The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 2 - January 22, 2007 
•   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 6, Issue #2 - January 22, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello once again bocce faithful,

We're back to our regular ezine format after last week's The Year In Review. Please continue to send questions, comments, photos (especially photos) as we go into our sixth year of weekly publication {which is impossible for me to do without your help}.

Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

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

Dan fron Brooklyn writes to say...

"We met a couple of years back when you lectured here... just wanted you to know about two bocce bars that opened in Brooklyn in the last couple of years. They have mini courts and the competition is definitely for beginners, but it's a good time. Links below:"

{An interesting coincidence since Tom Strenk interviewed me by phone recently. He's writing an article for Restaurant Business Magazine (circulation is big with restaurant owners and chefs) about restaurants incorporating bocce courts into their dining establishments. Look for it in the March 2007 issue ( ).

I love the idea of playing bocce at the restaurant. Heck, you could pass the time while you wait for your meal, or you could even play for the tab! One thing I'd suggest to restaurateurs is to "step up" and install the kind of playing surface at places like the Palazzo di Bocce - a poured liquid (polymer) that levels and solidifies. You're not "playing in the dirt" any more. Your hands are is good!}

Check out photos of Il Vagabondo in Manhattan. They use a metal washer as the target so a pallino won't get deflected into the dining area and onto someone's pasta or, worse still, onto someone's head. I've added these photos to Bocce Venues at - click the photo above right to view them.}


John Loscalzo (aka Homer Fink) wrote about the NY bocce bar scene too...

"Love your site! I was particularly thrilled to receive your book as a Christmas gift, as well as a great set of boccie this year.

I play in a Brooklyn, NY bocce league based at Floyd, NY. They've built a great indoor court and sponsor the league there as well as at their other establishment, Union Hall, in Park Slope.

I've covered the last tournament on Brooklyn Heights Blog - .

Unfortunately our team was eliminated in the first round, but there's always next season which is just around the corner."


Pete Rabito of NY bocce fame sends a Christmas story...

"I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas....I was so happy with mine, I thought I would share it with you!

It all started on December 18th when a good friend's (John Samaritano) wife asked me if I knew what John would like for Christmas - without hesitation I replied "Absolutely!"

I told her that another friend and perhaps the most knowledgeable Bocce enthusiast I know (next to you of course!) has a website with a fantastic assortment of Bocce products - Michael Grasser's I have been eyeing Bocces on this site since you first linked it in your ezine several months ago!

She was so happy that I knew what to get him, she asked me to place an order for both balls and a bag! Easy shopping for her! The next day, I proceeded to call my good friend Mike and place an order for a set of Super Martel's DEA3 Series#3 balls (green and red) as well as a 2-compartment bag. Mike made the transaction extremely enjoyable and informative.

With that, the wheels in my head started spinning! I love John to death and we play a lot of Bocce together, but there was no way he was going to get Super Martel balls and I wasn't! I could see us meeting weekly and he proudly removing those perfectly colored orbs from his professional Bocce Ball bag while I took my 4 year old, battle scarred Perfettas out of my torn bag (even though I really like them and are the ball of choice for the American Bocce Club) - I would not be able to take it!!!

So I gingerly called my wife and in my most careful husbandly voice uttered the words "Honey, did you get me anything for Christmas?" Those simple 8 words un-leased a torrent of expletives that almost made my ears bleed! Please understand, my wife is a genuine loving person and will do anything for me or anyone else, but since she was asking since October what I wanted for Christmas and I was blowing her off constantly - I'm sure you can understand her, ahem - displeasure. Especially since the previous two days she was out shopping for me! Well, I chose my words wisely and explained that I was ordering balls for John and I thought I would get a set as well, but I understand if I couldn't and I let it go at that.

Falling to my irresistible charm (or was I too pathetic for her?), she said she was going to get me one other gift but would hold off and give me the cash to put towards the balls instead. What a great gal! Now I really went into action! First up, my sister - no luck, already got my gift - rats! Next was my dear mother-in-law. Once again the torrent of expletives reigned upon me though they had little effect on me as they were all in Spanish and I couldn't understand a word she was saying other than "Okay". What a great lady! Last but not least was my brother-in-law, only two words from him - no problem! What a cool guy! The funds were now in place!

Back on the phone to Mike Grasser and I proudly placed my order for Super Martel's Planet Series #4. The colors of these balls Mike tells me are representative of an Italian soccer club! What I'd tell you about Mike - he knows it all!

Anyway, to finally end this very long Christmas story, Mike shipped everything (along with a generous gift to me) in less then three days! Both John and I were extremely happy with our Christmas gifts and can't wait to play!

