The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 5 - January 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 #5 - January 30, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Hello again bocce faithful,

This weekend my "bocce posse" and I won the Lawrence, Mass. Sons of Italy 8-team double elimination tournament. {Yes, that's us in the photo - though not very photogenic, we are each devastatingly handsome.}

We're a little more experienced than most of the teams that entered, so we didn't have too much trouble with the competition. But my experience is that this will change quickly as the new bocce courts there get used more and the players improve. The level of play tends to rise as the venue gets more use. So, we'd better savor the title while we can.

Our Monday morning league starts 1/30/06 with 8 teams of four playing on four 80' by 12' Astroturf courts. We're thinking about playing "triples" (three per team, roll two balls each) next time around.

I think you'll like this week's photos. They are from Michael Grasser (we need more like Mike who travel and submit photos and info). The pictures highlight action direct from Italy in two events... The prestigious Pallino d'Oro competition and another singles tournament sponsored by Navigare, a high end yachting clothier manufacturer in the city of Modena.


Please add to your "whitelist" or email address book program, so that you have no trouble receiving future issues!

Also, click "Confirm" at the end of this ezine to further ensure consistent delivery.


Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

Click the link below to order an autographed copy from me. Shipping will be $4.00 (US Priority Mail). And please let me know how you want the book autographed (type the details in the "Special Inscription/Autograph" box provided).

Also, you can order an electronic version from the publisher ( ) at just $4.95 (you download it - no shipping charge).

Click on the image above to order from the publisher's web site or the link below to get an autographed copy directly from me. {If you order from the publisher's site enter Pagnoni in the box for Author = ...}


I hope you will like this electronic newsletter. To be deleted from the list, you can Unsubscribe at the end of this issue. We will quickly and permanently remove your email address from our list (we'll be sorry to see you go). But, be aware that one of our enthusiastic readers suggested that “…bocce and unsubscribe are mutually exclusive terms.”


P.S. Did a friend send you this? Sign up to get your own here - - it's entertaining, useful, and complimentary.

Order an autographed copy of the Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Michael Oliver of Millersville, MD writes about an interesting project...

"I'm currently a Life Scout soon to be Eagle and I've been asked to build a bocce court {60' by 12'} for my Eagle Scout project. I was wondering if you have any ideas for a cheap top dressing. I was thinking of just going with stone dust considering I'm doing the project for a Church.

My boss actually installs synthetic golf greens - that was my first choice. But it's really expensive.

The project is currently awaiting approval by my scout master and my troop board. Then it will move onto the local council which will take a couple of weeks. I have just talked to my pastor and the project has been approved by him. So now I am just waiting on approvals by the scout leaders. If you would like I could send you my project write up (though its not a final copy). I will also get you pictures of the site before we start working on it. Thank you for your interest and help in my project."

{Yes, yes, please send info and pictures. This is a great story!

Stone dust will be the least expensive. Some places are putting Astroturf or indoor/outdoor carpet to avoid maintenance issues - that might be an option. Sometimes colleges do renovating and have a 12' by 60' strip of Astroturf they could donate.

I'd suggest approaching your boss with the idea of getting a tax write-off for a donation to the church or scout troup - worth a shot. Can any readers offer other suggestions?}


Dr. Cordano responds to my comments on the Open Rules and playing the backboard dead unless a rolled ball first strikes another ball.

"In regard to the backboard, I agree entirely with your favorite, because it is mine too and honestly there shouldn't be any other way or alternative.

I agree that the rest of the rules are 'almost' minor, but I would like to see that pallino should be placed between the middle line and the pointing line in 60 foot long courts and at some distance from the lateral wall. In 78-86 foot long courts the shooting/raffa line ahould be at 12-13 feet from the back wall and be the only line and serve as the limit for the throwing of the pallino.

We should insist that pallino can't rest on the wall and either pick 5 1/2 inches from the wall or 12 inches (this one is widely accepted). An alternative will be that a bocce ball should pass without touching the pallino, because it will be easy to implement and because in some places they still play with CANNON balls (115 mm with a weight of 1,150 - 1250 grams).

{Yes, some friends of ours in Methuen play with the aforementioned CANNON BALLS. I feel like I'll get a hernia each time I try to Raffa.

I have seen play with the 12" restriction, but not 5 1/2 " - that must be from international play, because that is nearly 13 cm, if my math is correct.}

The throwing of the pallino should be limited to one trial only (save time and is more practical).

Maybe I said more than needed about rules...but I can't stop when talking or writing about our sport and in trying to have the best, simplest and most practical rules in our USA."

