The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 24 - August 27, 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 #24 - August 27, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Bocce friends,

No issue last week - my apologies. The problem I am having is that there is so much bocce activity in the New England area nowadays that I am so busy running and attending bocce happenings that I don't have the time to write and publish.

My senior softball season is in the playoffs, so when that finishes I'll have one less thing tugging at me for attention. Hope to publish more consistently the rest of 2007 and into 2008.

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...}

We love your e-letter and thought you might enjoy a photo of the Sacchetti Family Bocce Court in Mansfield, MA. The court is 68' x 11' and built over last summer by the Sacchetti Family, Tony Sacchetti (dad), Tony Sacchetti (papa) and Anthony Sacchetti (son). We have a fire pit built in on each end and a stone patio down one side of the court.

{Wow! Great court. Thanks for the excellent photo.}


My talk last week at The Wilmington Memorial Library (Wilmington, MA) went well. There was a small but enthusiastic audience. As always happens at these things, I connected with another bocce group that I didn't know about. Organizer Jack Cushing runs an excellent bocce league affiliated with the Wilmington Recreation Department on two courts on his property. Photos to follow in an up-coming issue.


Old friend Mike Hoban of Raleigh, North Carolina sends news (Mike is the one with the great quote in my book: "Build it and they will come...with beverages."}

"I received a call recently from a reporter at the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer, they got my name through The Joy of and called to interview me on an article concerning the rise in popularity of bocce in the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC). I have attached a link to the article that ran this past July 14th.

I built a court 'lake side' at our cottage on Lake Gaston located 60 miles north of Raleigh on the Virginia/North Carolina state line. I have been slowly converting Southerners to the game and they are hooked!

Thank you and keep up the great work.

{Hey Mike, you keep up the great work too - converting those Southerners.}


Here is an interesting exchange from the Yahoo Group Bocce Anonymous...

"I'm Marco Milazo from El Paso, Texas. My neighborhood association recently asked homeowners for ideas on how to improve the neighborhood, (there's some city money available), and I suggested that we build a Bocce court in a nearby park.

Of the twenty or so people to whom I spoke, most had heard of Bocce, a couple had played once or twice, and a couple had it confused with Petanque -- the French version of the game. So far, the club seems to like the idea.

If we build a court, I'll ask the Italian-American club here to staff it one or two days a week. By 'staff it, I mean to be present with a set of bocce balls, and to teach people the game.

My question is about the rules of the game. Do you allow Bocce to be played like Pool -- i.e., with bank-shots -- or do you rule it a foul if a ball hits the edges of the court? I've heard of it both ways.

I've also heard that some courts have boards across the corners to facilitate bank-shots, or perhaps to prevent people from capturing the pallino in the corner and surrounding it will balls, making it untouchable.

How SHOULD the game be played?

{I answered this way...

"The game should be played any way that people enjoy it. Rules vary from area to area.

In international rules, the balls may not touch the side boards. If they do, they are ruled 'dead' and removed from play, with any displaced balls put back to their previous positions. But most American bocce is termed Open Rules, where play off the side boards is permitted. You can find the United States Bocce Federation open rules at -

The corner boards you refer to are 45 degree angle boards. That style is not very commonly played, but many claim it is great fun striking one angle board and sending your ball around the backboard to the opposite side, perhaps knocking another guy's point away in the process. The top players and purists think this is more like billiards than bocce and thumb their noses at it.

Enjoy the game and good luck with promoting it in your area."}

Ron Grassi of Coralville, IA answered this way...

"I was one of those people who got the game of bocce, and bocce courts built in one of the city parks in Iowa City, Iowa. We now have FOUR 12 X 60 courts, and the courts are used quite a bit by the residents of the City of Iowa City and surrounding area, along with the Special Olympics group. We now have league games with 32 two person teams playing every Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and the Iowa City Bocce Club has over 80 members, along with over 100 email addresses of people who are interested in the game. A MAJORITY of the email addresses are for couples! You can visit our website at .

As to using the sideboards, our league rule is that the sideboards CAN be used, but if a ball hits the backboard without FIRST hitting another ball on the court, that ball is dead. We also do not use the 'one foot rule', where if the pallino is not closer than one foot from the sideboard, it has to be redone. Our group likes being able to put the pallino next to the sideboard!

We also have a rule that the pallino nor any toss of the bocce balls cannot be above the head of the player. So there are NO Volo shots allowed! The reasoning for this is, that the club maintains the courts, and volo shots can make divots in the courts, and they are hard to get rid of.

I wish you luck in your endeavor to get bocce courts built, and think that you will be surprised to see quite a few people wanting to play, when the courts do get built!"

What others say about The Joy of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are a permanent part of The Joy of Bocce under Bocce Tidbits. They highlight the action in the recent 2007 United States National Championships at Campo di Bocce of Livermore. The excellent photos come courtesy of Kathi Tesarz.

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.


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 6, 2007 – California - Sutter Creek - Italian Benevolent Society. OPEN, 4 players including at least 1 woman player per team. Contact Rick Wagstaff @ 209- 296-6151.


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


October 7, 2007 – California - South San Francisco. Italian American Citizen’s Club. VOLO, 2 players. Contact Alessandro Bettucchi @ 650-697-7702.


October 11 – 13, 2007 – Nevada - Crystal Bay, Lake Tahoe. Biltmore Hotel and Casino. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Biltmore Casino @ 1-800-245-8667.


October 20, 2007 – California - Livermore. Campo di Bocce. RAFFA, 2 players. Return of the “Big Ben Tournament”. Contact Ben Musolf @ 408-857-0074.


October 27, 2007 – California - San Francisco. Aquatic Park Bocce Club. VOLO, 1 man player and 1 woman player. Contact Marco Cuneo @ 415713-5939.


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.


November 3, 2007 – California - Sacramento. East Portal Bocce Club. OPEN, 4 players. Contact Vernon Cooper @ 916-961-2404.


December 1, 2007 – California - Stockton. Italian Athletic Club. OPEN, 4 players with at least 2 women players per team. Contact Ron Jacobs @ 209-957-1223.

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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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