The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. V, Issue 7 - February 13, 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 #7 - February 13, 2006
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2006
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844

Big doings this weekend. We hosted a Bocce Birthday Bash for a gentleman who invited 31 other bocce playing to follow next week. Also, we had to cancel our regular Sunday senior basketball games as we are in the middle of a Nor'easter packing lots of snow. Do you know what New England schoolchildren call a weekend snow storm? Answer: a waste of perfectly good snow.

No one seemed to have any info on the Cuban Mahogany bocce ball pictures last week, but everyone who has seen them thinks they are terrific.

Keep the ball rollin'.


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Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition

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

Reina from Honduras writes again about his daughter's and his area's transitioning from ten-pin bowling to bocce...

"I was in the computer with my son (17) - he is my teacher in this matter, and we saw the last message I sent you. We felt part of you, like a long time ago we belong to the same team.

Milagro my daughter was invited two weeks ago to the inauguration of the Bowling Center (unique) here in my city - 8 lanes to play. She had more than two years when she could not practice bowling, but, this confirms when you give quality of your time coaching a Special Athlete, these are the results.

At this time we are with courage to get the most important beginning in Bocce. Give me some more time to send you some more photos of our Bocce Courts. Thank you again, you help to make me awake."

{Reina's writing is so warm and full of heartfelt sentiment. "We felt part of you, like a long time ago we belong to the same team"...Thank you again, you help to make me awake."}


Elizabeth Erikson, the publicist for Palazzo di Bocce, informs us about some of the difficulties promoting our sport...

"I handled media relations for both the facility's opening and the U.S. and World Bocce Championships. You may know that we got a ton of coverage for these events, but I've continually pushed for exposure beyond Michigan and the Midwest, believing that getting the word out nationally about bocce will build the sport's credibility and interest, which can only be good for the game.

Nationally, we were able to get Associated Press coverage twice and two stories in Northwest Airlines' inflight magazine, as well as a National Public Radio piece and a Peter's Principles segment (syndicated TV).

I had several conversations with the Wall Street Journal, but the lack of documented numbers and verifiable statistics dampened their interest. The bar is very high for a publication of that stature, and stories have to be more about trends, and less about promoting a brand.

I was able to get some anecdotal evidence from Tom {McNutt} and others, but never any good hard data.

So with the blessing of Tony Battaglia and the USBF, I put together a simple survey using the online tool The intent was to collect some benchmarking data about who plays bocce and what they like about the game. We ended up with about 35 responses from word of mouth publicity and Palazzo's e-newsletter, which isn't statistically significant enough to draw any conclusions or be of media interest. And frankly, our collective energy last summer was primarily channeled into hosting an outstanding World event.

I still believe, however, that a well timed and well planned attempt to collect good data about bocce would be useful for obtaining more exposure. I suspect that you agree.

Meanwhile, thanks for an always informative e-newsletter!"

{I've struggled to amass hard data too. It seems that sales of bocce balls might be a good indicator of growth, but dealers seem unable or unwilling to part with the stats. Landing a book publisher or magazine piece would be infinitely easier with hard numbers in hand.

The problem with surveys is getting a big enough sample. Those drives that are successful tend to offer something free to all who participate. Any ideas?}


Bob Goetz writes from North Carolina about the courts we highlighted a couple weeks back (Fearrington Village).

"Mario - thanks for the great photos of our courts. I happened to be one of the fellows who had the chance to compete against you during the Special Olympics on those courts. Sorry about the rules. They were handed down.

For you & your readership - would appreciate hearing the techniques & mental process people use to continue to improve their game, but also how to be more consistent. Sometimes a day or game is working well & then sometimes things fall apart.

Would like to hear about the release choices, if any; how much to concentrate vs. relax & throw & any other ideas people might have regarding this aspect of the game.

I'll let you know the outcome in person if you choose to come back again. We will play by your rules & then have a nice RED.

P.S. - Any movies/videos on the subject at hand?"

{The nice RED alluded to is, of course, WINE. There are a couple videos available...they are OK, but I think I could do a better one...need to make the time to do it.

Can any reader supply input on techniques discussed above? In the meantime, the second edition of The Joy of Bocce has a lot on strategy and tactics. You can get the e-book for $4.95 (no shipping charge). Go to and type in Pagnoni for author...}


Robert Agnelly of New Orleans writes...

"The Bocce Club of Greater New Orleans usually plays 3 & 4 person teams that walk the court and play form both ends. Only difference from the Carolina rules is we play with 2 balls per player. We get more exercise.

The 3 & 4 person team all playing from the same end makes it easier for marginal players to learn the game and compete with more highly skilled players so long as a team contains all skill levels. The only time we play 2 people on each end is for tournaments. That is done primarily to speed up the game."

