The Joy of Bocce Weekly
In This Issue: Vol. VI, Issue 32 - November 5, 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 #32 - November 5, 2007
Publisher: Mario Pagnoni Copyright 2007
76 Emsley Terrace, Methuen, MA 01844 (vm 800-211-1202 ext 4949)

Hello bocce friends,

We got a lot of email re: last week's Lighting Ambiance, with most people just offering variations of "Ambiance is great, as long as you have enough light to play." Can't argue with that, I guess.

Next up for us in this area is the 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)

Are you interested in other outdoor games? Click here...

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

George Danner of Griffith, GA (of Doc Holliday tourney fame) sends the photo of his bocce boys and this info...

"I did more research on the Danner Saloon and found out that Wyatt Earp dealt faro there. The saloon was one of the first in Tombstone and it had two owners. Danner and Owens Tent Saloon. The first sheriff was shot and killed there. There was no info that Doc Holliday ever dealt or played in the saloon. Wyatt was in Tombstone before Doc and Kate arrived, and the town was growing at a very fast rate, wood buildings were being built, so the tents didn't last long.

Anyone passing through Georgia heading to Florida, you need to plan a visit to the Doc Holliday Museum. Located at 1522 Lucky Street, Griffin, Georgia. Call Bill Dunn before coming: 770-412-9180. Open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10 am-5 pm. Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Official 2007 Bocce Cup Program

It has been ten years since the first Bocce Cup. This, the sixth playing of our biennial competition, will be contested in Peachtree City at the site of the original match. The biggest difference since then is the increasing expertise of each roster. This fact should make this the most competitive and well-played Cup.

Captain Dustin Danner will lead Griffin in their defense of the Chad Smith Trophy against Peachtree City's Captain Mike Morrison, in what has to be called "Cup Month." FedEx Cup, President's Cup, Nextel Cup, Women's World Cup, Solheim Cup, Walker Cup, and our Bocce Cup. What separates our Cup from the rest is not the exemplary sportsmanship, nor the steely nerves, nor the chiseled bodies. It is the fact we ingest copious amounts of adult beverages and still function like a finely tuned machine! Where do we find such men?

We do have fun at our bocce tournaments. Big screen TV for the Georgia v Alabama game, great food and home made ice cream. The tournament has 21 matches. First team to 11 wins the Cup. We have singles, doubles and foursomes. All with different formats. PTC jumped out to a 4 match lead before Griffin got on the board. PTC was too hot and won the Cup 11-3.

I will host the Doc Holliday Tournament and the DDT. John Landis will host the Fall Classic. Lance Taylor will host the Octoberfest Tournament on the new grass courts at the Griffin Country Club the 27th. These courts are 90 feet by 15 feet. Big screen TV for the Georgia v Florida game, Bar-B-Q and beverages provided by the CC."

{Contact George to be in on the Georgia bocce circuit - If you are ignorant, as I was, of faro mentioned in Danner's email, check this out from Wikipedia...

"Faro is a card game, a descendant of Basset. It enjoyed great popularity during the 18th century, particularly in England and France, and in the 19th Century in the United States, particularly in the Old West, where it was practiced by faro dealers such as Doc Holliday. It has since fallen out of fashion and is only practiced by dedicated Old West enthusiasts and Civil War reenactors." }


Bocce Royalty

Recently I suffered an injury playing softball in my senior slow pitch league. I needed an MRI and it turns out that the fellow we built the backyard bocce court in Andover, MA (the one with the gorgeous white vinyl pergolas - photos here ) is an interventional radiologist. Dr. Casha explained interventional radiology to me a couple times but I still couldn't tell you what he does.

Anyway, he's the guy in charge at the hospital, so he set me up with an appointment, cut through the red tape, and got me in with no waiting. The people at the hospital greeted me with open arms as M.D.s and office staff descended on me from all parts of the building shaking my hand and calling me Mr. Bocce, the Bocce Expert, and the Bocce Star. One technician even exclaimed "Wow! You're the Bocce King. What should we call you...your majesty?"

Embarrassed by all the fuss, I countered "No, no, no. There's no need for all this formality in addressing me.

Your eminence will do just fine."


Ron Wood is one of the many who ask for the recipe for crispelli that is mentioned on my web site's Bocce Venues page (Havana Rollers on Tom Grella's property in Methuen, Massachusetts).

