The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 6 - February 6, 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 #6 - February 6, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Under the heading "how did I get so smart?"...

This week I purchased some antique bocce balls from a gentleman from Connecticut. Locating the vendor's address on the map, and noting his proximity to the Mohegan Sun Casino, I got a bright idea. I could combine the trip to pick up the balls with an excursion to the Indian reservation, breaking up the drive by spending an evening at the casino's hotel.

The next morning I could gamble a little, then travel the rest of the way to the vendor, pick up the bocce balls, and return to Massachusetts.

This all made perfect sense to me and it all worked out well, except for the fact that the side trip's gambling losses had the added effect of raising the purchase price of the bocce balls considerably.

I've posted photos of the balls as this week's photos and, if you have any info on what the balls might be made of, or what their derivation might be, please REPLY.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Serviceman Steve Jaksec of "the most dangerous bocce court in the world" sent the photo to the right and this update...

"Grazie Mario! I look forward to perusing through your pub as often as possible. The momentum continues to go forward. Enjoy the pics and hold tight as I am now trying to get the time to transition to the 'Thank-You' phase of the operation!"


Here is a recent posting from the Yahoo group Bocceanonymous!

We are establishing a Brand Spanking New Bocce Club here in Middle Tennessee where very few people have ever heard the word Bocce. Our group is planning on establishing 4-6 courts and have everything just about ready for construction. We want to try to be ready for play sometime around 1st week in May.

If anyone has some suggestions how we can introduce this game to 'new' players, we'd appreciate any suggestions. We have a few who are going to form a Club and League but not enough to compete as a league. Any and all suggestions will be considered and put into action if it will make adults and seniors interested. We don't have a court to show them how to play...but we have a meeting hall where we could meet until courts are built. All of our material has been donated for the courts including 250 tons of Crushed Limestone...and Limestone dust for a topping. Railways ties have been donated by our local railroad...We'll be looking for those responses so we can get going."

{Contact Bill Bickford at with comments/suggestions.}

Joy of Bocce faithful Ron Grassi of Iowa already responded with this good advice...

Set up a meeting place, then contact the local newspaper sports editor, letting them know of the meeting that you are setting up a bocce group. Make some posters and post them in local businesses, giving your name and phone number, as the contact person, letting people know of the plans for setting up a bocce group.

There is a video out called ALL ABOUT BOCCE, that is available on eBay, showing how the game in played on grass, and also shows people using courts. This would help in explaining the game of bocce.

Also, if you have a local ISP, see if they allow you space for putting up a web page. Get it set up, giving your name, email address, and phone number as the contact person. Make some business cards, and give them out to people who are interested in the game of bocce.

Sound like you are starting out the way I did a couple years ago, and I now have about 60-70 email addresses of people who play the game.

Also, since you are going to have courts in town, contact our local newspaper, and have them do an article about the courts, and the game of bocce. Ask them to have a photographer available to take pictures of the new courts, and have some friends around using the courts.

Check out our group web site,, to see pictures of some home courts, as well as the courts as they were being built in one of the local parks, and then the finished product here in Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa.

Good luck in your endeavor!"


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

I'll repeat some of his ideas here - they prompted Alvaro Bettucchi to respond with comments of his own.

Dr. C said...

"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).

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

Alvaro Bettucchi of the Italian American Citizens Club of South San Francisco responded...

"Regarding Mr. Cordano's comments on the OPEN rules (whom I respect so much), there are and there will always be alternatives to the OPEN game. First, here in California, any ball that hits the backboard (except the pallino) is d-e-a-d. And it is o.k. with all of us that follow that rule. Personally, I could also adjust with Dr. Cordano's suggestion of playing the way they do in the East, but an agreement by all the clubs, Federations, etc. is required. I do agree, it would be better if all the USA played under the same rules, agreed to by ABA, USBF, World Bocce Fed, and whatever other recognized Federation. Maybe you would be the person to get a national meeting, with two or three representatives from each group, and hopefully get unified rules on the OPEN game.

Second, (for me), leave the pallino alone. If it is resting next to the side board, it takes skill to put a ball next to it, before it, or after it (depending on the situation) and you can also raffa it away. This leads to more strategy, thinking and alternatives.

Third, limiting the throwing of the pallino once is a good idea. The placement of the pallino, like they do in Raffa to begin the match is another good idea.

Our courts are 100 feet long and 12 feet wide. Placing the pallino in the center, between the center line and the lagging line on the opposite end would be a nice way to begin a match.

Lastly, for inter-club play in South San Francisco, we allow the VOLO shot from the VOLO line in the OPEN game. The game is OPEN, why not allow it? Everyone tries it sooner or later. It's fun to do, and when we offer the Raffa game it's no big deal!"

{Later Mr. Bettucchi added the following...}

"In OPEN rules, if you shoot volo from the regular Lagging line, you are really doing a RAFFA shot in mid-air, so you can hit anything. But if you are doing a real VOLO shot from the VOLO line in the OPEN game, you must mark the ball you intend to hit, the same as in the VOLO or the RAFFA game. Again, this is done in our inter-club leagues in South San Francisco and we have found it adds interest to the game."

Click to view some great bocce venues...

Photos of the week
This week's photos show off the newest additions to my antique bocce ball collection. I purchased them over the weekend and am hoping that some readers might shed some light on what I have in my possession.

A couple years ago, when I purchased some nailed boules and posted the photos, Californian Frank Pipal wrote in with an explanation of what I had and a link to a web site that contained a wealth of information ( ).

I am hoping those viewing this week's pics might share their expertise about my new acquisitions. The seller thinks the wooden balls (like the one pictured above right) are made of Cuban mahogany. Please REPLY if you can help.

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 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 24, 25, 26 - Florida - Cape Coral. THE CAPE CORAL WORLD SERIES OF BOCCE. 4 person teams - Round Robin Format - Minimum of Three Games. 1st Place $6000.00 (Guaranteed), 2nd Place $2,500.00, 3rd Place $1,500.00, 4th Place $500.00, 5th Place $500.00.
Contact GEORGE P. FURLAN @ 239-275-9968 or 1-800-226-0604, Cell: 239-229-2348.


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 - California - Crockett - ABA Raffa Championships - 3-person teams - Crockett Bocce Federation. Crockett Community Center, 850 Pomona St.
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.


July 29 - 30, 2006 - West Virginia - Wheeling. Upper Ohio Valley Italian Festival Bocce Tournament. Visit for more info.

August 12, 2006 - California - Fairfield - ABA Senior Championships, Open – 4 person teams. Must be age 55 and over - MUST HAVE ABA CARD. Contact 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

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