The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 38 - October 30, 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 #38 - October 30, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce lovers - wherever you are,

This week my bocce group ran a bocce tourney fund-raiser for a local who is running for State Representative. We've found it very easy to raise "small money" ($500 - $1000) with a bocce tourney. Raising "big bucks" is another story.

We rounded up some people who wanted to support this fellow's candidacy. They coughed up $50 each and got coffee and doughnuts, a double elimination tourney, lunch, and awards.

We raised a few extra bucks via a closest to the pallino contest. For $5 a ball, players took chances to win a restaurant gift certificate and a bocce of fine spirits.

The next one coming up at our venue is November 11. It is an event to raise funds for Exchange Club - pet charity is Child Abuse Prevention. If you are going to be in our neck of the woods, please consider attending. For details, see Tourney Update below.


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

A couple of interesting things happened in my bocce play this weekend - thought you might be interested too...

On Friday I played triples and was partnered with two women who had minimal playing experience. We were ahead 11 - 9 and had the potential winning point about 8 inches from the pallino. Our opponents had the final shot and tried to hit. The attempt missed its target, but deflected off another ball which hit our point away and started a chain reaction that resulted in 3 points for the opposition. Game, Set, Match - 12 to 11!

It made me ponder the luck factor. I understand why so many top players prefer international style play. That errant shot would have been negated as it hit the wrong target and moved balls more than 70 cm from their previous positions.

With international rules, you can't get beat by luck. On the other hand, you can't win by luck either. And many recreational players would rather be lucky than good.

On Sunday I attended a family event at the Dante Club (West Springfield, Mass.). They have a 76' by 10' indoor bocce court (photo above right) and I was able to sneak away for a match or two. Of course, my brother-in-law, Rico Daniele (Wonderful World of Bocce) was there too.

There are two sports where you don't want to go up against Rico - table tennis and bocce. In ping pong he plays 15 feet away from the table as his opponent slams the ball at him a zillion miles an hour, and he effortlessly taps it gently back over the net. This goes on for quite awhile, continually frustrating his opponent who attempts to slam the ball harder each time until he finally misses the table by 10 feet.

But bocce is Rico's best sport. He points well, shoots even better, and thinks the game as well as anyone I know.

I like to play singles against really good players like him as a kind of reality check. I want to see how many points (if any) I can score. "Give me your best shot," I'll tell him.
"I want to see how many points I can score against you." I've never once beaten him head to head. He generally toys with me and I am lucky to score 3 or 4 points in a twelve-point match.

This time I said to him, "I'm going to score 6 points against you." {This would be a moral victory}

He proceeded to trounce me 12 - 1 playing most of his shots off the side boards. I came to the conclusion that this court was tailor made for bank shots. I called for a rematch, and carefully watched every bank shot he attempted and "went to school" on his deliveries. This time, in a monumental upset, I prevailed 12 - 8, beating him for the first time ever.

Moral of the story - good players know their home courts extremely well. Take a page out of their book by observing their tactics. I did. And the next time I'm in town, Rico's going down in ping pong too!


George Pezzini asks...

"What are the various throwing techniques for: punto, raffa & volo. All we know is to lob the ball so it rolls to the intended target. Obviously we are new to this sport."

{A tough question to answer in an email or a small amount of print space. I wrote a great deal about technique in my book, The Joy of Bocce. You can download the e-book version for only $4.95 - see above. Otherwise, I'd suggest playing as much as you can and watching and asking questions of more experienced players. And never underestimate trial and error as a learning modality. Try out different styles and techniques and see what works for you.}


Jay DeCianno sends news of a change in his tournament for next fall:

"We have a change for next year’s San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria and the bocce tournament. The date is set for September 15th, 2007 and the location is Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria Virginia just outside Washington DC. Information is on the website ."

Illinois' Bocce Bob Whitlow is at it again...

Bocce USA Kicks off 2006-07 Season

After the sound of the bugle call and the playing of the National Anthem, bocce players manned their playing positions to kick off the 2006-2007 winter league bocce season at Factory Stores of America Shopping Center.

