The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 4 - January 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 #4 - January 23, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce friends,

In my senior basketball league (age 50+) we never have forfeits. If one team is shorthanded, we just substitute someone. Since I run things (collect the player fees, hunt down sponsors, rent the gym, schedule and pay the refs and scorekeepers, order the team shirts, put the names and numbers in the scorebook, purchase the Gatorade - you have to re-hydrate the old bucks, etc., etc.) - I am usually the one to fill in for the short-handed club. Last week there was good news and bad. The good news was that I totaled 30 points on a variety of three-pointers, runners, and lay-ups. On the down side was that I played all three games and was practically in traction the following day. That's me in the photo with the $2000 custom brace after 8 or 9 knee operations - I've lost count. The guys I play hoop with are fond of saying "Mario, you can still shoot. Our problem is getting you open!"

This week I added a new Bocce Venue to my web site and the pictures "double" as Photos of the Week. I'll try to do more of this as it has the added bonus that, when the ezine issue is archived, the photos corresponding to that issue show up when you click (as opposed to the current week's photos).

Keep the ball rolling!


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

A couple interesting things happened in our league playoffs recently. We've been recruiting more women players. In our just finished league, each team had at least one female in the line-up.

The other league I am helping get rolling actually does not allow women - yes, that's correct...they voted for an all men's league. Yes, I know it's 2006. They just want a kind of "boys night out" where they eat and drink, smoke cigars, curse and play bocce.

If that upsets you, wait until you hear this one: remember the photos I posted a while back of the blind woman who plays excellent bocce with the help of her husband who describes the positions of previously played balls, then rings a bell continuously over the target zone? Well, they contacted an Italian American club in Wellesley, Mass. looking for a winter, indoor practice venue. They were told outright that the club did not allow women on the bocce court. I am going to take a ride down there some weekend to poke around and see if it really is true that Neandertal is alive and well in Massachusetts.

Anyway, the first interesting thing in our playoffs was that the women became the key players. In almost every case, they made the key points at crucial stages in the matches. In the championship tilt, Helen Kalil made a phenomenal shot on the last ball of the season, turning one point for the opponents into three points for her team and securing the title.

Another interesting thing is that some good teams were eliminated from the playoffs by some lucky shots. Shots that were intended to secure the point but instead moved the pallino a couple yards to a new, more advantageous position for the roller. It occurred to me that, for some, this might be a good argument for International Rules. In international play, the pallino would be replaced to its original position and the rolled ball ruled dead. Luck can't be 100% eliminated in this way, but it's pretty unlikely that a lucky shot will beat you - more likely a skilled opponent. On the other hand, hackers like me tend to think that with international style play "I can't be beat by luck, but I won't be able to win by luck either."


Got a lot of emails from readers who were at the 1999 Special Olympics World Games and who appreciated last week's photos.

Many like Art Bjork, the State Bocce Director for Special Olympics Florida wrote some variation of the following...

"Thanks for sharing that. It's been a long time!"

Referring to the hats we referees were given as official gear, Art offered...

"I've got the hat - still can't find my pictures!"


Reina Perez chimed in from Honduras...

"Thank you very much for your e-mail, the information inspired to me to sustain the idea I have to realize the introduction of Bocce Sport here in Honduras.

Let me tell you something about your e-mail that made me live twice a beautiful moment - In 1999 in the SO World Games I was in NC. My daughter was competing and won the only Gold Medal for our team.

{I love that - "...made me live twice a beautiful moment."}

I started with this project one year ago. I have prepared two courts for competition in the National Games this year. The SO Program has two places approved in bocce for participation in the World Games in 2007 in Shanghai, China - one male one female. We are practicing in seven sub-programs for that competition."

{Reina, as the kids around here say "You are awesome!"}


Boccemon Tom McNutt sent this...

"Even after almost 30 straight days of rain in the Pacific Northwest we still managed to play on two of the past four Wednesdays. Last night was special as it was the first time we ever engaged 12 balls. We often get groups of 6 or 12. Folks stand around unable to participate. I always had envisioned 12 balls on a 60 foot court to be chaotic. Due the temperature in the winter, those standing tend to lose interest in watching rather quickly.

Since our court is in the public right of way we cannot have a fire pit nearby, thus Winter Wednesdays can be short. Six people were willing to play at all times and though players would arrive and go - everybody played. After four hours the lights were finally brought in and people went home. Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door. Thanks to cellular technology new players had heard it was a stellar bocce night and were late in arriving. Certainly no less enthusiastic than the prior groups...

