The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 31 - October 29, 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 #31 - October 29, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce fans,

Next up for us in this area is a charity bocce tournament benefiting the Michael B. Christensen Family Support Center. The Center is a local organization that does a lot of good things including funding child abuse prevention programs.

If you are in the neighborhood on Saturday, November 10, please come on by. Our venue is at D.B.'s Baseball/Softball Instructional Academy on Rte. 125 in North Andover, Mass. I'd like to meet you. Better yet, enter a team. Details below under Tournament Update.

Mario Pagnoni (The Bocce Guy)

Have you seen the cool apparel with the Joy of Bocce logo?

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

Bocce Ambiance

We just finished installing the lighting on the fabulous new court we built in Andover, Mass (photos here - ). My friend Tom Grella (who owns the premier backyard bocce venue in Massachusetts - photos here ) and I visited one evening to play a little bocce and to evaluate the lighting.

Grella's court has 4 light standards 12 feet high with 400 watt metal halite lamps. The flood lights illuminate the place like Fenway Park. Playing night games there is like playing in the daylight.

But this Andover court has string lighting all around the perimeter (cleverly set in so that they can't be struck by bocce balls) and light fixtures hanging from the pergolas on each end of the court. This allows enough light to play, but it's a subdued illumination.

While I complained that the lighting needed to be pumped up a few watts, Grella praised its ambiance. He accused me of "...not having a romantic bone in my body" (guilty as charged).

Just to be safe I checked "ambiance" with and found...

"the mood, character, quality, tone, atmosphere, etc., particularly of an environment or milieu: The restaurant had a delightful ambiance." {I was too distracted to look up milieu}

What do you think of this functional vs. ambiance concept? I have often freely admitted to having an unblemished record for missing the deeper meaning in all art forms. Am I missing the boat here too? REPLY if you care to weigh in on this subject.

{View this week's photos and scroll to the bottom to get a better view of the subdued lighting we are talking about.}


Speaking of, Florida's George Farruggio is on a never-ending quest to rid "bocceball" and "bocce ball" from America's lexicon...

"This is the first time as I read the Joy Of Bocce that no-one, no-one said Bocce Ball. I think almost all found out the name of the game is BOCCE. Thank You."


The other day I was driving around the Newburyport/Amesbury, Massachusetts area by the Merrimack River. I got behind a guy towing a boat with the name "Aquaholic" painted on the hull. I thought, "What a great idea for a bocce team name - The Bocceholics."

The NY Times featured an article about beach bocce that ran in September ( ). It chronicled the beach bocce played by young professionals in Venice, CA and Chicago, IL. Writer Kayleen Schaefer interviewed and quoted me for the piece - "A younger crowd embraces and Old World sport."

The article included a link to the league's web site and I found some interesting team names there too (including Bocceholics). Here are some interesting ones (just in case you're looking for a new "handle" for your team.

Bocce & Cheese
It's Our First Time
Bocce Bocce & Sons
I'm Workin' On It
Wind Beneath our Bocce Balls
La Bocce Vita
Big Bambini
Bocce Marciano
Son Of A Bocce
The Passive Aggressives
We're Not Friends
My, What Big Bocce Balls You Have
Roll n' Bowl
Dog Day Afternoon Starring Al Boccino
Bocceech & Chong
Your Ego's Writing Checks Your Bocce Can't Cash
The Ball Doctors
What Up Biocce?
The Bochichis
The Church Of Scientolobocce
Ciao Bocce
Ball Bustazz
Bocce Said So
Baby's Got Bocce
Bocce Boougie
Team Boccini
Tell Your Bocce We Said Thanks
The Lords Of Boccetown
Bocce Balboa
Baby Got Bocce
Scott Boccula
Bocces? We don't need no stinking Bocces!
If You Want My Bocce
Ralph Boccio
The Ball Handlers

But two of my all-time favorite bocce team names are "The Pallino Poppers" (my favorite thing to do in the world of bocce) and "Drinking Team With a Bocce Problem" (great name even though I don't imbibe).

Got other team names you want to share with Joy of Bocce Weekly readers? Please REPLY.


Michèle from France writes...

"I have seen your site and I find it very interesting...You seem to give a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people with this bocce group!

Just a question: have you, like in France a 'Fanny tradition' for the team that loses 0/13?"

{The Fanny tradition comes from boules and petanque and requires the losing team to "kiss the fanny" (usually ceramic) when your team gets shut out. The kissing must be witnessed by the victors. Note: Michèle's email indicated that they play to 13.

When I informed Michèle that our group doesn't uphold the fanny tradition she responded "It's sad for you because it is a very successful enjoyment in France. You must create something like that!"

Read more about Kissing the Fanny in Chapter 1 of The Joy of Bocce. }


Martin Moran is checking in from Ireland (we have a real international flair this edition),

"I am involved with a Special Olympics Club in Ireland and recently we have introduced bocce to our club. We would like to know is there a dvd on the sport. I recently purchased The Joy of Bocce book which I find interesting."

{I know that there are DVD's on things like court construction, but I don't know of any on bocce play. It's a very simple game anyway - just use the USBF open rules which can be found on their web site ( ) and continue to use my book as a reference.

Does any reader know of other materials that might be helpful to Martin? REPLY.}


We've heard from France and Ireland, now this one is from "down under"...

Bradley Oliver, Nambour Qld, Australia says...

"Just noting the story in the latest Joy of Bocce e-newsletter about the 'bocce balls smacked so hard that they bounce up and hit one of the pergola posts before caroming back into the court.'

As I see it, the bocce has left the court and therefore is deemed 'dead', the mere fact that it has rebounded appears redundant.

My two cents worth, and that is the way I officiate it in Special 'O'."

{This seems to be the consensus. If a ball hits off any part of the court that is normally played off - like the side boards and back boards, that's live. If it hits off anything that is not normally played off - like the top of the boards or a pergola post, it is dead.}

View the most scenic court in the South

Photos of the week
This week's photos show the subdued lighting we allude to in the Bocce Ambiance discussion above.

They are located on the Joy of Bocce web site under Court Construction. Scroll down past the text and the first couple pictures to view them.

View this week's photos

Bocce product of the week
BoHo Bocce - where home decor meets Bocce

Don't forget to use promo code (010111) when ordering at

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.”


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}

Christmas Lights

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.


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 Head referee = Mario Pagnoni (Love to meet you at this event).


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


May 17, 2008 - New Jersey - 2nd annual NJ Bocce Invitational supporting New Jersey charities. Contact Frank Valanzola @ 973-793-5406 or . View web site at

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.
 Check out the merchandise