The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 20 - July 2, 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 #20 - July 2, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello again bocce friends,

Big doings for my group this week...our annual Bocce in the Park tournament for kids at the Nevins Library is Friday and the Mass. Senior Games are scheduled for Saturday.

Should have some good photos next week (if I can figure out how to work my new digital camera by then).

Still time to support our Mass. Senior Games. Send a donation (or even something to raffle) to KWSSC, Inc. P.O. Box 608, Methuen, MA 01844. It will help defer expenses to run the event and will be truly appreciated by yours truly.

Best regards,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Visit an unusual Bocce web site...

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

This is a little late getting into the JOB Weekly, but the info is still good...thanks to the Boccemon, Tom McNutt, for passing it along.

"The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Network finally aired a 1/2 hour segment May 5th, 2007 on one way to build a backyard bocce court. The program is called Grounds for Improvement and it specializes in 2 day projects that incorporate owner participation and home projects on the 'cheap'.

River Media produced it and I don't know who their source for design was but Boccemon supplied the oyster blend for the surface, the scoreboard, the ball racks, and the colorful drink holders. We also arranged to get Playaboule involved. Bede was generous to contribute several sets of bocce balls which show frequently on the program. Contributions were made in September of 2005. The work was performed by production staff, the homeowner, and a couple strays. Episode DGFI-407 spends 15 or more minutes specifically on building a court - starting from a level lawn area with no obstacles though to a 'playable' raised recreational court. It is generally accurate and informative for building a court in a dry climate on the cheap.

They call it 'Bocceball' and refer to a 'Bocce course' but at least they knew what the game was and something of its origin. Sort of a marriage of information collected from various websites. Ends up with basically no side rails. They have written out a step by step that is printable online. Web link is -,2029,DIY_13852_5516754,00.html and there are 4 pages to view.

We were grateful to finally see the show air. They do a super job appealing to the 'fun' qualities of the game. People looking for a family oriented activity to be played at home would find this episode appealing and fairly informative. Boccemon does not condone or recommend this design. We simply acted as suppliers of items for this episode.

On another note has some great video segments on Bocce. Last December contributed some amazing footage of the world record speed shooting competition where the French team shoots and hits 57 of 59 balls in five minutes. Link is - Watch this video! On a humorous note - Boccemon found an old video made by the Saturday Night Live comedian Father Guido Sarducci on how to play bocce. Very funny! Check the bottom right photo on the homepage at Also just type in 'Bocce' in the search box at and see what fun videos you can view. has also added a YouTube link in recent months to their website so check theirs out as well!"


Mike D. asks for advice...

"I am looking to get a nice set of Bocce balls and am having trouble deciding. I really like the St. Pierre set because of the fact that it is the official ball of the USBF, but the place I was going to order them from, offers the EPCO Set, 107mm, with personalization. I really like the idea of having my last name on my set, something unique that I can pass along to my kids in the future. What do you recommend?"

{First off, there is a massive amount of bocce misinformation in circulation on the web and elsewhere.

For example: "Manufactured of durable Partek composition resin material, these sets are manufactured to 'International Bocce Association' specifications.

The International Bocce Association has been defunct for a couple decades. I played in a couple tournaments they ran in the 1980s. These guys based in upstate NY just dubbed themselves the IBA (sounds pretty impressive).

Exhibit B - "According to the Bocce Standards Association, the International Standard ball is 107mm and weighs 920 grams."

True enough, but some guy who won't identify himself in email correspondence has taken it upon himself to anoint himself the "Bocce Standards Association". Go figure.

Exhibit C - "The St. Pierre set is manufactured in the United States to International Bocce specifications and is the official ball of the United States Bocce Federation."

The St. Pierre set is NOT the official ball of the USBF. In fact, the USBF is trying very hard to get advertisers to stop spreading this misinformation. A previous USBF board (perhaps several administrations ago) may have endorsed the St. Pierre ball, but this is certainly no longer the case. St. Pierre is a successful horseshoe manufacturer who got into the bocce business as spin-off.

I'm sure that if the USBF were to sanction an "Official" ball, it would be one of the high end Italian balls such as Martel, Salf, or Perfetta.

Next...there is a huge difference between high-tech Italian-made balls and the ones readily available in American department stores. Some bocce balls made in the USA are really bowling balls that the manufacturer just retooled for bocce. They tend to not stand up well - heck, they're made for banging into wooden pins, not other balls.

