The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 29 - October 15, 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 #29 - October 15, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce family,

The third annual Martignetti Family Charity Bocce Tourney (10/7/07) was a big success. Details at I had a great time but, as you might expect, the hours I put in on the fund-raiser kept me from publishing the ezine last week.

My apologies and best regards,
Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

See photos from last year's Martignetti FCBT...

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

Controversy in the NYC Bocce Championships Revisited

Peter Rabito (that's him with the USBF flag in front of the bocce float in the NYC Columbus Day Parade) tells me I didn't get the story quite right last issue. I wrote about the trouble with the bocce balls used in the NYC Bocce Championships. The annual event brings the winning teams from each of the NYC boroughs together for the city championship and accompanying bragging rights.

Players complained that the balls (donated by Sportscraft) wouldn't roll straight, arguing that they were improperly weighted. One player described the balls as "lopsided" claiming that one almost made a "U-Turn" in mid roll.

After complaints from players in most of the boroughs, tourney directors opted to replace the Sportcraft balls. This caused another uproar as the eliminated teams argued that "We had to play with those balls, the other teams should too."

In the interest of fairness I noted that even the finest Italian-made balls can suffer from quality control. This was apparently a problem a year or two ago with many, if not all the Italian bocce manufacturers as they evidently purchase the high grade plastics from the same vendor.

Rabito reported that one ball was hit hard and actually split in two. Upon examination of the two shattered pieces, it was clear via cross section that the material coating the insides of the ball was not uniform in thickness.

Top American players tell me that many bocce balls sold in department and sporting goods stores are made in China and not manufactured to the rigorous standards of Italian companies like Perfetta and Super Martel. }

Peter straightened me out...

"What I told you was that there are a lot of good teams that compete annually and some of them lost at the preliminaries on Saturday. Not all were sent packing - in fact, the top 2 teams that finished were from Queens along with my team (representing Manhattan) finishing third.

1st Place - Queens 1
Prize: $1000 and Trophy
Angelo Visone
Angelo Chiavarella
Giuseppe Gabriele
Zvonko Maricic

2nd Place - Queens 2
Prize: $500 and Trophy
Mario Pavicich
Zvonko Zunic
Angelo Miletic
Gretto Dimb

3rd Place - American Bocce Club (Representing Manhattan)
Prize: $300 and Trophy
Peter Rabito
John Samaritano
Robert Maffia
Omer Glavan

Also, the only borough that used Perfettas was Manhattan at the preliminaries and Queens at the finals. The reason for this was I loaned them mine so we didn't have to use the bad Sportcraft. The other boroughs probably used balls kept at the parks but I can guarantee that they weren't Perfettas.

{My apologies for the sloppy journalism, Peter. I can see that those guys from Queens take their bocce seriously.}

Brooklyn's Clay Collier was there and sent the following...

"I saw you posting on the Joy of Bocce newsletter. I played in the Bronx preliminary and can confirm that the Sportcraft balls we received there were defective. They were the Sportcraft Better Bocce Set model #50007. They were blue, red with a yellow pallino. The balls indeed would curve noticeably and were lighter than most balls I've used. Also, I heard a crack when a shot ball struck a ball a few feet away from me. I took it to the director. After many complaints the director agreed to use the park sets. I don't know if they were Perfetta but they rolled much better. This has happened before. Two years ago, and I've heard last year, Sportcraft gave sets to NYC parks for the tournament and the same problems occurred in all boroughs and park sets were used instead.

Sportcraft needs to use better materials and in the meantime the balls should simply not be used for the tournament. They are not even suitable for recreational use. I plan on writing Sportcraft and informing them. It is conceivable a shard from a struck ball could be dangerous to bystanders.

Tournaments should use 107mm balls of the correct weight by a reputable manufacturer be it Perfetta or someone else. Obviously no team should be made to engage in tournament play with balls that don't roll straight."


David Recchione ( could use a little help...

"I am a bocce player and am very interested in starting a club here in Southern California. Does any one have any suggestions or a procedure I need to follow to make this happen? I am in the city of Rancho Cucamonga and need some help."

{Please REPLY here or directly to }


Alexis Buisson, a French freelance journalist, recently arrived in NYC. He is writing an article on bocce and its parallel to petanque and the growth of both sports.

