.

During the playoffs teams are allowed only one sub so if two regulars can't make it the team is reduced to 3 players. As a point of interest, our winning team and runner-up team in the recent Winter Tournament were threes, each having beaten a foursome to get there.

The reason for the above restriction is that early in the life of our club several teams had their weaker players sit out the playoffs and used subs who were better players. (bush league for senior citizens?)

As a sideline, out of our 400+ roster we have 40-50 players who prefer to be on the sub lists. This way they can play once each of the four play days in the week whereas if they're on a team they only play once."

{Yikes! - 400+ roster. That's a bocce bonanza. Sounds like everybody is more or less "in house". But when you run a tourney where people travel to get to your venue you need a round robin or double elimination format. Otherwise they may travel a great distance only to play one match and get eliminated.}


Bocce Ball Sets

Click for more info on other outdoor games...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Boccemon Tom McNutt...

"Remember the 12,000 lbs. of oyster blend we sent through the US mail last Fall? Well this story hasn't ended...

There is a non-profit organization based in Washington D.C. that raises funds to send communication equipment like computers and the connections to support them for remote field operating bases around the world. This group also presents an award each year to honor troops who have risen above and beyond the call to improve the morale of their fellow soldiers. Four awards are given out through all departments of the US Armed Forces worldwide.

This year there were 5 awards given as both Captain Steve Jaksec and SFC Robert Foster received awards. Capt. Jaksec, you may recall, first contacted me in September about the feasibility of getting a premium bocce court to the center of the Sunni Triangle.

The bocce court is used regularly. Charlie Daniels has rolled balls on it, and ‘Skippy’ the explosive ordinance robot dropped out the first bocce ball. A major motion film company spent two and a half days filming on the court and we are hoping something of it will make the big screen some day.

The Captain organized his crew with the help of SFC Foster and built not just a bocce court but also a fire pit, dart throwing area, horseshoes and a live feed projection wall for sports viewing. They have created a great place and due to their occupation in Iraq they were not able to return home to receive the awards. My wife Erin and I were asked to accept the award on behalf of Captain Jaksec. SFC Foster had his wife come to claim his. The committee involved in choosing the recipients of this award is impressive and includes people like the Honorable John McCain, the Honorable Joseph Lieberman, multiple diplomats, and even the Speaker of the House. More than 600 people attended the event including government officials, congressional leaders, military, executives of sponsoring corporate companies, and more.

The award banquet was impressive and it was great to be with my beautiful wife, me in a tuxedo, with groups we don't typically bump elbows with. I handed out USBF pins to multiple generals and several executives of the Anheuser-Busch Company. Also a pocketful of pins that just read, ‘BOCCE’. It was a super feeling standing on stage looking into the brightness and hearing the brief explanation of the bocce court in Iraq built by the Combat Bocce Club.

The low laughter that filled the room was acknowledgement that most all of the guests knew the sport and likely had played a time or two. The bocce court your readership helped ship to Iraq was the overall winner of the award and we can all be proud that there is a new generation of players soon to return to the States who love to play and will undoubtedly be new disciples of Bocce.

ABC news anchor Gordon Peterson announced and distributed the awards. According to a spokesperson for the non-profit group putting this event on - CBS has footage of the court in Iraq but they never aired any of it.

What is with our media? Being relatively new to the sport, relative say to some of the seniors from Blaine, Washington who are pushing 90 years old, I want to know what you ‘blue hairs’ did to anger the press. The Bird Flu is very new and so far has affected far less people than bocce and yet look how easy it is to find a story on it. Our local media consortium in Bellingham wanted us to pay them to announce the shipment of shells last fall. They said they were just asking us to help offset the expense of producing a segment. Where did the birds get the funding to promote their flu? Everyone, please email ESPN and ask them to cover your local tournaments. Get your friends to do it too! Eventually they will recognize the greatness of bocce and acknowledge too those who have kept it alive in America for the rest of us to discover. I personally think it would be nice while some of them are living."

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 - Customized Nutrition - Ashanti OPC-3 Beauty Blend

From the company web site...

"Ashanti loved our custom cocktail product so much that she asked our Scientific Affairs experts to create for her an isotonic OPC-3 beauty blend. Ashanti’s OPC-3 Beauty Blend is formulated to improve skin elasticity, assist with collagen production, replenish essential vitamins and minerals for the skin, and provide the skin and body with an antioxidant defense. Ashanti OPC-3 Beauty Blend is designed for individuals who want to look, feel, and perform at their best enabling them to reveal their beauty from the inside out."

{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 Ashanti OPC-3 Beauty Blend 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 27, 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 - Australia - Brisbane. Abruzzo Club at Carina. (Special Olympics Queensland) - Contact Bradley Oliver @


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.

July 29, 2006 - Australia - the Italio- Australian club on Queensland's Gold Coast. Contact Bradley Oliver @


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 9 & 10, 2006 - California - Monterey. Santa Rosalia Tournament - Open – 4 person teams - Monterey Bocce Club Charter House. Contact Janelle Ansberry @ 931-915-0727.


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 1 - 10, 2006 - Australia - The Gold Coast will be the venue for the Special Olympics Australia National Games. Contact Bradley Oliver @


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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