The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 37 - October 23, 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 #37 - October 23, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello weekly readers,

Got some great pictures from the recent North American Bocce Championship from Richard and Barbara Heisler (Eureka, CA) and some appropriate photo captions from John Ross of the USBF. The pics serve several purposes, acting as photos of the week, showing off play in the NA Championships, and becoming a new page on the Bocce Venues section of my web site. Being posted on the Bocce Venues page means that they will be available permanently, not just for one week. The pictures highlight the spectacular venue that is Campo di Bocce of Livermore (California). Details below in Photos of the Week.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Carmine D'Agostino of Franklin, Mass. sent an invitation...

"I read your Joy of Bocce 1st ed. and I spent the summer building my bocce court. I just put the finishing touches on it last week. I would like to invite you and your wife to our house on Sunday to play some Bocce. If you have no plans, we'd be honored if you came. My wife is from Italy and will cook up a storm if you come."

{Yes, I always accept an invitation like this if I can fit it into my schedule, especially if there is a "...wife from Italy who will cook up a storm."

We visited the cordial and gracious Carmine and Maria D'Agostino, played some bocce, and consumed all kinds of wonderful home-made dishes. I will post some photos in an upcoming issue. Carmine also sent a series of photos showing his bocce court project from start to finish. These might be of interest to aspiring backyard court builders - although viewing the extensive work that Carmine did might make the task look daunting. Nevertheless, look for photos in a future issue.

In the photo above, that's Carmine to the left of the court and his wife, Maria rolling and showing off what we call the "diaper dip delivery."

Please follow Carmine's example and invite me to your bocce venue. I'll take pictures and post them on the site - bocce players LOVE seeing other people's courts. And I'm a really cheap date - all you have to do is feed me.}


Jim Meehan, from Lagniappe Vineyards in the Napa Valley sends excellent news about plans for a new "picture coffee table book"...

"In the preface of your book you say bocce suffers from an image problem in America. People see it as an 'old fogies' game played at social clubs. You go on to say 'but it is a wonderful game-the best kept secret in sports,' and show people on a beach playing bocce.

I could not agree with you more! I first learned to play bocce on a beach in Southern California in 1975 and became an instant convert. Since then I have played from one coast to the other and in Tuscany and Mexico. In 2001 my wife and I moved to the Napa Valley and now own a small wine vineyard. We installed a bocce court (60' X 10') in 2002. We play in a league here in the valley, and we also host a Friday night social bocce match that has become a favorite for us and our many friends.

Many other people we know have built their own courts - some of them using David Brewer. We have many pictures of games, parties and events where people of all ages are enjoying bocce in the wine country. The book we are producing (my wife is a writer) is more of a picture coffee table style book. We are attempting to address 'image,' by focusing on lots of ideas for alfresco entertaining around the game of bocce. We want to show the game as a way to bring all ages together and to enjoy outdoor living with great food, wine and camaraderie.

I would greatly appreciate having a phone discussion about how you see our project, which we believe is complementary to your book."

{Yes, yes, yes, we had a good telephone conversation about this very interesting project. I hope it all comes together. It's something that can only help our game grow.

I have some wonderful photos in my book. The problem is that many are 72 dpi digital photos - great for the Internet - not so good for print reproduction. We had to reproduce them smaller than I would have liked - a trade off to keep them as clear and in focus as possible. Jim won't have that problem as he has many high-resolution, color shots that are perfect for this type of book. }


EVER THINK OF A CANOPY COVERING FOR THE ENDS OF YOUR BOCCE COURT? (Or one to provide shade off to the side - perhaps keeping the food and beverages out of the sunlight?)

Canopy Center


Last week we printed Michael Fortunato's Press Release about the Bocce Courts Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Millwoods Park (Wethersfield, CT).

Mike and the Wethersfield Chapter of UNICO as well as numerous volunteers in the community did a fabulous job of raising the funds and building the two 72' by 12' stone dust courts.

"We built the bocce courts to encourage all people, both young and old, to play this great game as well as to promote our Italian heritage."

{I took a ride to Connecticut for this event and met some terrific people, took a few photos, consumed tasty Italian sausage & peppers, rum cake & cookies, and played some bocce. They even let me have the microphone for a couple minutes, and I wished them well and complimented them on the many things they did right.

For the game to grow, we need it to move out of the private domain and into the public. Courts at the Sons of Italy, social clubs, and Elks Lodges are great. But we need more of them in public parks like Millwoods.

Fortunato's team did a fantastic job of mobilizing the community to raise funds and complete the construction without burdening the city with the expense.

They were smart to put in two courts. People often tell me that they put one court in their local park, and realized their mistake within a couple weeks (as they see the single court's popularity). It doesn't cost twice as much to put in two courts as one UNLESS YOU BUILD ONE FIRST, THEN ADD THE SECOND LATER.

I also complimented the group on the length of the courts. There are a lot of 60 foot courts in the east, and we always recommend longer ones. International courts are closer to 90', so anything over 70 feet is a good compromise.

I had an interesting playing experience on these courts and will share my thoughts with of the courts to follow in another issue.

I played very poorly... for a couple reasons. One reason is that I stink. Another is that it was tough getting used to the court since the new stone dust played a lot slower than I am used to. This isn't usually a problem for me, because when you hit the bocce circuit you learn to adjust to different surfaces.

