The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 26 - July 17, 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 #26 - July 17, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again from beautiful downtown Methuen, Massachusetts,

This weekend while The World Series of Bocce was going on in Rome, NY (someone send photos, please), I was helping with events closer to home.

On Friday we ran our annual Bocce in the Park tournament at Methuen's Nevins Library. We had 11 teams of 4 players (mostly kids and a smattering of adults). See this week's photos...

On Saturday I officiated the state qualifier for Special Olympics Massachusetts at Szot Park in Chicopee, Mass. The park has three courts 10' by 76' in the public domain and the organizers did a great job hosting 46 doubles teams.

The SO state tournament will be coming up in August and I hope to get a few of my bocce posse to accompany me to UMass Amherst to officiate the two-day event (and stay overnight in the dorms like we were young students again - stay tuned).


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


I've had so many requests from readers who want a bocce court built that I have struck a deal with Vernon Real Estate & Construction (Topsfield, MA). I'll act as the consultant on the job and make sure that your court is first rate.

We'll specialize in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, but will travel farther if necessary. Contact me at or call 978-686-8679. I'll be on site during construction to make sure things go well, and will even include 4 hours of bocce instruction.

Also, Martignetti Enterprises of Massachusetts is now stocking the Har-Tru top dressing - click the image to the right to visit their web site.


Last week I wrote about how my group hosted the bocce segment of the Mass. Senior Games while lamenting the fact that not enough states offer it to make it a national senior sport. I received several queries similar to this one sent in by David Canclini...

"I am interested in learning more about the SENIOR GAMES and what must be done to have California recognized. How do I go about contacting SENIOR GAMES in my state? Does anyone have an address or telephone number?"

{I did a Google Search for Senior Games California and found this site - - a search for "Senior Games" or "Senior Olympics" should locate the group in your state - people nowadays say "I Googled it" or when trying to locate an old friend from college..."I Googled him." Google is the most popular search engine right now, so... just Google it!}


I've had several requests for the recipe for Crispelli mentioned in the photo spread for Tom Grella's Havana Rollers Bocce Venue ( ), so, here goes...

Purchase dough from your local bakery and let it rise
Roll out balls of dough the size of golf balls or tennis balls or even baseballs if you prefer
Stuff each with a piece of cheese of your choice or a little anchovy (keep the batches separate)
Fry these in hot oil until golden brown and let cool before eating
Fry these in hot oil until golden brown and let cool before eating

Crispelli are the hit of the September Festival of the Three Saints in Lawrence, Massachusetts, but the wait in long lines to get served is well worth it.


On the subject of crispelli, Brenda Flanagan wrote..."My grandmother used to make them and since her death, nobody has the recipe.

I would love to relive those days...she used to hide them in a box on top of her closet to keep my uncles from eating them before it was time."

{There are so many dialects and regional differences - I hope these crispelli are the ones grandma used to make.}

And still on the subject of crispelli, I couldn't resist reprinting part of this Boston Herald article by Joe Sciacca...

"To understand the crispelli is to know the very essence of life itself. It has its crusty, bumpy, salty parts to be sure. But at the core of its existence is a warmth and softness that makes one who experiences it acknowledge that, yes, there is a supreme being and He is good.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has probably never had a crispelli. Martha Stewart has probably never cooked one - although she would buy stock in them if she could. If Howard Dean discovers them, he will increase taxes on them..." For the complete article click


Great Back Yards


C.W. Laughlin makes an interesting point about "matching up" opponents...

"I started a bocce club here in Green Valley, AZ. All members are over 50 yrs of age. I recently bought your book, 2nd edition and thoroughly enjoy the strategies listed. Why haven't you addressed the matching of team members against the other team members? In league play this could be worth two or three points. In tournaments, maybe only a point due to the championship qualities of all players."

{C.W. is referring to four-player teams with two partners stationed at each end.}

He adds..."Do you want your two team members to play the team members at one end of the court, or do you want your two team members to play against the opposition at the other end of the court?

All sport teams have varied expertise among their players. All coaches scout their opponents for weaknesses and tendencies. I certainly would not want my worst players to be matched against their best players.

I try to match my team's capabilities to theirs. I think this is so important that when I started the bocce event in Senior Olympics a number of years ago, I added a rule that if you won the toss and chose to go first that you had to position your players on the court first. This gives the opposition the opportunity to match up players.

