The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 27 - July 24, 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 #27 - July 24, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce friends,

Next weekend (7/29 & 7/30) our age 55-59 softball team will be playing in the Massachusetts Senior Games. This is especially important to me because it is a qualifying year. You qualify this year (by finishing first or second in your age bracket) and, if you want to, you can compete in the Nationals in 2007 which will be held in Louisville, KY.

If we qualify, we'll have a year to raise the funds for the trip. In addition to the great softball at the Nationals, we can visit Bob Valvano's Gotcha Bocce venue in Louisville - I'd really like another crack at those courts! View photos here .


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Received an interesting email from a bocce ball distributor...

"I know that you are the expert on bocce ball so I have a question for you. I am working a customer service issue...customers played twice and are now calling us saying they are defective, that they are dull and cracking. When we asked what playing surface he is playing on he informed us that he is playing on a crushed granite court. Am I correct in saying that that is not an acceptable playing surface? I found this to be a little humorous that he thought that it was okay."

{This points out a couple issues - one is that some of the companies selling bocce balls don't know much about the sport. They just see it as a blip on the radar of their profit screen and want to cash in. Many bocce players play on what they call d.g. (decomposed granite), a surface not very unlike stone dust or crushed limestone (maybe a bit coarser). The customer service person probably had a mental image of these people tossing bocce balls on slabs of solid granite.

The other issue is this - I think that American made bocce balls are made by bowling ball manufacturers who just retool to bocce specs. The balls are designed for impact with wooden pins, not for impact with other balls. Maybe it's a better economy to fork over a few more bucks up front for Italian made balls like Perfetta and Super Martel which are likely to be more durable for the long haul. View Perfetta balls at by clicking here...
Super Martel will be available soon via a new web site being created by Michael Grasser - details to follow soon.}


Bryan Mero of weighs in on last week's question about "match-ups".

"I wanted to chime in with some advice for match-ups.

We always play 4 to a team, 2 on each side in our league play in Martinez, CA. I have found that is it better to match up your own 2 players for each side of the court rather than trying to match them up against your opponent. Yes, it may be better to have your best duo go up against your opponents, but then again, maybe it's better to match your stronger player to their weaker players and vice versa. Either way, it will be the chemistry of your team that will win games.

Once your in tournament play, figure that each team you play will have strong sides of the court and choosing who goes to what side may be a toss up. Tendencies are good to scout out ahead of time but don't let that dictate how you play your own game.

In terms of a rule for this type of thing...there should be something before play begins that each capo, like in baseball, gives his lineup to the referee. It should list which 2 players are playing on what side. This way, neither captain knows the match-up ahead of time. The only other way is as part of the coin toss - the losing team must place their players on the court first and let the winning team choose who to play against them. I'm not sure which is better and how much of an advantage it really is."

{Bryan always makes good sense - check out his popular web site at .}


Great Back Yards


Marcia Greeley asks...

"I am planning a barbecue for my company and we would like to have a bocce tournament. The problem is the only area big enough for a bocce court is in the parking lot which is paved. My question is, can you play bocce on pavement?"

{Sure thing - but you'll need to lay a carpet or Astroturf down and roll it up afterwards.}


Eugene Gianforti writes from "upstate" New York...

"Avid bocce player and reader of your column here in Ithaca, NY! I will write again soon with pictures from our public courts at Stewart Park on the shores of magnificent Cayuga Lake.

{Yes! We love photos! Please send ASAP.}

I had a chance to visit the World Series of Bocce last week, hoping to get my first view of bocce at the competitive level. On the whole, the action was fantastic! I understand your comments on playing the back wall live, but despite some of the ends becoming bogged down towards the back of the court, the skill was apparent.

I left with several questions, and these may only be due to the rules applied to this particular competition. Several players, when shooting at an opponent's ball or their own, used a shot that was not quite an aerial volo, but was thrown with a volo release very low to the ground bouncing once or twice (often before the mid court line, as I made sure to note) before the target ball and then striking it. Of course, the players using this shot used a run up technique and released from the shooting line.

My question is, what are the various rule differences regarding the volo shot in competitions such as this and others? Can a 'Volo' land short of the mid line? Am I allowed a run up to the shooting line if my shot will land short of the mid line? I have read rules that require a volo to land within a prescribed circumference from the target ball, or at the very least make the first landing beyond the mid court line.

I apologize for this lengthy email, but I come to you as a guru on the topic and probably the best source for information. Thanks!"

{Thanks for the vote of confidence...I'll take a run at answering your questions...first off, some tournaments outlaw the volo because of insurance risks (they think someone might get conked off the head with an errant shot) or because they think the aerial shots will dig up the court surface.

Next, some open rules players also play international rules and learned to raffa via the international standard - that is, the raffa must first strike the ground beyond a pre-determined line. You can't roll it like a bowler going for a strike or spare. So, what I think you were seeing were lofting raffa shots, not really volos.

As far as the volo reaching mid-court, I think you might be thinking of international rules where the referee scribes an arc on the court inside which the volo must first land for it to be a valid hit.

And Yes you may use a run-up approach when hitting either by volo or raffa. Some play open rules bocce with two lines, one for pointing and one (farther up to allow for an approach) for hitting.}

Click for photos of the World Series of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Richard & Barbara Heisler and beautifully highlight the...


"We had looked forward to the opening of the new Campo di Bocce at Livermore since we first heard about construction last year. It was well worth the wait. This June Tom Albanese opened a purpose-built bocce facility in the latest outpost of the digital world; Livermore. The Pleasenton, Livermore, Dublin area is home to many giants of the digital age as well as Laurence Livermore and Sandia National Laboratories.

The Italian country-style building is located among vineyards near Concannon and Wente wineries. Indoors the high ceilings and intimate bar/restaurant areas make for a very comfortable space in which to play on the four courts. The four outdoor courts are located in a walled patio area with more room for dining.

The courts were installed by technicians brought from Italy and are similar to the new courts in Michigan and St. Louis. They played fast and true, even faster when the sun heated up the outdoor courts.

General manager Ben Musolf got things under way on time and, in the style of his Los Gatos tournaments, everything ran like clockwork. John Dine, Alberico Leonardi, Dave Canclini and Giovanni Napoli won a well-fought final. In the afternoon the public and invited guests started filling the hall and after the tournament ended, the priest conducted mass and blessed the facility. John Ross, USBF president, presented owner Tom Albanese with an award for the USBF wall of honor for promoting the game over the last nine years through his two bocce restaurants.

As usual the food was good and plentiful and with music and dancing it made a great festa. We can hardly wait for the next tournament!"

{Thanks to the Heislers for the wonderful photos and update - please follow their lead and send photos and info from bocce in your neck of the woods.}

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 – Mochatonix

From the company web site...

"A nutritionally balanced and delicious chocolate mocha drink, MochaTonix uses Advantra Z® to provide you with a pleasant burst of energy, increase your body’s metabolism and heighten your energy, alertness and endurance levels. MochaTonix delivers essential nutrients to the brain to aid in the synthesis of noradrenalin, an important neurotransmitter, so you can feel more alert, concentrate better and think more clearly."

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 Mochatonix® 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 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 16, 2006 – California - Livermore - Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. Punto, Raffa, Volo, Singles, Men’s Ranking Tournament. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074 or .


September 18 – 26, 2006 – Montenegro, BRAZIL (40 km from Porto Allegro) - 7th Club Punto, Raffa, Volo, World Championships.


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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