So please, if you want a gift for yourself or to give a gift that keeps on giving to any Bocce enthusiast - please visit !

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

{Pete and some others with the United States Bocce Federation have been after me to become one of their board members. I've been reluctant to do so, preferring to stay neutral, like Switzerland, in the "bocce wars". I like the people involved with the USBF and might take them up on their offer. What do readers think? Should I stay an objective observer or what?}


Jason Mandell is looking to connect with bocce players in his neck of the woods...

"Thank you for your excellent bocce website. I wonder if you know of any regular bocce games in Los Angeles? Or how I might find out where one might be?

Happy holidays and happy boccing."

{I always refer people to Bryan Mero's web site @ which has a section on bocce courts sorted by state (click the navigational button for Bocce Locations). If anyone knows where else Jason might connect with Los Angeles bocce aficionados, contact him directly @ .}


“Bocce Bum” Ben Musolf sends this...

"Can you believe that Campo di Bocce of Los Gatos has already been here 10 YEARS! The Valentine’s Day tournament has been around since the beginning and is now one of the most popular bocce tournaments in the Western Sector of the United States Bocce Federation.

As many of you already know, the name of the tournament changed 3 years ago after we lost the 'Founder' of the Valentine’s Day tournament. Now we call it the Maureen Albanese Valentine’s Day Bocce Tournament.

This tournament is very near and dear to all of our hearts and with this year being the 10 year anniversary, it makes it that much more special.

Sign-ups are now taking place. Spots will fill up extremely fast; we are only taking 16 guaranteed spots due to potential rain, then a wait list will be formed and the decision to open it up to more teams (24 max) will be determined by Thursday, February 15, 2007 at the latest.

The contact person for this tournament is Cassie Duren and she can be reached via the following:
408.395.7650 ext. 117

Even if you are not in the competitive mood, please come by and see some of the best players in California compete for top honors at this incredible and extremely fun event.

Lunch will be served at approximately 12:00 PM (Noon), all players entry fees include lunch, all non-players are $12.00. We look forward to seeing you there."

{For more club information visit }


Pete Ruth asks about pre-fab courts...

"I recently heard of pre-fabricated regulation bocce courts (not the lawn type). Do these exist, and if so, how can I find out more about them? Thanks for your help."

{I don't know if these would accurately fit the description of pre-fabricated or regulation, but Martignetti Enterprises, Inc. will custom build temporary courts of vinyl fence post material like the ones my group uses at our bocce venue (set up on Astroturf and taken down when finished playing). To get an idea of what they look like, click here }.


Great Back Yards

View Joy of Bocce Weekly back issues...

Photos of the week
This week’ photos are now part of the Bocce Venues page at They show off the indoor court at Il Vagabondo Restaurant in Manhattan.

The photos and the original story ran in Joy of Bocce Weekly Volume II Issue 51 (12/22/2003). I've copied and pasted the text from that piece below:

"After last week-end's speaking engagement and book signing at Fordham University (Celebrazione dei Libri) I played some bocce at Carroll Park Gardens (Brooklyn). Then I dined at and photographed bocce at Il Vagabondo (351 East 62nd St., NYC). I had heard many good things about this restaurant and its quaint little bocce court.

Il Vagabondo is a terrific restaurant with walls covered with photographs of celebrities who've visited as well as charming old bocce pictures. Traditional red and white table cloths adorn the tables and carafes of Chianti are plentiful.

And yes, one section of the restaurant indeed has a bocce court flanked by dining tables. Rules are posted and designed for safety of the patrons and to keep the flow of diners moving. You can only play before you are seated or after you’ve finished dining. In addition, a large washer is the target. I had heard of bocce play where the target was a metal washer (remains stationary), but had never seen it. Presumably this keeps a pallino from being hit and ricocheting into the crowd.

The court has a ditch at either end. Balls entering the ditch are "dead" and may not score a point. This is another style of play that I had heard of but never saw before.

On this Saturday evening the place was hopping. The food was wonderful (Veal Vagabondo was my choice...a wise one at that!). Antipasto, salads, pasta dishes, chicken, veal, steak and seafood are all very popular.

It can be great fun to play while you wait for your table and/or play to settle the tab (watch out though, management frowns on gambling).

The bocce action draws excited fans of all ages. They line the court and ask questions about the game…how to play…where to play, etc. This little bocce venue does a great service in exposing the game to people.

Il Vagabondo offers parties termed 'Bocce Blasts' where you can rent a dining area and have exclusive use of the bocce court. Call owners Ralph and Ernie at 212-832-9221 (fax 212-832-9234)."