Quite frankly subsequent hosts to Senior Olympics did not keep the rule in place. You should have seen two of these teams play each other this year. One team wanted their two members to play against a specific set of players and the other team wanted to play against the other set. It looked like a merry-go-round. The ends would try to exchange ends with the other team doing the same thing at the same time.

Again, it may be worth a couple of points to properly match players against the competition."

{An interesting topic. First off, this is only a problem if you play four-player teams with two partners stationed at each end. I'm not fond of this style because you only get to play every other frame, and you don't get any walking exercise. On the other hand, it allows us to get eight players into the action.

In our informal group we just split up two partners at each end - no one pays much attention to who is going where. Mostly we just don't want our two weakest players playing the same end.

One way around the problem is to play all eight players at one end rolling one ball each and walking back and forth each frame. I don't like this so much because you only get to roll one ball per frame.

Another "solution" might be to play triples. Three players against three players, each rolling two balls and playing both ends. This requires adding another half set of bocce balls.

Can any readers weigh in on this matching up question?}


Anthony Lombardi writes...

"We want to go to the wine country with a group of possibly six couples and are looking for an informal bocce tournament. We will be traveling sometime this fall.


{Any suggestions? REPLY or contact Anthony directly at }

Click for info on other outdoor games...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are a veritable potpourri of pictures, coming from a variety of sources. They show bocce action from several events.

Tom McNutt sends photos with this info...

"While the nationals were finishing up, Washington State had its annual championship on Saturday, June 24th. The event is sponsored by the Auburn Bocce Club and Auburn Parks and Recreation. It brings most of the better players from around the state together on 4 - 12' x 80' courts that were a joint project of the two groups and some private donations. Boccemon contributed significantly to this project.

It was a day of perfect weather, good food and friends, and minimal confrontation. Auburn is proud of their courts and are using them to help promote their community. Last year a number of city council members were present to officially dedicate the tournament and the courts.

Young and old. Working and not. Rich and less fortunate. Our state was well represented."

Palazzo di Bocce sent pics of their successful teams at the Nationals in St. Louis.

"Palazzo di Bocce teams took their first national club titles at the 2006 U.S. Bocce Championships in St. Louis, Missouri June 24, with one team advancing to the Club World Championships Sept. 18-26 in Montenegro, Brazil."

The final set of pictures comes from my local library which hosted its annual (and popular) Bocce in the Park tourney for kids and parents.

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 - Energy and Mind Enhancement - Bliss: Anti-Stress Formula

From the company web site...

"Do you find that when you get stressed, even the simple things in life tend to overwhelm you, causing your heartbeat to speed up and your blood pressure to rise? Or maybe your reaction to stress is to withdraw and grow sullen. Sometimes, you just wish you could push through the stress without experiencing the highs and lows that can accompany it."

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 Bliss: Anti-Stress Formula 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.


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 22, 2006 - West Virginia - Wheeling. Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Bocce Tournament. Visit for more info.


July 28, 2006 - Michigan - Orion: Co-Ed Tournament - Open – 2-person team (1 man / 1 women). Palazzo di Bocce - Contact Jason Wisniewski @ 248-371-9987 ext. 11 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, 2006 - Australia - the Italio- Australian club on Queensland's Gold Coast. Contact Bradley Oliver @


July 29, 2006 - Michigan State Championship - Sylvan Lake Bocce Courts. Three-person teams, two balls each, open rules, back wall dead. $150.00 entry per team. Cash and trophies. Sponsored by Suburban Collection Car Dealerships. Contact Michael Grasser @ or 248-505-4744.


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 20, 2006 – Californai - Los Gatos. Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. Juanito Cuneo Memorial Tournament. Volo, 2 person teams. Contact: Marco Cuneo @ 415-713-5939 or


August 21st through 25th - Michigan - Orion: Open Tournament – 2-person teams. Palazzo di Bocce - 1st prize = $800, 2nd = $400, 3rd = $200, 4th = $100. Contact Jason Wisniewski @ 248-371-9987 ext. 11 or


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


August 26, 2006 – California - Martinez. Punto, Raffa Volo, Women’s Ranking Tournament. Contact Keith Tate @ 925-370-0633 or .


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 16, 2006 - California San Francisco -XXX Italian/American Games - Raffa – 3 person team - So. SF IACC, Orange Ave. Mem. Park. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


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 .


September, 2007 - Virginia - Oronoco Park, on the Potomac - First Annual San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria. Contact Jay DeCianno @

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