Many bocce balls found in sporting goods and department stores and are actually made inexpensively in China.

And you have a staggering range of sizes and weights to choose from. You can find everything from 80 mm to 115 mm and more. The biggest ones we call "cannon balls" and the heaviest ones we dub "hernia balls".

I play on Tuesday nights at the Grella Compound ( ) where the host favors "cannon balls". These balls are so big that it's virtually impossible to volo unless you have massive mitts (small hands just won't cut it).

Nevertheless, the market for bocce in America is for inexpensive recreational sets. World class players might purchase a new set every time their old set gets a couple nicks, while most American families will purchase a set that will last a lifetime, no matter how banged up it gets.

I've heard from many readers who tell me they spent cheap dollars on bocce sets only to find out that they are not perfectly round or correctly balanced and weighted. They don't roll straight and they pit and crack easily.

So there lies the tradeoff. Can you deal with the imperfections and accept your $59 set of K-Mart balls for occasional play, or do you pony up upwards of 200-300 bucks for a set of 4 Martel bocce from ?

Whatever you choose, I recommend getting as close to international standards as possible - 107 mm X 920 g. Top players say the high tech balls are worth every penny. You make the call.

P.S. See this week's Bocce Product of the Week - an Italian-made Martel recreation set at a reasonable price.}


Shaun McCollum of Calabasas, California writes...

"I built a bocce court for one of my clients, and now I want to build one for me at my house. My only problem is that I only have an area to build it where the court will be 50' x 10' inside dimensions. Is this okay or is it too small?"

{We tell people that whatever size fits in your backyard and your pocketbook is fine. We've had great fun playing at a friend's court that measures just 45' by 9'.

Some things to consider: the smaller the court the lower the construction cost and the less maintenance involved.

On the other hand, one reason many prefer longer courts (the length is a bigger factor than the width) is because, on short courts (60' and less), the players who are good hitters (raffa players) just destroy you - they hardly ever miss at those close ranges.

But again, bocce at any range is great fun. You won't regret building your backyard court...and please send photos.}


Irene K. Ange asks...

"Could you please tell me what is considered the best boccie court to build?"

{I don't know how to answer your question. By the best, do you mean the best surface material? If so, various people swear by oyster shell, Har-Tru (tennis court material), or stone dust/granite fines. Of course, at the highest end of the scale are the poured surfaces (polymers) used at places like Palazzo di Bocce and Campo di Bocce.

If you mean best set up, appearance etc. I suggest you view the photos in chapter 9 of my book "Bocce Courts We've Known and Loved" for ideas. You can download the ebook
for $4.95 - no shipping charge and the ebook has many full color photographs.}


Interested in Re-selling The Joy of Bocce?

My publisher at AuthorHouse tells me that anyone interested in re-selling The Joy of Bocce 2nd Edition can get 40% off the list price (40% of $19.45). Call 1-888-280-7715 to set up a re-seller account - no charge for that. Low risk...make a small order of 5 to 10 books and see if they sell on your web site, storefront, etc. You'll be helping promote the game, as the more outlets for the book, the better.

What others say about The Joy of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's pics come courtesy of Joy of Bocce faithful Richard and Barbara Heisler of BOCCE iNK...


"In northern California, San Francisco is known as 'the City' and South San Francisco is 'South City'. Lots of City Italians retired here and brought their bocce with them. Centered around the Italian American Citizens Club and Orange Memorial Park, all forms of bocce; Open, Raffa and Volo, have an active life here.

On a warm day the breeze keeps you cool, on an overcast, chilly, 'the coldest winter I ever had was a summer in San Francisco', day everyone bundles up and wishes for more clothes. The six oyster courts play well and every day after lunch 20 or 30 players show up to keep them well used.

Not too far away on El Camino Real, there is a sandwich shop called 'Little Lucca'. Despite the line out the door, you will get a great sub in a short time. Take it back to the park and you will have the strength for a few more games.

With Alfredo Knecht and Diane Kelley as partners, my wife and I contested both three person and four person tournaments at South City in March and April.

Our fortunes went from great (three wins and a place in the quarter finals) to worse (0 for three) in the four person. The constants were: great organization, fabulous food and a strong wind off the Pacific. Tournaments were divided into six divisions, one per court, and moved forward efficiently. The lunches were top drawer; with strip steak and tri-tip topping the menu, no one went hungry.