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Bocce Court Maintenance Tools

I’ve seen all kinds of home-made court maintenance brushes and scrapers. Two things have always struck me about them. 1 – they look like they are home-made and 2 – they tend to be HEAVY.

7' Drag Brush

Manufactured by Lee Tennis (makers of the Har-Tru surface), this court maintenance tool created for tennis courts works exceptionally well for bocce courts. The 7-foot drag brush is light-weight and, even if you have a 13- or 14-foot wide court, you can smooth it over with just two passes. This is quick enough to do between games without players standing around waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ˝ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $149.95 plus shipping.


This strangely named 30” wide device is actually two implements in one. It is an all-aluminum combination tool for scarifying, leveling, and removing loose court material.

Strong and sturdy, the tool is light enough to handle with ease and is excellent for spreading new material during top-dressing. The concave shape of the 30” wide blade allows the tool to “float” along the surface without digging in. Use the serrated edge to scrape material from high spots, then flip the tool over to rake and smooth that spot and drag the loose material to fill in a lower point. Retails for $54.95 plus shipping.

Besides a heavy roller, the lute/scarifier and 7-foot drag brush should be all the maintenance tools a bocce court owner needs.

Click to go to merchandise order...then scroll to bottom of page.

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}

Market America Isotonix® OPC-3

From the Market America company web site..."Composed of grape seed, pine bark, red wine, bilberry and citrus extracts, Isotonix OPC-3 is a safe, nontoxic antioxidant that delivers unparalleled protection from free radicals and helps support the body’s circulatory system."

"Potent free radical scavenger & neutralizer Helps maintain healthy circulation Supports healthy blood glucose levels."

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

Click to learn more about OPC-3 and other great 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.


February 9 & 10, 2007 - Michigan - Palazzo di Bocce. 2nd Annual Winter Bocce Blast. Two-person teams - Open Rules - backboard dead - $150 per team includes continental breakfast & lunch buffet on Saturday. $6000 guaranteed purse. Contact .


February 10 & 11, 2007 - Tennessee - Memphis. 2nd Annual Memphis Bocce Club Tournament. 4-player, double elimination event. Prize money based on twenty teams = 1st: $2000, 2nd $1100, 3rd: $600, 4th $300. Contact Ralph Galtelli @ 901-272-2124 or .


February 17, 2007 - California - Los Gatos. Maureen Albanese Valentine's Day Bocce Tournament. Campo di Bocce. 4-player teams, $30 per player. Contact Cassie Duren @ 408-395-7650 Ext. 117 or . USBF card required.


March 9 - 11, 2007. Florida - Cape Coral - Veterans Park Bocce Courts, 4140 Coronado Pkwy. 4 player teams w/ 1 alternate. Open Rules, Round Robin format. Prize money to top 5 place finishers. 1st place $7,000.00 guaranteed. 2nd - 5th place amounts determined by number of teams entered. Entry fee = $400.00 per team. Must register by Feb 10, 2007. More info: George Furlan at 239-275-9968 or 1-800-226-0604 - Cell 239-229-2348, e-mail = .


April 28, 2007 - Washington - Bellingnham. Bellingham Bay Bocce Tournament - Http://www. . Contact Tom Mcnutt @ or call 360-224-2909 for info or to register.


May, 6, 2007 (rain date May 20) Colorado - Fort Collins - "Bocce for Meals" Ice Breaker Tournament (1st year); benefit for Fort Collins Meals on Wheels. Pre-registration required. Call 970-484-6325 or email 4 member teams; $100 registration. 2-3 games guaranteed.


June 3, 2007 - New Jersey - Franklin (Colonial Park). Bocce Invitational - "Proceeds benefit our soldiers through the efforts of Operation Shoebox New Jersey." Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406. {Note: Operation Shoebox is an initiative to create a "care package supply line" to US troops serving overseas.}


July 20 - 22, 2007 - New York, Rome. The World Series of Bocce. 4-player teams - Open Division (all men or co-ed) and Women's Division (all women). Visit for information, an application, and various bits of interest, or contact Al Orbinati @ or Chris Klepadlo @ 315-271-9701.


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 @


September 16, 2007 (rain date Sept. 23rd) - Colorado - Fort Collins - 3rd Annual "Bocce for Meals" Tournament; benefit for Fort Collins Meals on Wheels. Pre-registration required. Call 970-484-6325 or email 4 member teams; $100 registration. 2-3 games guaranteed.

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.
 Check out the merchandise