Everyone comes with the intention of playing. It's an individual thing. They brave the elements because they know there will be a game on Carolina Street on most Wednesdays. Not to play on a team but to play. The chance to roll a couple good ones. Golfers, hacks like me, tend to play a whole golf course for the opportunity to hit a couple of picture drives, 3 chips, and half a dozen "damn that was close" putts. For hours we kept play going and in the end we all won! Everyone rolled at least a couple shots they were proud of. We all experienced community, friendship, life outdoors, and we listened to stories about each others lives.

Breaking our routine by adding four balls to the mix reminded us of how fast we as busy people "dig in". How much we enjoy routines, and how hard they are to break. At the same time we were reminded, in the simplest of ways, how much we gain from changing our perspective. Guards were lowered and people were joyful. Nobody cared that Finnegan, our 5 year old, wanted to toss the pallino. We played!"

{I love to hear from those who have our game and the spirit of competition in perspective. Contrast the above sentiments to the following...

I recently started play in a new league (the "for men only" group alluded to above). Offering to help, I organized things and created the schedule. After the weekly games I email the results to the players and to the local newspaper. (It wasn't until about a year ago that the paper would add Bocce as a sub-heading on the sports page under Local Notes).

I merely rotate the players' names in the email so that everyone gets his name in the newspaper over the course of the season. What a mistake this was for this competitive group - they wanted no part of a rotation. They complained that the person's name listed didn't play so well, and so-and-so played much better.

I've said this many times before - I come from the dog-eat-dog world of competitive college and semi-pro baseball and basketball. One of the things that drew me to bocce was its good-natured, more low-key competition. Bocce is a competitive haven for me. I wouldn't replace my sports background for anything, but I don't want to go back there. Like Finnegan McNutt and the others on Carolina Street, I just want to play. }


Ralph Galtelli sends an update on the Memphis Bocce Tournament scheduled for 2/24 and 2/25)...

"Plans for the tournament are moving along quite well with very good, interest, support and team response. We expect teams from St. Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, and teams from cities in Arkansas, Mississippi and of course, Tennessee.

There has been a change in the hotel accommodations. We have negotiated a rate of $75.00 per night (with an additional $5.00 for 2 or more persons sharing a room) at the nearby Olive Branch Comfort Inn located at 7049 Enterprise Drive - Olive Branch, MS 38654 - (662) 895-0456. We have a total block of 12 rooms available at this rate so, make your reservations now! The Hotel is located 6.43 miles from the Bocce Club.

We request that you return your entry forms and $200.00 entry fee checks no later than February 15th, 2006 so that we can make the necessary preparations for the tournament and to have adequate, on-site food and beverages available.

If, for any reason, you can’t respond by the 15th, PLEASE CALL (901) 272-2124 we will work with your situation.

Again, I certainly hope that you will encourage your members and make every effort to attend. It will be a fun tournament and a great way to kick off the new year in bocce."

Shop at

Click to view info on International Rules...

Photos of the week
My "bocce posse" and I discovered these terrific courts in 1999 when we were in the Raleigh-Durham area to officiate the Special Olympics World Games (the largest sporting event on the planet that year).

They are in Fearrington Village (NC) constructed in honor of Fearrington's "Mr. Bocce," George "Bus" Detweiler. Click the photo for more info including an interesting variation of play employed by the locals.

I've posted these pictures on a new Bocce Venues page. So, when you click the photo to the right or the link below, you will actually be going to the Bocce Venue page, not the photos of the week. This has the added advantage that visitors to the archived issue will be directed to the correct photos, not the photos of the current week. I'll try to do more of this.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
The Henselite Bowls Measure is a metal telescopic device not much bigger than a ballpoint pen. Approximately 6 inches when closed, it extends to a meter.

The Henselite is designed for inside measure, and for close ones at that. The player or referee first estimates the distance between the pallino and the two bocce balls to be compared. Then, s/he extends the appropriate telescopic sections to a length slightly less than that estimate.

Next, s/he places the device between the pallino and one of the balls in question and extends it until it almost touches both balls.

The head of the tool is equipped with a screw-top mechanism. Turning the top in one direction lengthens the tool, while winding in the opposite direction shortens it. This fine tuning makes for very precise measuring. Finally, the measurer places the device between the pallino and the other ball in contention, and compares.