{As always, the good doctor makes good sense.}


Bill Jones from Chilliwack B.C., Canada updates us...

"I thought I would let you know what is happening is this part of the world. As I told you before Christmas I was trying to introduce Bocce to this community. Well, I was in touch with the seniors resources society and gave a lot of info which I derived from your site and they have asked me to go back with more info. The main thing is they are interested.

I was in touch with Seattle, and they have indoor courts, and they gave me lots of info as to what is required. They use 10 x 60 ft mat and they got it from Home Depot as it was the cheapest. They had a close looped carpet about a 1/4 thick rubber backed, and they have been using it for about 5 years now. So I think that is what we will go with.

What I wanted to ask you is how long does it take to complete a game, with 2 / 4 / 6 /or 8 players, as we will only get one mat to start with, and we need to know that info, so we can set up the teams. I have quite a few names waiting to get involved.

Will send you further email as to our progress. Thanks once again for all the info."

{Sounds great! You are smart to do your homework before getting things off the ground. Games take differing lengths of time depending on the skill level of the players. We've been running about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes for our four-player matches. In leagues or tournaments you could even play to, say "12 points or 30 minutes, whichever comes first" if you have people waiting to participate. Keep us posted, and please send photos.}


Denver's Gabriella Dorrity is interested in This Old House...

"We (my husband and I) just started our court. Albeit small, due to space constraints, it is still going to be a great court. We have downloaded a lot of information and have visited several local places here in Denver, Colorado.

We are a little daunted by what it takes but think we can do it. So seeing the line about being the subject of the story {This Old House}, we thought it might be fun. Neither my husband nor I play well (yet) but we are trying to set up a good team to enter in the annual Italian Festival at Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado. It is only a small $500 pot as of 2005 but is promising to get larger.

We have a local team here that seems to sweep everyone every year and we think having our court to practice on will be our advantage. Plus, we visit the land of Bocce every year to visit my mother-in-law. I know you receive many emails but would love to hear more about this small project. Happy rolling and maybe we will meet someday at a Bocce court."

{Good luck with this project. I've forwarded your email to the people at This Old House. Keep us posted and please send photos.}

Click to view some great bocce venues...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by journeyman bocce player Michael Grasser of Michigan. Grasser traveled to Italy to view the Pallino d'Oro tournament and participate in the Navigare Tourney.

The 28th annual Pallino d'Oro featured 32 players (by invitation only). There were 28 from Italy as well as one each from the USA, Switzerland, San Marino, and Austria.

The players were seeded and placed in a group of 8 (e.g. 1, 5, 9, 13, 20, 24, 28, 32 were in one pool and 2, 6, 10, 14, 19, 23, 27, 31 in another, etc. - if you add the totals of the seeds it equals 132 in each case}

The field for the Pallino D'Oro was limited to 32 players while Navigare was open to all - men and women (a whopping 1124 competed). Both "singles" (head-to-head) tournaments employed Punto Raffa Volo rules and the format was single game elimination (one loss and you are out). {More than eleven hundred participants in a single elimination event - makes March Madness seem sane.}

Dante D'Alessandro was the Pallino d'Oro winner. The venue was the Rinascita Budrione Bocce Club, Modena, Italy. Maurizio Mussini won the Navigare tournament.

According to Grasser "The Navigare was played in one day using approximately 52 bocce clubs and 240 bocce courts. The final match of the Navigare and the entire Pallino d'Oro tournament was played at the Rinascita Burdrione Bocce Club in Modena, Italy. This club has four international size synthetic courts."

Note: Navigare is a high end yachting clothier manufacturer in Modena.

Grasser has an eBay store with professional bocce balls by CAST and shoes by Super Martel and Olimpica. Visit it by clicking...

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.


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 4, 2006 - California - South San Francisco - 10:00 AM - American Bocce Association is conducting a FREE Learn how to Play Punta, Raffa, Volo class at Orange Memorial Park. To register, call Alfredo Herrera 510-787-2317.


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.


April 29, 2006 - California - Concord - 10:00 AM. American Bocce Association is conducting a FREE Learn how to Play Punta, Raffa, Volo class at Concord Bocce Federation. To register, call Alfredo Herrera 510-787-2317.


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 - ABA Raffa Championships - 3-person teams - Crockett Bocce Federation. MUST HAVE ABA CARD - contact Dick Gomez @ 707-554-9916.


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.


August 12, 2006 - California - Fairfield - ABA Senior Championships, Open – 4 person teams. Must be age 55 and over - MUST HAVE ABA CARDContact Traci Peters @ 916-456-7169.


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

What? You don't have a Joy of Bocce mug?

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.
 Check out the merchandise