The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 23 - August 13, 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 #23 - August 13, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce friends,

Spent the weekend in Manchester by the Sea and Rockport, Massachusetts (one night bed and breakfast and next day at a Rotary Club sponsored Lobsterfest). The bed and breakfast place in Manchester was great. Run by Tom and Pam Grady, the inn features a 10' by 60' stone dust bocce court covered by a trellis and grape vine.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Massachusetts, away from the hustle and bustle of Boston, check out . We played some good bocce and enjoyed the company of some terrific people (as you probably know, bocce lovers tend to be some of the friendliest people on the planet).

Tom told a great story about a couple from the Canary Islands (Malcolm and Rosemary) who came to Columbia Inn for a one-night stay. Lawn bowls players who had never experienced bocce, Tom and Pam introduced them to the game and the couple ended up staying two weeks at the Inn. "We couldn't get them off the court" said Grady.

Best regards,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

See how to run a charity bocce tourney like the Martignetti event coming soon...

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

Come hear me talk Bocce...

I'll be doing another one of my talks on Bocce on Monday, August 20, at 7:00 PM. This one is at The Wilmington Memorial Library, 175 Middlesex Avenue, Wilmington, Massachusetts 01887.

The publicity release says "Mario Pagnoni, author of The Joy of Bocce will discuss the history, rules, and basic techniques of the game of Bocce."

Actually, I do a kind of "state of the state of bocce." I talk about the history of the game, where the game is currently, where we're headed, etc. Of course, I intersperse all the amusing bocce anecdotes that I've amassed over the years. If you are in the neighborhood, come on down and say hello.

I always bring plenty of photos, props, and antique bocce paraphernalia for the audience to examine.

Directions to the library are on-line at (phone: 978-658-2967)


George Farruggio from Punta Gorda, Florida writes...

"I don't understand why you do not promote building bocce courts out of CONCRETE with in-door out-door carpet or a better overlay. Now you have a 100% maintenance free court or courts. I am telling anyone who calls me and asks me how to build a bocce court and I tell them the story of how much maintenance it takes on a clay court. Then I tell them about concrete and they go crazy. They love it. Of course you must make the courts level - that goes without saying."

{Yes, we do promote this. Most people I talk to who have Astroturf or carpet courts say they have "low maintenance" courts, not "no maintenance" courts.

I recommended carpet for the two indoor courts at the Sons of Italy in Lawrence, Mass., but they opted for a very cheap stone dust (too soft - you make foot prints when you play and the dust rises into the air and eventually into the players' lungs).

You ought to see the trouble they go through to groom the courts. They lug a hose into the area and wet and roll the courts - these are indoors mind you - in the basement of the building. Carpet would have been a better choice.

Here are a couple of problems with carpet. If any reader can chime in with comments or suggestions, please REPLY:

If you have carpet over concrete there is going to be pretty good bounce which is not what we want in bocce. Of course this isn't so important if you don't volo or shoot fast-rolling raffas.

If you play punta raffa volo on the court, will you be able to mark the position of the balls? Again, not so important if you play USBF Open Rules.

If the surface is a product like Astroturf, it is susceptible to UV rays if outdoors and the warranty may be short. One product I examined cost more than $5 a square foot and had an 8 year warrantee.

If the carpet is outdoors you have to consider drainage. Some artificial turf used for soccer fields doesn't drain but the field is pitched very slightly to aid runoff. We don't want to pitch bocce courts.

The turfs that are permeable for draining are more expensive than the ones that don't.

Farruggio adds "The court must be above ground. You add drain holes on your side boards about every three feet. Make sure you do this at both sides. You add the holes where the concrete meets the side boards. This should take care of your drainage."

Can any readers weigh in on the subject of carpeted courts - especially outdoor ones? Please REPLY.}

While we're on the subject....Ben Varvaro needs his three courts resurfaced - can anyone offer contact info for someone who might install new carpet in his area?

"We are located in North Myrtle Beach, SC in the Tidewater Golf Plantation. The courts are of wood frame with a concrete base and the court is covered with a green matt similar to what is used on miniature golf courses."



This one is run by long-time successful bocce organizer and promoter, Wayne Farinacci.



AUGUST 24-25-26, 2007
Brought to you by Club Molisani and the City of Mayfield Heights - Mayfield Heights City Park, 6154 Mayfield Road, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124. Contact 440-442-2626, ext. 202.

1st Place: $4500 plus ind. & team trophies
2nd Place: $2500 plus ind. & team trophies
3rd Place: $1500
4th Place: $750
5th Place: $500
6th Place: $500
7th Place: $350
8th Place: $350
9th Place: $240
10th Place: $240
11th Place: $240
12th Place: $240

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: August 15, 2007. Entries are on a first-come, first-served basis. Get your entry in early. Correspondence - International Challenge Cup of Bocce c/o Mr. Wayne Farinacci 1150 SOM Center Road Mayfield Heights, Ohio 44124 - 440-461-6471

What others say about The Joy of Bocce...

Photos of the week

This week's pics were the Photos of the Week on July 25, 2005. I'm re-posting some photos so that they will be permanently available instead of being on the web for one week only.

The pictures highlight my annual trip to the Natick Sons of Italy (Natick, Mass.) for good bocce, good companionship, and excellent food.

The venue boasts two well constructed courts with stone dust surface and some of the friendliest bocce players anywhere.

The annual event is run by Milly Piccioli. Milly is one of the "movers and shakers" at the Francesco De Sanctis Lodge No. 1411. Not only an outstanding bocce player, Milly is a first-rate organizer and event planner. When she runs programs, they are successful and the participants enjoy themselves.

Although I play some good bocce and consume numerous culinary delights, Janet Pecorari steals the show each year. Losing her eyesight as an adult, she continues to play bocce...and she not only plays, she plays WELL!

Husband Nick carefully calls out instructions, giving Janet the info she needs to mentally visualize the shot. Then he rings a bell continuously over the target until the ball leaves Janet's hand. The teamwork is impressive and it is obvious to observers that Janet is a fine athlete.

One thing Janet and Nick did better than some of the sighted players I compete with is this...they ADJUSTED after each roll. Nick would give Janet the feedback that her roll was too much left or right or too long or short (and by how much) and invariably her next attempt would be closer to the target.

I had witnessed legally blind players play well before, but this was the first time I encountered a sightless one. Janet is not only a good player, but one with a great sense of humor. She'd make an excellent roll, drawing applause from the crowd...then she'd say something like "No problem. I could do that with my eyes closed."

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 material), 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 keeping players waiting very long.

Bristles are 4 ½ inches of synthetic fibers and the strong but light-weight frame is aluminum. Retails for $159.95 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 $59.95 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}

Shop at

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 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 24 - 26, 2007 - Ohio - Mayfield Heights. CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE CUP OF BOCCE - Brought to you by Club Molisani and the City of Mayfield Heights (Wayne Farinacci, Tournament Director). Mayfield Heights City Park, 6154 Mayfield Road. Contact 440-442-2626, ext. 202.


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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