I'll post the article when it gets published. Stay tuned. My group played a little petanque in Boston recently (with some regulars who play at a field right near Fenway Park). I was able to hit a few targets on the fly (they call it a carreau), hitting a higher percentage than with bocce volo because the balls are smaller and easier to control and the targets are closer.


Some thoughts on the momentum bocce is currently experiencing...

The momentum I'm seeing here in Massachusetts and New Hampshire makes me believe that the game is only a couple years away from the mainstream. We ran an event in Laconia, NH recently for beginners at a 55+ condominium complex by Lake Winnipesaukee. The people had a great time and praised us for doing such a wonderful job. On the contrary, I don't think the "wonderful job" we did had anything to do with the success - it's the game. It sells itself. We just need to keep promoting it and spreading the word. The Baby Boomers have latched onto it...just about all the kids we introduce the game to like fact, virtually everybody we introduce the game to likes it. My dad used to say "If you hit the nail on the head enough times, sooner or later it goes into the wood." Let's all keep swinging the hammers.

A bigger challenge is how to get more credibility and acceptance of the USBF (United States Bocce Federation). There are still web sites and literature out there that reference the IBA (International Bocce Association) which has been defunct for a couple decades. I've suggested that on all literature, web site, business cards, etc. the USBF should position itself by including the words "The Governing Body of Bocce in America" - that makes a bold and confident statement. There is no other game in town. We are it. If you want the skinny on how to play, rules, courts, anything at all...we're the outfit to contact. After all, we're The Governing Body of Bocce in America. If the bocce playing public buys into this, it will go a long way towards combating the bewildering mass of bocce misinformation that is currently on the web.

Final thought - in the next year or two someone has to step up and become the "face" of bocce. Someone has to do some big time national TV appearances. S/he should be young, enthusiastic, energetic and literate (with a sense of humor and a generous helping of charisma mixed in). Know anyone who fits that description? If you do, I'd like to roll a game or two with him/her. If national TV showcases bocce, it will get the exposure it needs and exponential growth will follow.


Dr. Cordano weighed in on the rules discussion from last issue...

1) The possibility of a pallino in motion to be touched by a ball will never occur in an international game, because the final pallino’s position is marked before any ball is to be rolled.

{Makes sense}

2) If a ball hits any object or structure that is not part of the playable court, any subsequent action is nullified and the ball is considered dead.

{Makes sense again}

3) Only in one occasion in Florida I have played doubles with 3 balls per player. For good players this is a huge advantage,

The idea may come from VOLO tournaments played with brass balls where players in doubles play with 3 balls each. As you know, California is the place where mostly brass bocce balls are being played.

I believe that we should try to unify rules if that is at all possible. It must be recognized that this situation is favorable for the development and acceptance of the sport of bocce.

However, the only hope to see the US to become a world bocce power will happen if those excellent players of open rules start to participate at the yearly Nationals organized by the United States Bocce Federation. By doing so, they will not only play and learn the international rules, but will have the honor and the thrill to play against the best players in the world when, by winning at the Nationals, they earn the right to play for the USA.

{Once again, the man makes perfect sense.}


{I notice in the flier for the Big Ben Tourney coming up in November (see Tournament Update below) that the format is two-person teams, three balls each. I have never heard of this format before. Is this common in certain areas of the country? I usually hear of two-player teams rolling two balls each, not three. Can any reader REPLY?}

Big Ben himself responded with...

"In regards to my tournament: It is just a fun TWEAK of the game! It allows the shooters to have more chances to correct an error, and the laggers to score more points! This will be my 7th BIG BEN PUNTO, RAFFA, VOLO tourney."

{Makes sense. Ben Musolf (Campo di Bocce) says he is also looking for advertisers and will " a banner for 3 days for any $250 donation or more. I am trying to get some good exposure for the advertisers and keep it affordable at the same time."}

What others say about The Joy of Bocce...