Bob, who is president of the Bocce Club of Greater New Orleans wrote again to add...

"We are currently repairing the facade and roof damage to our Clubhouse thanks to Hurricane Katrina. We are still playing Bocce, but many of our members have been flooded out of their homes, and have not returned. Once we get most of our members back, we will be sending pictures, scheduling leagues and running tournaments once again.

{Best of luck with this - sounds like a daunting task of rebuilding...}

We always play with 2 balls per person whether we are playing with three people per team or four per team. Playing 2 people on each side will speed up a game of Bocce by about 50% on average. It takes more time for four people to play from each end than two. In addition, no matter whether playing 4 or 2, usually no more than 1 to 3 points are scored per round. Add in the walk and it just takes longer to play a game. During league play we allow an hour and a half to play a game to 12 points. In tournament play when we play 2 players on each side of the court, we allow only 45 minutes per game, which is almost always ample to complete a game to 12 points.

All of our members with E-mail read 'The Joy of Bocce'. Thank you for promoting the sport I love to play."


Bryan Mero of sends an update...

"I just received a new e-mail and photos from Marines in Iraq. I've posted them on my site...go take a look and see the Joy of Bocce spread in Iraq!"


Marc from Brooklyn, NY...

"I recently purchased Joy of Bocce (2nd Edition) from Amazon. I'm about halfway through and enjoying the book. I also recently started subscribing to your newsletter.

Some friends and I play in an indoor recreational league on a very small bocce court and while we have a great time playing, I'm looking to send us into the total bocce nerd zone. I've just begun my Google search now, but I
thought I'd go straight to the source - the guy who has his pulse on the bocce world - and email you.

I'm looking for some sort of statistics form so I can get a better handle on what the players on my team are doing and how we're playing. Basically, my zeal for Baseball Prospectus now dominates how I do everything in my life.

I want to ascertain concrete information about how my friends and I play bocce and how we can make ourselves better. Any thoughts on the matter? Is there some sort of form out there chock full of little boxes waiting to be filled in?"

{Any reader have ideas for Marc? I referred him to the USBF's John Ross, who I remember seeing filling out "a form chock full of little boxes" that recorded each of his team's rolls.}

Click to view a great bocce venue in Maine...

Photos of the week
This week's photos were submitted by Calvin Rinaldi of Fairfield, CA (Fairfield Bocce Federation incorporated in 2002). They show off the John Magnetti Memorial Courts - four courts 12' by 90' of decomposed granite - sand - oyster shell powder. The center portions of both end boards are removable to allow access of roller. {Often this smart arrangement "doubles" as handicap access.}

Says Rinaldi, "We covered the shade structures with sun shade screening and built a storage shed to house all our equipment. We use an 11' 11" four-by-six length of wood covered with carpet to drag the courts - once in each direction...can be pulled by one or two people."

The courts feature flood lights and bocce ball/pallino holders cast in concrete. Scoreboard with dowels/balls stored in holes in plexiglas on right side of box. We had to place tarps at each end of the courts, as rain drips from the overhang making holes in courts. In rainy season we hold our winter league games on our two carpet courts in the Senior Center - 12 teams, 4 each on Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, and Wednesday evening. Due to space - courts are 8' by 54'.

I promoted your book in our club newsletter - 'Bocce Bugle'. It's a great book for novices and experienced players."

{Thanks for the testimonial. Please follow Calvin's lead and send photos of bocce in your neck of the woods.}

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Ball Polish

Maybe you’ll want to shine ‘em up instead of buy a new set. This product is specially formulated for cleaning and polishing bocce or bowling balls. It restores shine and superior grip for high performance, and the non-abrasive formula will not harm ball surface. Four fluid ounce bottle - $9.95.

Click below to purchase...

Click to view other bocce merchandise...

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 from Market America...

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 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'Aliesio @ 602-569-9149 or


April 8, 2006. Massachusetts - North Andover. Bocce fund-raiser for Methuen High School Baseball. $100 entry fee covers prizes, tourney play and pizza. Coach Fabrizio hopes to raise funds for batting practice L-screens. Contact him at


April 8, 2006 – California - Los Gatos. Campo di Bocce - Open, 4 person teams. Contact Bill Schlaefer @408-379-9409.


April 15, 2006 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Ron Jacobs @209- 957-1223 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.


April 29, 2006 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. Open, 4 person teams. Contact Rick Wagstaff @209-296-6151 or


May 6, 2006 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. Women’s Open, 4 person teams. Contact Rose Viscuso @ 650-349-7732.


May 6, 2006 – California - San Mateo. Peninsula Italian American Social Club. Men’s Punto, Raffa, Volo, 3 person teams. Contact Adriano Undorte @ 650-591-3318.


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

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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