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

Bocce faithful,

Some readers have asked about a kind of index to
joy of Bocce Weekkly back issues. They say it's hard to research specific things, like court construction, etc. So, I've begun to look through the archives and am toying with a way to index things via a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. I'll keep you posted on the progress. For now, though, I'm finding some interesting things from past issues that might be worth revisiting. Look for them in the ezine under the heading "Blasts From The Past."

Best regards,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

View pictorial on how to top dress your bocce court...

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



Wickliffe, Ohio – The Wickliffe Italian-American Club announced that the Pat O’Brien Chevrolet Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday August 24th, 25th & 26th, 2007 at the Wickliffe Italian-American Club located at 29717 Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe, Ohio. The event features 84 competing bocce teams from Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan & Canada. The tournament begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday August 24th, and runs continuously through Sunday night on the seven bocce courts, six of which are now covered. The Wickliffe Italian-American Club will present the top 20 teams with cash prizes totaling over $15,000. For information on entering a team in this year’s tournament (4-5 person team entry fee is $150) call Paul DiCicco, at 440-552-1865, or Gino Latessa, (Wickliffe I &A Club President), at 216-789-6393.

A wide variety of food vendors will provide homemade Italian food (including tripe) and refreshments will be available throughout the weekend. Parking and admission is FREE. The event will also feature entertainment throughout the weekend, THE WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB is a non-profit, community-based social/fraternal organization established in 1932 for people of Italian ancestry who live in the city of Wickliffe, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio). The club actively promotes and recognizes those of Italian descent who have furthered the Italian cultural bond that they share, and offers educational programs for the children and grandchildren of its members, as well as awarding college scholarships each year to those who have demonstrated knowledge and pride in their Italian heritage. The Pat O’Brien Chevrolet Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce Tournament is now in its 24th year and has grown from 16 teams to 84 teams, with attendance hitting over 10,000 in 2006. It is now the largest men’s bocce tournament in the Midwest.

{Sounds great! Visit the web site: }




Saturday, August 18,2007 at the Buccinese Society Club, located at 614 8th Avenue, Altoona.

Tournament play will begin at 1:00pm with a maximum field of 16 four person teams competing in a double elimination tournament. Cost for participants is $20.00 and $10.00 for non-tournament participants. No previous experience necessary as Bocce instructions will be provided.

** Cash prizes for first and second place teams will be awarded. **

The tournament will feature a dinner menu consisting of
Baby-back ribs, boneless chicken breasts, spaghetti & meatballs, pasta fajoul, antipasta salad, baked beans and assorted dinner items. Various Hors d’oeuvres, featuring shrimp on ice, will also be provided. Cash bar will be available throughout the tournament.

Numerous door prizes to be given away throughout the tournament donated from local business including: Inco Beverage, Chili’s, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Denny’s, Eat N’ Park, TGI Fridays, Kings, DelGrosso’s, Weis, Martins, Bilo and K-mart and others.

A drawing for gift baskets from: Oakspring Winery, Petco, and the Altoona Curve. Each person playing in the tournament will receive a T-shirt commemorating our First Annual Bocce Tournament.

For information and tickets contact one of the following: Bill Berryman at 946-7138, Denny Irwin at 9467164, Lory Morgan at 946-7371 or Chris White at 946-7104.

{Sounds like another great event - put this one on your calendar ASAP.}


Blast From The Past

From the very first Joy of Bocce Weekly issue...

"Disclaimer: Hey, I don’t claim to be a bocce pro. Heck, I’m not even a very good player – but no one loves the sport more than I do. My contribution to the game is in having interviewed many of the top players and then assembling the information into a concise, easy-to-read book. What I’ve created is comparable to what others have done for softball, soccer, and other sports. This Ezine is a forum for bocce lovers. I’ll spout off on what I know about various bocce related issues and ask for readers’ feedback and disseminate those views in future issues. If the readership gets large enough, maybe The Joy of Bocce Weekly (along with can have a unifying influence on the game. This issue is the first in a kind of a trial run. If The Joy of Bocce Weekly is well received, the plan is to publish weekly as of March, 2002."

{Wow! I'm not sure I realized how tough it would be to get an ezine published every week. I've missed a few deadlines along the way, but I think we've gotten the job done. We're helping the game grow and having a blast in the process. Let's just keep at it.

My dad used to say "If you hit the nail on the head enough times, sooner or later it'll go into the wood."}


Court Construction Woes...

I got a phone call recently from a fellow who had some courts built in a public park in East Boston. "Can you come down and take a look at the venue and advise us?" he pleaded. It turns out that they had hoped the bocce gang from Boston's North End would play there, and when the boys saw the venue, they were not impressed. View their regular venue at .

"The dimensions of these courts are off and the surface material is like beach sand. We can't play here."

The final word came from Angelo, the leader of the North End bocce pack: "You might as well plant potatoes on these courts, cause we're never gonna play here."

It turns out that the phone call was from a property manager for MassPort (Massachusetts Port Authority). I had visions of the newspaper headline - BIG DIG BOCCE .

I'll bring my friend Dylan, New England's leading bocce court construction guy, to evaluate the courts with an eye toward reworking them. We'll report back next issue.