The first of a nine team, eighteen-week schedule saw the 2006 League Champions, Stotlar Lumber Company, receiving a bye and collecting the first forty-two points of the year.

Three other teams rolled for the maximum of forty-two points each making a four-way tie for first place in the weekly standings.

Franklin-Williamson Foundation downed J&S Professional Pharmacy forty-two to eleven. John Battioli of Herrin was top roller for the Foundation. With Beth Lipscomb of Benton subbing on McCord’s Market team, McCord’s nabbed all three games from Southern Illinois Bank. Veteran roller Tom Borga of Christopher was top pointer for the bank. Joan Knipler of Marion was secured to substitute for an ailing bank player.

Severin’s All-Stars and Stitches also had a winning evening by downing the West Frankfort Lion’s Club forty-two to sixteen. Lion Bob Ellis lead the way for his team while Mary James of Herrin and Frankfort’s Mary Lynn Whitlow scored big for the All Stars.

Players and spectators witnessed the longest three game session of bocce ever played at Bocce USA. From the beginning of the first game to the last ball rolled, veteran official Jay Bussler had to measure near every other rolled ball to determine which team needed to roll next ball. After two hour and twenty-two minutes, Boneyard Bocce Club of Benton lead by Orvel Edwards of Ewing and West Frankfort’s Hershel Gregge tallied thirty-three points and took two out of three games from Greg Galli Auto Body. Galli scored a team total of twenty-four points. Shirley Galli was the top pointer for Galli’s.

League standings

Stotlar Lumber Company 42
McCord’s Market 42
Franklin-Williamson Foundation 42
Severin’s All-Stars and Stitches 42
Boneyard Bocce Club 33
Greg Galli Auto Body 24
West Frankfort Lion’s Club 16
Southern Illinois Bank 12
J&S Professional Pharmacy 11


Are You Thinking About Christmas Yet?

Christmas Trees

Click to learn about international rules play...

Photos of the week
On October 22, 2006 I attended a bocce court ribbon cutting ceremony in a public park in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

The ceremony was so well done that I decided to post photos for others to view and perhaps emulate when they get courts installed in their city.

Michael Fortunato was the driving force behind the project and he was able to deftly mobilize his service club (UNICO) as well as city officials and community volunteers to get the job done.

From the Press Release...

"Fundraising began exactly one year ago at a wine tasting event, and overwhelming support from our community allowed us to complete the project within a year. Each court measures 72' by 12' and has a stone dust surface, popular on the east coast. We built the courts to encourage all people, young and old, to play this great game as well as to promote our Italian heritage."

Note the brick walkway between the two courts. Memorial bricks were sold as part of the fund-raising effort. Says Fortunato..."The courts have a value of $20-25,000; we raised $10,000 via a wine tasting last fall 2005, a dance in the spring 2006, and via the sale of memorial bricks. We had $5,000 donations of lumber & stone dust & trap rock; the remaining value of labor was donated by the sweat of members."

These Millwoods Park courts complement the many other amenities there (skateboarding, tennis, soccer, swimming, and more). I've often said that the quality of life in a community is related to its recreation. These people have their act together!

{P.S. Please invite me to your event. I'll take pics and post them. Right now I'm a really cheap date - all you have to do is feed me. After I appear on Oprah, you might not be able to afford me.}

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}

Isotonix® Calcium Plus

From the Market America company web site...

"The most abundant mineral in the human body is calcium. It plays a critical role in the building and maintaining of strong bones. But it also plays a major role in blood clotting, the contraction of skeletal and heart muscles, the effectiveness of electrical impulses passing through neurons, the maintenance of osmotic balance in the body’s cells and proper blood vessel tone. Studies indicate that calcium supplements could reduce the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) by nearly half. Your body would surely benefit from an efficient and effective means of receiving this vital mineral on a daily basis. Market America’s Health and Nutrition Store delivers just such a means in an exciting calcium formulation: Isotonix® Calcium Plus™."

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 Calcium Plus 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.


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 15, 2007 - Virginia - Oronoco Park, on the Potomac - First Annual San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria. Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria Virginia (just outside Washington DC). Info on website: . Contact = Jay DeCianno @

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