I'm always telling the players in my bocce posse to "Stop your whining. When we travel we play by the host's rules and adjust to their courts."

But I had the additional problem of adjusting to a very different ball (100mm rather than 107mm, and very heavy - not sure of the weight). I'm sure if I played a couple more games I'd start to get the hang of things...maybe.

One of the fellows I met and played with was Victor Vallera, a bocce promoter from Rocky Hill, CT. An excellent player, he had no trouble adjusting to these courts, even though he often plays on grass courts. Victor told me he loved the purity of the game, and never played for money. Too bad, I thought. He'd be a wealthy man.

While driving back to Massachusetts (about 120 miles), I imagined traveling to play basketball and finding when I arrived that they used a different sized basketball. I could probably adjust, but if it was a different court surface AND a different sized ball, I don't know how I'd do.

Do any readers have tips on adjusting to different courts and different size bocce balls? Do you find it easier to go from a fast-playing surface to a slower one or vice-versa? Please REPLY}

Click to view some neat courts in Fearrington Village, North Carolina...

Photos of the week

Campo di Bocce, Livermore, CA - June 14

Special Report from Joy of Bocce loyal supporters Richard and Barbara Heisler...

"Jubilation ensues! For the first time in eight years a US bocce team has won the semi-annual North American Championship. Coming off of some fine recent performances (a fourth in singles and a fifth in club team in the World Championships), it was not a great surprise, but it was devilish close at the end.

Each match in the Punta, Raffa, Volo international format is made up of three games: Triples (three against three with each player having two balls, doubles with each player having two balls and singles with each player having four balls. The doubles and singles are usually run off simultaneously if space is available. For more info:

In the preliminary round robin each team played a game against every rival from across the border. The teams with the best match wins went into the semi-finals. There were four men’s teams from each country and three women’s teams.

The tournament started on Thursday evening with one round of the men’s competition played. Friday was an extremely long day with each team obliged to play three rounds of three games. This lead to many starting at 9 AM and finishing after midnight. Bocce may be an endurance sport.

The Detroit team of Dr. Angel Cordano, Jorge Moreno, Mike Grasser and Jason Wisniewski which garnered a fifth in Brazil won through to the finals round against Quebec, only to lose the first (triples) game by a close 14/15. As the remaining two rounds were contested concurrently, it was only when Detroit's Jorge Moreno stylishly took the singles in 15-7 that the doubles contest became the deciding game of the tournament. The intense atmosphere was palpable and the court was entirely ringed with bocce fans and supporters of both teams. It came down to a cliff-hanging 14-14 score and the US won with a single point in the last frame. Cheers erupted from players and fans!

The second place team represented the Province of Quebec and included: Guido Grasso, Joe Stinziani, Guerrino Ricci, and Domenico Spadafora. Third went to Toronto over Stockton.

In the women's division, the Quebec team of Biaggia Saraullo, Maria Secondi, Miranda Pelizzolo and Rosalba Stinziani defeated Montreal to take home the cup. Third went to Livermore over Chicago. Teams representing St. Louis; Windsor, Ontario and Laval, Quebec also competed.

Dinner, music, dancing and the awards presentations after the tension of the finals put everyone in a celebratory mood.

John Ross, USBF president with the management and staff of Tom Albanese’s Campo di Bocce, Livermore and many volunteers outdid themselves to host this event. Special thanks also to the many Canadians and Americans who spent hours refereeing some tough and close games.

My wife and I had a great time meeting new friends and enjoying the wonderful surroundings and state of the art courts as well as the fine food and comfortable atmosphere. It was a great experience for players and spectators alike."

{Many thanks to the Heislers and to the USBF's John Ross for supplying additional info and captions for the photos. Without the help of loyal bocce lovers like them, it would be impossible to produce a quality, weekly ezine.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Four-ball bocce sets by Perfetta

Want to step up from the bargain basement bocce sets so prevalent in the USA? Take a look at these from Playaboule. They are precision made in, and imported from, Italy.

From the Playaboule web site...

"The ONLY official size for bocce tournament play is 107mm dia. That is the ONLY size we stock. We urge caution when buying balls as the terms professional, tournament deluxe, etc. are very loosely used on other sites."

Click this text or the photo for more info and pricing details...

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 - Ultimate Aloe Strawberry/Kiwi Juice

From the Market America company web site...

A chemical analysis shows that Aloe vera contains vitamins, minerals, triglyceride, carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes, and of course, water. The vitamins found in Aloe include B-complex, B-1, B-2, B-3 and B-12, choline, folic acid, vitamin C, and beta carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A) - all of which are vital to general good health in body systems and some of which are vital for the formation of certain enzymes."

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 Ultimate Aloe 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.


October 28, 2006 – California, Los Gatos Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos. Punto, Raffa, Volo, 2 Players, “Big Ben Tournament”. Contact Ben Musolf @408-857-0074 or


October 28, 2006 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Bocce tourney fund-raiser for Bob Andrew, Candidate for State Rep. DB's Baseball School on Rte. 125. Four-player teams - open rules - $50 per person entry fee includes lunch. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or


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


November 11, 2006 - Massachusetts - North Andover. DB's Baseball School on Rte. 125. Exchange Club charity fund-raiser for Child Abuse Prevention. Four-player teams - includes "closest to the pallino" competition. Contact Al Pappalardo @ Guesthouse Inn - 978-686-2971 or .


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

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.
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