On the web page that mentions crispelli I've added the link to the ezine back issue that has all the details.

It is copied and pasted below...

"I've had several requests for the recipe for Crispelli mentioned in the photo spread for Tom Grella's Havana Rollers Bocce Venue ( ), so, here goes...

Purchase dough from your local bakery and let it rise
Roll out balls of dough the size of golf balls or tennis balls or even baseballs if you prefer
Stuff each with a piece of cheese of your choice or a little anchovy (keep the batches separate)
Fry these in hot oil until golden brown and let cool before eating

Crispelli are the hit of the September Festival of the Three Saints in Lawrence, Massachusetts, but the wait in long lines to get served is well worth it.


On the subject of crispelli, Brenda Flanagan wrote..."My grandmother used to make them and since her death, nobody has the recipe.

I would love to relive those days...she used to hide them in a box on top of her closet to keep my uncles from eating them before it was time."

{There are so many dialects and regional differences - I hope these crispelli are the ones grandma used to make.}

And still on the subject of crispelli, I couldn't resist reprinting part of this Boston Herald article by Joe Sciacca...

"To understand the crispelli is to know the very essence of life itself. It has its crusty, bumpy, salty parts to be sure. But at the core of its existence is a warmth and softness that makes one who experiences it acknowledge that, yes, there is a supreme being and He is good.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has probably never had a crispelli. Martha Stewart has probably never cooked one - although she would buy stock in them if she could. If Howard Dean discovers them, he will increase taxes on them..." For the complete article click


Drive to get Bocce to the Senior Games in 2009

I have written here before and lamented the fact that bocce is a senior game event in many states (i.e. Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida) but is not yet at the national level.

There is a National Games committee that reviews the process of adding new sports to the Summer Games. I was able to coax my friend Carl Fetteroll of the Massachusetts Senior Games to put in a formal request that bocce be considered.

If you know of Senior Games officials in your state, please have them do the same. The request should go to:

Ray Hoyt
Director of National Games and Athlete Relations
National Senior Games Association
PO Box 82059
Baton Rouge, LA 70844-2059

If we can get the games recognized, that would mean that 2008 would be a qualifying year and 2009 we could compete in the "Senior Olympics" in San Francisco, CA. This would go a long way toward getting our sport the notoriety it deserves. Send an email - send a letter - offer to host a qualifier in your state if there is none. Bocce is headed to the mainstream. It just needs a little push from people like you and me.


Michael Grasser weighs in on last week's discussion of balls bouncing out of the playing area.

Mike indicates that if you have say, 6" by 6" timbers as your side boards, and a ball bounces on top of them and comes back in (it's probably more likely to go out of the court anyway), that ball would remain live. The reasoning is that it hit a part of the court that you normally play off - (you normally play off the 6" by 6"s). However, if it bounced up and hit the base of the pergola (as we mentioned last week), it would be dead because those pergolas are not part of the playing area.

Similarly, if you had a concrete form around the perimeter (like in the North End of Boston - photos here ) with wood facing on the inside, the ball hitting the wood would be live (you normally play off it) but a ball hitting the concrete above the wood or hitting on top of the concrete would be dead (you don't normally play off those parts). You can see in the Boston photos that there are a couple inches of exposed concrete above the wood planks.

Mike says that when he runs events with open rules, he puts in the caveat that "anything not specifically covered in the open rules, refer to International rules." Just about every circumstance is covered by the International rules book.

You can view them on the USBF web site (article 11 discusses the above).

Most of the courts I see out west are big rectangles with side and end boards the same height all around. But in the east we see courts with extra levels of height near the ends to keep balls from bouncing out. Many of us add extra height to the ends for safety as there are a lot of hard hitters hereabouts. If a ball hits above the first tier, international rules call for it to be a dead ball. If we play using this rule in open rules, it might be an officiating nightmare, as the referee would have to determine if balls hit the first level or above the first level. I think it might make more sense in open rules with courts with added height at the ends to keep the ball live as long as it stays in the court.

What do you think? Please REPLY.

Want to eliminate the pre-game coin toss? Try this...

Photos of the week
This week's photos show the subdued lighting we alluded to in the Bocce Ambiance discussion from last week.

They are located on the Joy of Bocce web site under Court Construction. Click the photo to the right, then 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 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.
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