Care must be taken not to disturb the positions of balls being measured.

The device fits in and clips onto your shirt pocket. It even has calipers for checking those really close points. It is the perfect gift for the bocce aficionado in your life. Like our other measures, it retails for $21.95 plus shipping.

Click to view more pictures of the Henselite Bowls Measure...

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}

Vitamins in Isotonic form

Here is a vitamin line in an "isotonic state." By adding a specified amount of water to these powdered vitamins they approximate the composition as 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.

Vitamin C
Vitamin B-12
Trace Minerals
Co-Enzyme Q10

Click the link below to get more info...improve your health and maybe even your bocce game too!

Click for more info on isotonic supplements like multi-vitamins

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.


January 28, 2006 - Massachusetts - Lawrence - Sons of Italy, 155 Marston St. Four-player teams - $100 entry fee includes coffee and donut breakfast and sausage sandwich lunch. Registration cut-off = January 25, 2006. Contact Steve Zanni at 978-687-6853.


February 4, 2006 - California - Los Gatos - Campo di Bocce - 2nd Annual Maureen Albanese Valentines Day Tournament - teams of two men and two women (REQUIRED) - round robin - Open Rules - REGISTRATION ONLY OPEN TO 16 TEAMS - $30.00 per player/ $120.00 per team - Continental Breakfast and Buffet Lunch included. Contact Ben Musolf at 408-395-7650 - USBF CARD REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS.


February 11 & 12, 2006 - Michigan - Orion - Palazzo di Bocce - Mid-Winter Bocce Blast - Doubles (2-person teams), round-robin format, limited to 40 teams - $150 per team, paying top 10 places. 1st & 2nd places guaranteed $2,500 & $1,500 respectively. Registration deadline is Wednesday, February 8th. More info... Bryan Sanborn at 248-371-9987 x13 or email


February 18, 2006 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. Open - 3 person teams. (Team must include at least one woman). Contact: Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223 or


February 24 & 25 - Tennessee - Memphis. Memphis Italian-American Society/Memphis Bocce Club (4217 East Holmes Road). Four-player teams - double elimination - $200 entry fee. Prize money based on 20 teams - 1st - $2000, 2nd - $1000, 3rd - $500, 4th - $250. Contact Ralph Galtelli @ 901-272-2124.


March 18, 2006 - California - Stockton - Waterloo Gun & Bocci Club - Open - 4-person teams. Contact David Canclini @ 209-957-3314 or


March 26, 2006 - Florida - The Punta Gorda ELKS Lodge Each participant must be an ELK (any lodge). Double elimination - four-person team, one sub allowed. $100.00 entrance fee. First, Second and Third prize money. 50% of the proceeds go to a charity and the other 50% will go towards the prize money. For more details contact George Farruggio @ 941-575-0482 or


March 31 - April 1, 2006 - Arizona American Italian Club
$200 team entry / 4 person teams and $4000.00 first prize. Second place = $2,000, 3rd = $1,000, 4th = $500. Contact Pasquale D'Alisio @ 602-569-9149 or


April 22, 2006 - California - San Francisco - Orange Ave. Mem. Park - Triples (3-person teams) - Open rules - contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278.


April 29, 2006 - Washington - Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - 4th annual charity fundraiser ( this year for Hospice ). Four person teams $20/person, 32 teams. Details at or contact Tom at 360-224-2909.


May 13, 2006 - California - Martinez - Debbie Gerow Memorial Bocce Tournament/The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser - Open – 4 person team. Contact Traci Malley @ 916-456-7169.


May 20, 2006 - California - South San Francisco - Open -2 men/2 women - IACC - Orange Ave. Mem. Park. Contact Rudy Bertolozzi @ 650-583-9936.


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 17, 2006 - Location & date not finalized - ABA Raffa Championships - 3-person teams - Crockett Bocce Federation. MUST HAVE ABA CARD - contact Dick Gomez @ 707-554-9916.


July 22, 2006 - (tentative date & location) California - Fairfield - ABA Senior Championships, Open – 4 person teams. Must be age 55 and over - MUST HAVE ABA CARDContact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


June 24, 2006 - California - Martinez (tentative date & location) ABA Open Championships - Open – 4 person teams - Martinez Bocce Federation/Waterfront Park - MUST HAVE ABA CARD - contact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


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.


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

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