Photos of the week
This week's photos are actually a new page (Court Construction) on the web site. It answers a lot of questions I get on building courts and it showcases some of the courts my crew has built here in the east. A work in progress, this section of the web site will continue to grow.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
Got this interesting email from Brad Droy who has developed a clever new bocce product…

“I've played Bocce for years with my neighbors in our backyards. No court. Recently I've developed new version of Bocce Ball call BoHo Bocce. It's a bocce game played indoors in your home without a special court. The playing field is your home including your furniture, walls, stairs, etc. Please check out the website:


I secured a BoHo Bocce game to evaluate. It came in a stylish pewter basket. Says Brad… “Remember, it's meant to be a more relaxed version of Bocce without the precision. It promotes creativity. Good for families with children. Fun game when you're stuck in your house because of bad weather. For most people the home decor aspect is big.”

I got a big kick out of the email receipt that came with my order…


Outside In Games Email Order Receipt

Buon giorno Mario,

Thank you for your Boho Bocce order with Outside In Games, where life is all fun and games.
Your order arrived in the middle of an excellent round of BoHo Bocce. We stopped everything and sang an old Italian song of praise in your honor. Then we ran to our packing stations, where your entire order was inspected for absolute perfecto-ness before carefully packaging it.
Just as soon as UPS picks up your order, we'll email you the tracking number. You can then follow your package every step of the way until it arrives at your doorstep. Since a signature isn't required, please keep an eye out for it.

Brad Drozynski, BoHo Bocce Master


More from Brad…”With the cold weather coming soon it might be a great alternative for the person who can't find an indoor bocce court or would enjoy the added dimension of playing bocce BoHo style using their home as the court. Plus I think it's a pretty cool home decor accessory. I'm finding that it's a huge hit at assisted living facilities too.

Be creative with your play. All obstacles are in play and using walls like bumpers on a pool table can be fun. It's really a different game.“


Fun Family Game Doubles as Home Décor

Sounds like Brad is on to something. His Outside In outfit seeks to bring indoors the games we enjoy playing so much outdoors (he plans on bringing other games indoors soon).

As I frequent antique shops in search of old bocce balls (especially nailed boules from France) I see a great many decorative bocce ball-like spheres for sale. These Boho Bocce mimic those but are made of tennis ball-like material instead of polished stone or plastic. So, you can put these on display on your coffee table and then take them in hand to roll a game when the spirit moves you.

I like the idea. You're playing bocce indoors safely with what are essentially oversized tennis balls.

The smartly packages set retails for $109.00 and includes:

four purple balls and four green balls (about 4 oz. & 3 ½ inches in diameter)
smaller white pallino (balls handmade in Nepal with 100 percent solid wool and Swiss dyes – machine washable).
Choice of baskets: pewter wire, twig, rattan spaghetti weave, small wire mesh, large wire mesh
Carry bag
Measuring string
Instruction booklet

If you decide to order, Droy has offered Joy Of Bocce readers a 20% discount. Use code 010111 when ordering on-line at . Or, contact BoHo Brad at 303-667-1293.

Code 010111 brings cost down to around $87.00.

Visit BoHo Bocce (use code 010111 at checkout for 20% discount)

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.


October 20-21, 2007 - Arizona - Phoenix. 2nd Annual Arizona International Open Bocce Tournament. 4-player teams - >$4500 in prize money to top ten finishers. Entry fee $150 per person. Contact tourney directors PASQUALE D’ALIESIO (602-569-9149) or VINCENZO “VINCE” D’ALIESIO (480-220-4629) or


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.


November 10, 2007 - Massachusetts - North Andover. Michael B. Christensen Family Support Center Bocce Tourney. Raising funds for child abuse prevention. 4-player teams - Open Rules. Contact Al Pappalardo @ 1-978-618-0513 or


November 17, 2007 - California - Los gatos. The BIG BEN 2 person Punto Raffa Volo tournament. Open to the first 24 Teams. Cost: $150 per team ($75 per player). USBF card required. Minimum $1000 first place guaranteed. Format: Round Robin, 8 divisions of 3 teams, 16 of the 24 teams will go to the playoffs. Contact:


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.


December 1-3. Florida - Cape Coral. Florida Senior Games State Championships. The women will compete on Dec. 1st & the men on Dec. 2nd. Dec 3rd will be reserved for any games not completed. Four players to a team. For more info, contact Rudy Diaz @ 239-542-8877 or email

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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