Another court in the public domain in Haverhill, Mass. ran into similar problems. The mayor got the highway department to build the court. They, in turn, searched on-line to locate specs (and, as many of you know, there is much bocce misinformation on the web). The result was a very nice court in a lovely setting by the Merrimack River. But, the surface was like beach sand - too soft for good bocce play. Hey, to avoid this kind of situation, call us BEFORE you start construction.

If you are in the New England area, or even perhaps a tad farther away, REPLY to this email and we'll try to "hook you up."


Bill Fletcher from San Jose also has a court construction problem...

"Hi Mario, I have your (autographed) 2nd Edition and still play at the Villages G&CC (Page 190). Our two courts are now 6 years old and the side-boards are 1"x6"x10' redwood strips bolted to the concrete side-walls. The construction-grade redwood has worn along the line of contact, where the Bocce ball hits the side-board with banked shots.To aggravate the problem, the harder knots now protrude and the reflective angle after contact is now inconsistent. We are debating whether we can leave the existing side-boards and cover them with new strips of a better quality wood or wood-substitute material. Do you have any advice for us on this problem?"

{My friend Dylan - bocce court builder extraordinaire - provided this answer...

"The material most commonly used for side boards is either pressure treated wood or concrete. The problem Mr. Fletcher is having with his redwood side boards has not appeared with either of these materials. However, the demands of the customer is changing. They want a finished look balanced with low maintenance. To this end, we are using the new synthetic decking such as Trex. It comes in several colors, it is relatively easy to install in both concrete and pressure treated wood, it looks better than raw concrete or pressure treated wood, it is low maintenance, and it is designed to take a beating. Time will tell if this is a good solution. So far so good.

One other note, make sure the fasteners used are not on the same plane as the impact of the ball or you will have the same problem with "reflective angle."

Dylan Cadwalader
Vernon REM LLC
Builder of Fine Bocce Courts

Can any reader offer additional suggestions for help with this problem? Please REPLY.}


Brenlynn Gilmore asks a question that I've heard a couple times before...

"I understand that when you toss the pallina it must cross the center to be fair play. My question is does this apply to the bocce balls? If the pallina is just over the center line and you are to throw your bocce ball and it doesn't go over the line is it considered a dead ball.?"

{Of course you can play any "house rules" that you want, but most play that only the pallino must pass the minimum distance test. If you roll the object ball just to the minimum distance and then get your first ball to come to rest an inch in front of it, you have made a great shot. You shouldn't be penalized by having the ball declared dead.}

What others say about The Joy of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's pics come courtesy of Bill Wallace of Sebastopol, California.

"I subscribe to your weekly email letter and it is great. I enjoy the updates and information of everything about bocce. Keep up the excellent work!

The forwarded pictures are of our Bocce court which is located in western Sonoma county. It is situated on a south facing hillside overlooking our olive orchard where we grow Tuscan variety trees for extra virgin olive oil, 'Hawk's Feather Oliveto'.

The rock walls were hand made by local artisans of Montana gold ledgestone and the court was built by David Brewer, owner of Boccebrew, a northern California builder of bocce courts. The court is 10' by 60' with an oyster shell and clay base and a Brazilian hardwood (ipe) bumper and top cap. The walk ways are decomposed granite gold coarse.

This court is frequently played until dark and as you can see by one of the pictures is guarded by our Australian Shepherd Zack.... Our olive harvest which takes place in mid November is made up of family and friends from around the country. It consists of picking the olives for milling, a big lunch and a Bocce tournament with celebration and awards hosted at a local restaurant. What could be better than friends and family, a little work, some great food and wine and Bocce!

As we say on our olive oil label, 'Gode nella buona salute' - enjoy in good health. A little slice of heaven in western Sonoma county."

{A little slice of heaven indeed. Bill tells me that "The Bocce court was dedicated to Anthony Ciabattoni in 2004, 'Amico vicino e un grande consigliere'."}

View this week's photos

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

Michael Grasser ( is now retailing recreation bocce sets that closely 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}

Great Back Yards

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.


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 18, 2007 - Pennsylvania - Altoona. First Annual Blair Cao Relay For Life Bocce Tournament To benefit The American Cancer Society. Will feature a dinner menu consisting of baby-back ribs, boneless chicken breasts, spaghetti & meatballs, pasta fajoul, antipasta salad, baked beans and assorted dinner items. Various Hors d’oeuvres, featuring shrimp on ice, will also be provided.
For information, contact Bill Berryman at 946-7138, Denny Irwin at 9467164, Lory Morgan at 946-7371 or Chris White at 946-7104.


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 24, 25, 26, 2007 - Ohio - Wickliffe. WICKLIFFE ITALIAN-AMERICAN CLUB. 24th annual CLEVELAND CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE. $5000 first prize, $15000 in total prize money. Contact Gino Latessa @ 216-789-6393. Applications online at


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.


September 22, 2007. California - South San Francisco - Orange Memorial Park. USBF sponsored 22nd Italian-American Games. Punto, Raffa, Volo - Three players. Contact Alvaro Bettucchi @ 650-871-9278 (Several Teams from Italy will be participating.)


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


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.

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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