Thanks to both the organizers (Ron Del Carlo & Susan Botti) and the chefs for some great food and bocce. We’ll be back soon."

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Recreation Bocce Set - International Specs...

Michael Grasser ( is now retailing recreation bocce sets that approximate international standards of size and weight. International specs are 107 mm X 920 g. These recreation sets are 107mm X 940grams.

According to Grasser, these recreation sets imported from Italy (Martel) are "Closest to international size and weight available anywhere." They are intended to fill a need for quality bocce without the $200 to $300 price tag of Martel's international spec balls.

Traditional 4 red and 4 green bocce with pallino - comes in a box with handle on the lid - no carry bag. Retails for $125 plus shipping.

View cool items with the Joy of Bocce logo...

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}


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.


July 4, 2007 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. OPEN, 2 person teams, four balls each. Each team’s players are stationed at opposite ends of the court. Contact info unavailable at this time.


July 7, 2007 – California - Martinez. Martinez Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 players. Nor-Cal Championships. Contact info unavailable at this time.


July 7, 2007 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Senior Games for Massachusetts - USBF Open Rules - Triples (3 player teams - roll 2 balls each). Players must be at least 50 years of age by 12/31/07. Contact Mario Pagnoni @ 978-686-8679 or



July 8, 2007 - Pennsylvania - Easton. Heritage Day Bocce Tournament at the Villa - Downtown Easton. 2 OR 4 member teams may enter - entry fee $100 per team. $1000.00 in Cash Prizes. Contact via email = .


July 14, 2007 – California - San Rafael. Marin Bocce Federation. OPEN, 2 men players. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 14, 2007 – Washington, Auburn. Auburn Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Sal Cascone @ 253-939-3502.


July 15-17, 2007 - Ohio - Dayton, Bella Vista - Bocce Classic XIII - The annual charity event features over 70 teams from as far away as West Virginia, Illinois, Michigan and Canada. Over $7500 in prize money awarded & over $20,000 is raised for local charities. For information go to Contact Dick Bloom @ 937-439-7936.


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.


July 21, 2007 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Ron Jacobs @209-957-1223.


July 28, 2007 – California - San Rafael. Marin Bocce Federation. OPEN, 2 women players. Contact Diana Pellegrini @ 415-485-5583.


July 28, 2007 – California - Fairfield. Fairfield Bocce Federation. OPEN, 4 players. John Magnetti Memorial Tournament. Contact Richard Costales @ 707-425-7167.


July 28, 2007 - Michigan State Championships. Three person teams. Open rules, back wall dead. $150.00 entry fee per team. $50.00 additional for substitutes. One sub allowed per team. Prize money and trophies. Contact Mike Grasser @ or 248-505 4744.


August 4, 2007 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Western Sector Open Championships. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


August 9, 2007 - Michigan - Orion. Michigan Senior Olympics (MSO). 2-person team event will take place at Palazzo di Bocce and includes breakfast and lunch (spectators may register for meals only).

Registration deadline: July 6th, 2007. Contact MSO: 1-800-400-8161 or .


August 11, 2007 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 2 women and 2 men players per team. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.


August 18, 2007 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club. OPEN, 4 women players. Contact Elda Mazzanti @ 650-588-4924.


August 19, 2007 - Oregon - Festa Italiana Portland. Cedarville Park, 3800 W. Powell Loop, Gresham. 4-player teams, double elimination, $100 entry includes AM coffee & donuts, spaghetti lunch & beer. Contact Larry Cereghino @ 10006 S.E. 40th, Milwaukie, OR 97222.


August 25, 2007 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 2 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


August 25, 2007 – California - San Francisco. Aquatic Park Bocce Club. Juanito Cuneo Memorial Tournament. VOLO, 2 Players. Contact Marco Cuneo @ 415-713-5939.


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; $120 registration - 3 games guaranteed.


October 7, 2007 - New Hampshire - Derry. Third Annual
Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tournament. The SportsZone, 7 A Street. Proceeds benefit McLean Hospital Geriatric Psychiatry Program for Alzheimer’s Research. Contact Sandro Martignetti @ 781-983-1472 or visit jttp://


November 2, 2007 - California - Santa Paula. John Ratzenberger's Bocce In The Orchard celebrity tourney fund-raiser benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley and The Education for Children with Diabetes Foundation. View for more info.

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